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Faster muscle growth through attention focus and internal focus



What if there was a super easy way to make your muscles grow faster? It is even more fascinating that you no longer train in the gym, perform various exercises or lift heavier weights.

You do not need to do more sentences or repetitions than you currently do. In addition, you do not have to completely overhaul your training program, buy expensive equipment or inject money on fancy side dishes. In fact, you do not have to spend any money at all, and you can start your next workout. All you have to do is change the way you focus when you lift – and growth will follow.

What is Attention Focus?

Here's the story: In 2009, a US research team founded a very simple experiment . They gathered a group of people who had never lifted weights before, causing them to perform lat pulldowns.

At each repetition, researchers used electrodes to measure muscle activity in the lats. They wanted to find out if it is possible to let the lats work harder with a change in the so-called attention focus.

Attention focus refers to what you think about during a particular movement or activity. There are two main types of attention focus: internal and external. An internal focus involves actively thinking about the target muscle during exercise, while an external focus directs attention outside the body.

An example of internal focus during squat could be "pushing your buttock muscles on the way up". An external focus might be to "remove the soil from your body."

Does not sound like it makes a big difference, does it? But science shows that it is so. After the subjects were told to "pull their arms rather than their arms by adducting the shoulder blades and focusing on the tension of the back muscles," the researchers found that Lats increased muscle activity by nearly 20 percent.

Internal focus at work

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Other studies report similar results: After telling the subject:" Use the gluteal muscles, During the hip extension of the University of Michigan Researchers doubled muscle activity in the gluteal muscles.

In other words, a simple shift resulted in raising your leg while keeping the hamstrings relaxed. " More interestingly, this shift in focus allows the muscle to grow faster than normal.

Research Published in European Journal of Sport Science followed the results of two groups of men exercising with weights three times a week for eight weeks, both groups did n the same exercises – the barbell curl and the leg extension – but with one important difference: the subjects of the first group were asked to squeeze the muscle with each repetition, while the subjects of the second group were only asked to get the weight up . "

The results were striking. Subjects who were told to "squeeze the muscle" – an inner focus of attention – experienced an increase in biceps size of 12 percent.

That was almost double the gain seen in the group was said to "increase weight", with the average increase in biceps size being only 7 percent. For the quads, it was another story where there was no significant difference in muscle growth between the two groups.

The researchers believe that this may be due to the fact that it is difficult for untrained individuals to create a "mind-muscle connection" in the quads compared to the biceps. In fact, several subjects said it was much easier to focus on their biceps than on their quads.

Lighter weight, less stress

  Handsome Asian man with dumbbell in gym, bodybuilding concept

Virojt Changyencham Getty Images

Apart from the possibility of faster muscle growth has an internal focus at certain exercises have yet another advantage.

When you focus on forcing the muscle, you work instead of just increasing the weight. Often it has to be said that this requires less weight: less weight means less stress on the joints, which means less potency for injury.

To be clear, using an internal focus of attention is about much more than just "good form". The right technique is a fundamental first step, but not enough. Developing and maintaining an internal focus requires concentration and discipline.

Thus Charles Gaines and George Butler describe it in 1977 in their book Pumping Iron.

"All the best bodybuilders can use their concentration to slow down a war of air. I remember [Mr Universe] seeing Ed Corney playing dumbbells in Baghdad. He was sitting on a stool in the middle of the big, strange gym where the city trained Mr. Universe's competitors. There must have been thirty or forty Iraqis on all four walls, and about fifty in the windows. Ed Corney sat in the middle of all those eager, noisy little people staring at the sheath of his biceps stuffing and empty, stuffed and empty, his face distant and confused like a yogi, his mind somewhere in the fibers of it poor.

Corney did not do that after considering some studies on attention-focus and muscle growth. It was rather something that came instinctively. After many years of training, he knew he could do better to send the signal "I'm getting bigger" to his muscle fibers while his mind was fully engaged in the task at hand.

Focus on using the internal focus [19659030] Man lifting weights in the gym "title =" Man Lifting Weights in the Fitness Center "class =" Lazyimage Lazyoad "data-src =" https: //hips.hearstapps .com / hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com / images /man-lifting-weight-in-fitness-center-royalty-free-image-175138420-1553009044.jpg?crop=1xw:1xh;center,top&resize=480 All this brings with it some reservations: Most studies that show benefit for the inner focus of attention include the use of relatively light weights and moderate reps Idea at on every exercise, especially if it is a compound lift with heavy weights.

When performing heavy deadlifts, f For example, an inner focus of attention is not a good idea to switch to an external focus of attention and s I focus on simply increasing the weight.

Indeed, studies show that the effectiveness of an internal focus with higher weights is reduced. In one study, muscle activity in the chest muscles was increased by 22 percent when subjects were told to focus on the chest muscles when examining a weight of about 50 percent of their maximum one-repeat value. However, the difference in muscle activity between the two conditions was halved when heavier weights were used.

Conclusion:

When you go to the gym, you have to decide why you are there. Are you just trying to lift weights, or do you want to use these weights to stimulate your muscles to adapt as you get bigger with time? If your answer is the first one, you'll get better results (at least in some exercises) by focusing on the muscles you should work on, rather than shifting just one weight from point A to point B.


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