T Nation

Perceived Exertion and Progress

I believe it comes down to experience and learned skill.

[quote]Dedicated wrote:
I dunno guys, I may get flamed a little here, but this sounds like too much analysis. You are either going to muster the determination and effort to get the job done and bring about results are you’re not. You can break it down and dissect it all you want, but it’s really a simple concept.

D [/quote]

I won’t be flaming you, but I sort of alluded to your viewpoint earlier. A lot of people just assume others are pussies because they don’t work “hard enough” to progress.

If there is anything to this relative perception idea, then there may be people that perceive their efforts as harder than yours, but who still are not actually getting the required muscle stimulation to continue non-beginner growth at an appropriate rate.

I’m sure people can just learn to endure more pain… and it appears that some people actually have to, but it certainly can’t hurt to be aware of it.

[quote]Dedicated wrote:
I dunno guys, I may get flamed a little here, but this sounds like too much analysis. You are either going to muster the determination and effort to get the job done and bring about results are you’re not. You can break it down and dissect it all you want, but it’s really a simple concept.

D [/quote]

It could be considered majoring in the minors, but if it is an inhibiting factor, its worth a closer look.

And sometimes it’s just fun to shoot the shit.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
Dedicated wrote:
I dunno guys, I may get flamed a little here, but this sounds like too much analysis. You are either going to muster the determination and effort to get the job done and bring about results are you’re not. You can break it down and dissect it all you want, but it’s really a simple concept.

D

It could be considered majoring in the minors, but if it is an inhibiting factor, its worth a closer look.

And sometimes it’s just fun to shoot the shit.

[/quote]

I hear ya brother.

D

[quote]Lift4Life wrote:
I believe it comes down to experience and learned skill. [/quote]

Yes! Most people will not have a clue how much pain they can take for two reasons. 1- Lack of practice. 2- Lack of effort… this effort comes from drive and determination that is usually only found in the elite athlete types or very strong willed individuals.

If you don’t have a purpose to swim across a bay full of sharks, you sure as hell arn’t going to go dive in that shark infested water and give everything you have to get across it alive.

[quote]Arioch wrote:
Vroom,
Just possing a thought here that I would like to hear your opinion on. Along the lines of the exertion, do you think that people that have a goal (lets say with regards to sets and reps) will limit the amount they do in an effort to meet the goal?

I remember reading from a couple of trainers that they often trick their clients into doing more reps by ‘miscounting’ during a set.

For those that write out what they plan to do in a workout, it would seem that they would pick a load that would challenge them yet allow them to complete the workout. In my mind, this too can be a limiting factor for the exertion.[/quote]

This is an inportant post. I have a book I could write on pain tolerance and how to build it up… but since this is vroom’s thread, I won’t do that. Anyways, the limiting factor in most peoples workouts is that they set MAXIMUMS instead of MINIMUMS. I won’t even finish a set until I reach the minimum # I set for the set, when I’m actually counting low reps. High rep set I wouldn’t even bother counting.

I don’t even know how many reps I did alot of times because I work based purely on muscle function. I lift until the muscle will not perform the function. I go way past the pain barrier. This is built in time. I’ve actually figured out how to tolerate any pain threshold when it comes to weight lifting anyway.

I used Arnold’s simple technique of ‘Pleasure from Pain’, but this was after a few years of building the pain tolerance up working past failure. The true limiting factor in your thread vroom will be the mind. It never was the body and never will be, even for “Redheads”. They may have a lower pain threshold, but it matters very little, the mind threshold is the true limiting factor in perceived exertion.

Good points all. I do believe a mindset can sort you out. And i’m all for theorising things like this, providing you actually exercise your principles from then on!

I think goheavyfool said this too.

Any time i lift, beforehand, i’ll usually either a) listen to MOP, early mobb deep, kool g rap or similar, or b) look at hardcore porn (no funny stuff preworkout). This all serves to set me up as THE MAN in my head. No thresholds, except maybe if my shoulder plays up.

I find caffeine is essential preworkout too

[quote]Go heavy fool wrote:
Arioch wrote:
Vroom,
Just possing a thought here that I would like to hear your opinion on. Along the lines of the exertion, do you think that people that have a goal (lets say with regards to sets and reps) will limit the amount they do in an effort to meet the goal?

I remember reading from a couple of trainers that they often trick their clients into doing more reps by ‘miscounting’ during a set.

For those that write out what they plan to do in a workout, it would seem that they would pick a load that would challenge them yet allow them to complete the workout. In my mind, this too can be a limiting factor for the exertion.

This is an inportant post. I have a book I could write on pain tolerance and how to build it up… but since this is vroom’s thread, I won’t do that. Anyways, the limiting factor in most peoples workouts is that they set MAXIMUMS instead of MINIMUMS. I won’t even finish a set until I reach the minimum # I set for the set, when I’m actually counting low reps. High rep set I wouldn’t even bother counting.

