Like many who have tried EDT, I've become a fanatic about trying to improve performance. I don't worry about results anymore, since I can SEE those. I worry about doing more reps while lifting more weight faster . . . like the title says: increasing reps, weight and speed.
Here are some variables I?ve experimented with. Call these the "non-exercise variables:"
Rest. For me, two days between a chest workout is the minimum sufficient time for continuous improvement. Three days rest is better, but four or more don't seem to make much of a difference. Bottom line: Find the most efficient rest break.
Time of day. I can hardly lift a shoe a 6 AM. I'm a little stronger by 12 PM but I don't start to feel human until around 3 PM. Actually, 8 PM seems to be when I feel at my best. But at my age, a workout at 8 PM means forget about trying to get to sleep until 2 in the morning. Bottom line: Pick the strongest time of day to ensure max performance.
Nutrition. I don't eat grains, sugar or anything fried so my daily carb intake is very, very low. Thats great for cutting fat but lousy for workout energy. I've learned to compromise. Bottom line: Get enough carbs.
I've also experimented with what I call ?exercise variables.? Let's say you're doing a 40 minute EDT routine that consists of two 20 min PRs. PR 1 is bench press and curls. PR 2 is chest flyes and one-arm concentration curls. And let's say you can do 60 reps of the bench press in PR1.
Now, what if you changed it around and PR1 consisted of 20 min of bench while PR2 was 20 min of curls? That's still 40 min. You'd expect to at least double your bench press reps and hit 120. But what actually happens is that you do much more . . . maybe 140.
I believe it has to do with efficiency. You spend less time traveling between exercise equipment (or less time swapping plates if you only have one bar). Sure, that "traveling time" is where you get your rest, but I find that my rests are shorter if I just focus on a single exercise at a time.
Now, what if we did this. Let PR 1 be 20 min of bench press and curls, but do it two parts: Bench for 10 min and curl for 10 min. You'd expect to get at least 60 reps and maybe 70 (half of the 20 min result). But what actually happens is that you do much more . . . maybe 80.
I believe it has to do with the body's energy system. At 10 min, your muscles are still going strong. There's also a psychological aspect. 20 min for bench AND curls seem like a longer time than just 10 min for the bench. It really isn't but it makes you work faster and harder when you're under a mental time constraint.
What about muscle relaxation?
I thought the idea of working antagonistic muscles was to allow muscle #1 to relax while working muscle #2. My experience however, is that muscle #1 relaxes better if I just DO NOTHING. If I'm benching, for example, when I'm done, I just lay there like a beached whale and breathe. Curls . . . sit and breathe. This supports the idea that focusing on one muscle is more efficient.
So, for me, it makes more sense to do an EDT workout by focusing on each body part at a time. A 15 min PR of bench ad curls means 7 ? min of bench followed by 7 ? min of curls.
But before I pat myself on the back at having figured this out for myself, here?s my problem: I'm not a trainer, strength coach, physiologist or bio-mechanic.
Because I'm not any of those things, I don't know if maybe there is intrinsic value in mixing exercise.
Maybe it's important to increase reps, weight and speed . . . but maybe there is a wrong way (and a right way?) to do it.
Everyone has experienced this. Say you do 10 reps of an exercise. Is it easier to do the 11th rep . . . or is it easier to pause, rest briefly and then do another rep?
I find that it's easier to just keep going. There's a "momentum factor" to lifting and maybe the "momentum factor" helps explains why if you concentrate on just one exercise, you can do more reps.
I've always heard that momentum in lifting is not a good thing. It's a form of cheating. So, I'm keeping an open mind. Sure, there are ways to increase reps, weight and speed . . . by what if those ways aren?t necessarily as effective for your body.
So, this is where I'm stuck right now in my thinking. I need an expert to jump in. If anyone has any opinions or research to share, I would greatly appreciate it. And if Coach Staley is checking out this post, Coach, I'd greatly appreciate any comments from you.
Is increasing reps by focusing on a single exercise (7 1/2 min bech + 71/2 min curl) just as effective as increasing reps when you alternate between the two exercises?