My First Few Weeks of Exercise Went Great Then Things Slowed Down

by glenn on January 7, 2011

It happens every time a new member joins a gym or starts a new exercise routine.  Once the initial soreness subsides, they feel some quick gains and feel much stronger almost immediately.  Is it because their muscles have exponentially because they came in contact with a dumbell?  Of course not.  As your body learns a new movement, it makes notes on the movement pattern, giving meaning to the adage, “practice makes perfect.”

When you first begin an exercise routine, with a NYC personal trainer or on your own, you are teaching your body new exercises or movement patterns.  Like learning any new movement, are slower and possibly may feel a little clunky or clumsy.  Much of learning the new movement is about balance and coordination.  For instance, when standing on one leg doing knee bends. Your brain is communicating with your with your body.  On your first attempts, your brain is sending out signals to many different parts of your body.  In many cases, many of those signals are sent errantly, making the movements less efficient.  You may feel wobbly, like you are about to lose your balance.  As your body repeats the movements, it begins to know which muscles are involved and which are not.  Thus, eliminating communication with uninvolved areas and redirecting energy towards more involved areas.  This is a process that is repeated over and over until, the movement is completely refined.  The movement can now be done with very little thought beforehand.  The training adaptation is complete.

Given the body’s penchant for learning, it is important that proper form be learned from the beginning.  It takes 300-500 repetitions to learn a movement pattern and 3000-5000 to break a bad movement pattern and relearn the correct way.

Returning to an exercise routine after a long layoff is another time where this can be a factor.  If you’ve performed the exercises properly in the past, it is a good bet you’ll return to form pretty quickly.  However, you may still want to have someone such as a personal trainer NYC manage your first few workouts to be sure.

It’s motivating to feel the positive impact of those first few weeks at the gym.  Acknowledge that they are not just a show of muscular gains, but also of due to improved communication of your brain and muscles to improve your balance and coordination.  This improvement, when learned correctly, will be invaluable to all of your future workouts.

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