I don’t even know how many reps I did alot of times because I work based purely on muscle function. I lift until the muscle will not perform the function. I go way past the pain barrier. This is built in time. I’ve actually figured out how to tolerate any pain threshold when it comes to weight lifting anyway.

I used Arnold’s simple technique of ‘Pleasure from Pain’, but this was after a few years of building the pain tolerance up working past failure. The true limiting factor in your thread vroom will be the mind. It never was the body and never will be, even for “Redheads”. They may have a lower pain threshold, but it matters very little, the mind threshold is the true limiting factor in perceived exertion.

[/quote]

I agree with you Go heavy fool. I am wondering if my workout would be considered in the pain threshhold or not. Today we did squats that last set was 405 for five in a wave squat fashion, quarter way down, then up, then all the way down and up, for one rep.

After I racked this I had my partners strip it down to 225 and I went for broke on plain old ass to grass squats and hit ten. I didn’t count (had my partner) and just focused on doing as many as I could til failure.

Now, during those ten I had to dig deep and was definitely in a zone to be considered uncomfortable at the least and painful at most and I coudn’t have gone beyond that point.

By rep ten my legs were toast and worse yet my heart and lungs were burning like they had been seared with napalm.

To me this is just what is required to stimulate some results and anyone lifting to add muscle should be hitting at the bare minimum this level of intensity to stimulate some gains at least once a week.

Are there those that don’t? That are trying to get bigger muscles.

D

[quote]Dedicated wrote:
I coudn’t have gone beyond that point.

By rep ten my legs were toast and worse yet my heart and lungs were burning like they had been seared with napalm.

To me this is just what is required to stimulate some results and anyone lifting to add muscle should be hitting at the bare minimum this level of intensity to stimulate some gains at least once a week.

Are there those that don’t? That are trying to get bigger muscles.
D [/quote]

This is the key to whole discussion isn’t it? Are there people that get the “I can’t push harder” feeling too early?

Maybe the ability to continue to stress muscles and force adaptation (as well as skill and so forth) is one of the facets to advanced athleticism.

I still get the feeling that were dealing with the “macho” mindset that those that can’t do as others do simply lack fortitude. Yes, sometimes, but not all the time.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Dedicated wrote:
I coudn’t have gone beyond that point.

By rep ten my legs were toast and worse yet my heart and lungs were burning like they had been seared with napalm.

To me this is just what is required to stimulate some results and anyone lifting to add muscle should be hitting at the bare minimum this level of intensity to stimulate some gains at least once a week.

Are there those that don’t? That are trying to get bigger muscles.
D

This is the key to whole discussion isn’t it? Are there people that get the “I can’t push harder” feeling too early?

Maybe the ability to continue to stress muscles and force adaptation (as well as skill and so forth) is one of the facets to advanced athleticism.

I still get the feeling that were dealing with the “macho” mindset that those that can’t do as others do simply lack fortitude. Yes, sometimes, but not all the time.[/quote]

But often times what is classified as the “macho” attitude is the attitude needed to deliver progress. Not everyone is going to be able to push to the same level. However, if they don’t try to push period they have no reason to complain about no gains.

If someone is squatting 185 pounds for solid reps he should push himself to adapt to heavier weight and once in awhile after his heavy sets drop down to 100 pounds and rep out. Many won’t do this because it is uncomfortable. If they do this and then provide adequate and abundant nutrition and rest voila the gains in size and strength will come.

The limiting factor are those who say to themselves it’s not worth the effort or pain I am stopping here.

D

Also, that is going to apply to any athletic endeavor marathon runner, cyclist, boxer. If you are going to become relatively good or make any progress at any of these you will have to break out of a mild zone into a “hard” or “painful” zone.

D

Along with what I was saying earlier and Dedicated’s post as exercising my point along with my own training philosophy, this is the only thing that I have ever learned that was worth a damn in bodybuilding… and I have learned alot. It all is pretty much useless until you understand the most benefiting factor of any routine, exercise, set, rep, program… or anything anybody has ever told you about building muscle.

I went straight to the source.
It’s right in everybodys face but it still seems like people want to find another way. There is no way around this most fundamental and basic concept.

From “The One and Only” - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The body that isn’t used to
maybe the ninth, tenth…

eleventh, and twelfth rep
with a certain weight.

So that makes the body grow, then.
Going through this pain barrier.

Experiencing pain
in your muscles and aching…

and just go on and go on.

And this last
two or three or four repetitions…

that’s what makes the muscle then grow.

And that divides one from a champion
and one from not being a champion.

lf you can go through this pain barrier,
you may get to be a champion.

lf you can’t go through, forget it.

