While I think there are different issues that get in the way of progress for different people, I think it’s possible that perceived exertion is one of them.
These days I’m making both more progress and more consistent progress than I probably ever have. And yes, I know I have one hell of a long way to go, I’m not crowing about where I am.
So, sitting under my thinking tree, as I’m often accused of doing in the politics forums at least, I’m wondering if intensity is a limiting factor for some people once you get beyond beginners gains.
The reason I’m thinking this is that my progress seems to have taken off after I started using caffeine and ephedrine before workouts. From an article on this site…
NSCA: Sizzle and Burn
Caffeine can decrease pain induced by exercise. It also decreases our force sensation. So, we can train harder without feeling like we’re training harder. Caffeine seems to affect how we receive and perceive pain.
So, in all likelihood I’m simply doing more work or more intense work. What I’m thinking is that limitations due to pain, or more realistically exertion feedback, can keep some of us from trivially challenging our muscles to the point that they grow. Since muscles are metabolically expensive it makes sense that our body is built to inhibit the growth of “excess” muscle.
Anyway, since this site is a think tank, I wanted to post this for consideration. Maybe this will be something worth trying for some people who are beyond the beginner stage and feel like they are working hard enough, but don’t see ongoing gains even when they are apparently eating plenty and getting appropriate rest and recovery.
I guess the question is does the body really respond to the demands placed on it? If so, perhaps the concept of genetics is more aptly thought of as a set of limiting factors such as testosterone levels, exertion feedback, CNS activation limits and so on which may simply have to be overcome if they limit your progress.