Slowing down seems like strange advice at the gym, but it may help you reach your goals faster in the weight room. If you feel like every other part of your life is a rush to the finish line, being told to lift more slowly may be refreshing advice. Instead of rushing through your next strength session at FitClub, slow down to reap maximum benefits.
- Do it right. Changing any habit takes time, even when your goal is to slow down. Start with a lower weight than you usually lift and see if you can feel a difference. Forcing yourself to move slowly through a movement might cause your muscles to burn after fewer reps than when you were rushing to complete a move. Use the extra time to perfect your form and think about what each move is doing to create leaner, stronger muscles while you work.
- Lifting a weight more slowly builds bigger muscles. Forcing yourself to slow down while you lift a weight causes the muscle to fatigue after fewer reps. In order to compensate for the fatigue, the body builds new, stronger muscles. Slowing your repetitions will also prolong tension on the muscle and promote better blood flow, both resulting in the growth of new muscles. Stronger muscles burn more calories even after your workout and throughout the rest of your day.
- Count it out. You should expect a new way of lifting to feel strange at first. To keep your mind busy while you lift slowly, count it out. Each rep should take approximately ten seconds to lift through and return to resting position. Counting the seconds in your head can help you appreciate just how quickly you’ve been lifting in the past. Stay patient and focused while you work your way through a new habit.
- Lifting more slowly reduces your risk of injury. When you’re rushing through a set, you may not being paying enough attention to proper form. By slowing down your movement, you can take the time to check your form and adjust your body to decrease your risk of injury. Save your speed work for the treadmill, and protect your body from injury with a slower, more controlled strength session.
- Be patient. It may take time for a new way of lifting to feel natural to your body and mind. Before you give up and rush back into lifting as quickly as possible, give your body and mind that time to adjust. After you’ve tried lifting more slowly for a few strength sessions, check in and see if your muscles feel stronger. Are you able to lift heavier weights at your next session? Can you see more definition than you could before you slowed down? It may feel strange to make the adjustment at first, but once you start seeing results you’ll begin to appreciate the positive change!
Do you lift slowly or quickly? If you find yourself in a rush to knock out a set, try slowing down and let FitClub know what you think!