And that’s what most people lack,
is having the guts.

The guts to go in and just say, ‘‘l’ll go
through and l don’t care what happens.’’

lt aches, and if l fall down…
l have no fear of fainting in a gym…

because l know it could happen.

l threw up many times
while l was working out.

But it doesn’t matter,
because it’s all worth it."

[quote]Dedicated wrote:
vroom wrote:
Dedicated wrote:
I coudn’t have gone beyond that point.

By rep ten my legs were toast and worse yet my heart and lungs were burning like they had been seared with napalm.

To me this is just what is required to stimulate some results and anyone lifting to add muscle should be hitting at the bare minimum this level of intensity to stimulate some gains at least once a week.

Are there those that don’t? That are trying to get bigger muscles.
D

This is the key to whole discussion isn’t it? Are there people that get the “I can’t push harder” feeling too early?

Maybe the ability to continue to stress muscles and force adaptation (as well as skill and so forth) is one of the facets to advanced athleticism.

I still get the feeling that were dealing with the “macho” mindset that those that can’t do as others do simply lack fortitude. Yes, sometimes, but not all the time.

But often times what is classified as the “macho” attitude is the attitude needed to deliver progress. Not everyone is going to be able to push to the same level. However, if they don’t try to push period they have no reason to complain about no gains.

If someone is squatting 185 pounds for solid reps he should push himself to adapt to heavier weight and once in awhile after his heavy sets drop down to 100 pounds and rep out. Many won’t do this because it is uncomfortable. If they do this and then provide adequate and abundant nutrition and rest voila the gains in size and strength will come.

The limiting factor are those who say to themselves it’s not worth the effort or pain I am stopping here.

D [/quote]

I couldn’t agree with you more Dedicated. This is what makes all the difference in the world between having an elite physique and just having one of a typical gym goer.

This is such a simple concept but almost impossible to exercise for nearly everyone. It’s the rare Arnold types or any elite athlete for that matter that have this MINDSET.

[quote]vroom wrote:
I still get the feeling that were dealing with the “macho” mindset that those that can’t do as others do simply lack fortitude. Yes, sometimes, but not all the time.[/quote]

That’s it vroom. You’re a smart guy, don’t try to talk yourself out of it. Just go with it. That’s all you can do. Just like death, you’re going to die no matter what… just go with it. Don’t try to out-think it. You have to out-perform it.

I got one more good one to leave you. This is from someone with the I.Q. of a bowling ball but he knew one very important thing.

MIKE TYSON - When asked why he forced himself to get up so earlier than everyone else to train and run… he said because nobody else was doing it. Again, the mindset of a champion. If you noticed the difference in how bad his carreer ended compared to how it started… you would realize for Mike it was all mental. His trainer Gus had his mindset right. Something Mike lost when Gus died(literally). To go above and beyond what you really don’t want to do. Everytime.

Guys, you are just arguing about how hard you work.

I think you are discussing the wrong “macho attitude” issue… because I’m talking about the one that has us discount other’s that don’t accomplish what we accomplish.

I’d suggest you stop telling us all how hard you work and think about what it means if your hard effort, the type that you describe, wasn’t enough to stimulate your muscles to progress.

That is what this thread is about…

[quote]vroom wrote:
Guys, you are just arguing about how hard you work.

I think you are discussing the wrong “macho attitude” issue… because I’m talking about the one that has us discount other’s that don’t accomplish what we accomplish.

I’d suggest you stop telling us all how hard you work and think about what it means if your hard effort, the type that you describe, wasn’t enough to stimulate your muscles to progress.

That is what this thread is about…[/quote]

So, you are saying your intensity is that high and yet you aren’t making gains? I mean that honestly. Because of so then there is definitely something amiss. Also, sorry didn’t mean to offend you.

D

Okay, I’ll try to illustrate the potential that this subject has by using an example I think we are all familiar with.

Bro A has low test. He’s regularly around 250 ng/dL. Bro B has high test. He’s regularly around 1250 ng/dL.

It’s no surprise, but if Bro A takes a week off from the gym he suffers a lot more muscle loss and regression than Bro B.

Unfortunately, Bro A also finds it much tougher to get and stay lean. Bro B on the other hand sits around 9% quite easily without watching his eating too closely.

This isn’t an excuse for Bro A, he’d better figure out what is going on with his body and do something about it. Maybe he can reduce stress levels. Perhaps taking Alpha Male will do the trick. Maybe just losing weight if he is carrying a lot of fat. Bro A can also get seriously nitpicky about his diet and cardio and force his body to maintain the bodyfat level he wants.

However, Bro A certainly needs to do something if he wants to improve his lot in life and it isn’t because he lacks the willpower to work hard. Tough shit for Bro A but he’s got a steeper hill to walk.

This thread is about the fact that there are other ways in which the playing field can be tilted against another, perhaps Bro C. I think there might be an issue out there that Bro C has never considered, but he does know that something is holding him back differently than Bro A or Bro B.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Are there those that don’t? That are trying to get bigger muscles.
D

This is the key to whole discussion isn’t it? Are there people that get the “I can’t push harder” feeling too early?

Maybe the ability to continue to stress muscles and force adaptation (as well as skill and so forth) is one of the facets to advanced athleticism.

I still get the feeling that were dealing with the “macho” mindset that those that can’t do as others do simply lack fortitude. Yes, sometimes, but not all the time.[/quote]

But this goes back to the adaptability idea. Eventually, a person adapts and can progress.

As an example, one person can squat 250 for 10 reps before his legs shake. Another can only go to 6 before the same thing happens.

Eventually, the second person will get to 10 if he/she continues to push.

Obviously, the first person, if he continues to push, will go past that 10 rep point.

However, the first person shouldn’t look down on the second person since there could be a number of reasons for the differences in threshold.

For me, if a person is able to push themselves with the maximum weight they can in an effort to increase that maximum weight, they are doing something good and should be applauded. It doesn’t matter what that maximum is. It is when the person doesn’t want to push that I get bothered.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Guys, you are just arguing about how hard you work.

I think you are discussing the wrong “macho attitude” issue… because I’m talking about the one that has us discount other’s that don’t accomplish what we accomplish.

I’d suggest you stop telling us all how hard you work and think about what it means if your hard effort, the type that you describe, wasn’t enough to stimulate your muscles to progress.

That is what this thread is about…[/quote]

That’s simple vroom… then you go above that level. This isn’t about working out hard vroom. I’ve been trying to explain this to you. But, it looks like you wanna fight it or push it aside. Once you get used to training in the pain zone… you can actually change this to pleasure. My guess is that muscle pain while working out is still a discomfort to you at a certain level. I don’t have that level. I did. But now it is all satisfaction.

Do you remember the first time you ever trained. I do. I was about 10 years old doing a bench press. It was so hard for me when I first started because I just didnt like the discomfort even with just a couple sets then I was done for the whole week. After years of training you build up your discomfort level so you can train in much longer times and sets and heavier more painful reps right? It never stops vroom. You have to keep pushing. Most people level off at a certain amount of discomfort.

The best way I can explain it to you is with milk. I used to hate skim milk. I forced myself to drink it as a kid because I wanted to be different and I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing. Well… low and behold, now I love skim milk and its the only milk I will drink if i drink milk at all.

You can do the same with muscle aches. My guess is that you don’t have as much mental control and manipulation as you would like. This comes from practice like I said before. I also used to practice holding my breath under water for as long as I could and I was also chlosterphobic. I am no longer chlosterphobic.

If you want to call it ego… fine. It’s all self driven though. You have to have a purpose to do certain things. The reason I did these stupid things as a kid was because I always had an urge to push myself and my limits. I had alot of fight in me and alot of determination to try. This mindset is what you need when you’re trying to do something you havn’t done before, but I’m not exactly sure how to get this mindset in the first place. You might want to read into that. But, I can tell you this, without it… yolu’ll never make it. Because this mindset has no limits. I stayed under water until I started sucking in water. Not when my mind said “oh, this is hard”.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Okay, I’ll try to illustrate the potential that this subject has by using an example I think we are all familiar with.

Bro A has low test. He’s regularly around 250 ng/dL. Bro B has high test. He’s regularly around 1250 ng/dL.

It’s no surprise, but if Bro A takes a week off from the gym he suffers a lot more muscle loss and regression than Bro B.

Unfortunately, Bro A also finds it much tougher to get and stay lean. Bro B on the other hand sits around 9% quite easily without watching his eating too closely.

This isn’t an excuse for Bro A, he’d better figure out what is going on with his body and do something about it. Maybe he can reduce stress levels. Perhaps taking Alpha Male will do the trick. Maybe just losing weight if he is carrying a lot of fat. Bro A can also get seriously nitpicky about his diet and cardio and force his body to maintain the bodyfat level he wants.

However, Bro A certainly needs to do something if he wants to improve his lot in life and it isn’t because he lacks the willpower to work hard. Tough shit for Bro A but he’s got a steeper hill to walk.

This thread is about the fact that there are other ways in which the playing field can be tilted against another, perhaps Bro C. I think there might be an issue out there that Bro C has never considered, but he does know that something is holding him back differently than Bro A or Bro B.[/quote]

If you’re alluding to AAS then hell yes if everything else is in line nutrition, rest, intensity, and Bro low has low test and isn’t making gains it’s going to give him the edge he is missing. Has bro low tried Alpha Male yet?

D