If you have been training for any period, you have probably come to a point where your gains have started to slow down or have completely stopped. What do you do? Do you ditch your current training program and pick a new workout from some professional bodybuilder that is big because of his current drug protocol and not his training methods? Maybe so. Just don’t pay more than $50 for a training program. I know for a fact that training programs from some
of the most popular, not necessarily the best, bodybuilders, and strength athletes can go for as much as $300. Instead of shelling out a small fortune, why not try neuromuscular training?

 How do Nerves Affect Your Strength?

Your nervous system is more powerful than your muscles ever
could be. I found out the hard way when I had to have neck surgery to remove calcium growths that were putting pressure on my spinal cord and nerve roots. The craziest thing I learned from the whole experience was that you can have the biggest, strongest muscles in the world, but if your nerves are damaged, then you won’t be able to pick up anything. Your muscles can’t get the signals.

So, what exactly makes you strong? It is a combination of your muscles and nerves working together. The more nerves you have that can activate a muscle fiber, the stronger that muscle fiber will be. And the stronger the muscle fiber, the more weight you can lift. The more weight you can lift, the more muscle your body will build to adapt to the increased weight. 

So, what happens when your gains slow down or stop? Your
neuromuscular system adapts faster than your muscles. After a certain amount of time doing the same repetitive movements, your nerves will stop growing at the same rate they did when you first began. The reason is because your body gets used to the movement patterns of your lifts. However, there is a way that you can get your nerves to fire in new ways that will spark new muscle growth while
at the same time preventing future injuries.

How Does Neuromuscular Training Work?

Neuromuscular training is designed to stimulate your nerves in new and corrective ways. It is no secret that over time your training form
can deteriorate. When it does, certain muscle groups take more of the load than others. This imbalance is most seen in opposite limbs and different sides of the body. There comes a point where the imbalances are too much for the dominate muscles, and the result is that they need longer time to rest and recover than what should be required.

The result is that your gains start to slow down, and eventually you will get injured. Not the most ideal of situations. However, neuromuscular training can help. Neuromuscular training is designed to fix muscle imbalances and to train the nerves to fire correctly. Once your muscle imbalances are fixed, you will start gaining new strength and size.

 Examples of Neuromuscular Training

There are several exercises that you can do that qualify as neuromuscular training movements. For example, split squats and one-legged deadlifts with dumbbells can both be used in your neuromuscular training program. When you isolate each leg separately, you are forcing your brain to focus on the correct movement for each leg. The result is that imbalances in smaller muscle groups and different sides of your body are corrected.
When the movement is corrected, your body builds new neural pathways for that specific movement. Perform the exercise enough, and the neural pathways will get stronger and more efficient. The result will them be quick increases in strength and muscle size.

If you want to get faster results and prevent injuries from occurring in the future, start incorporating neuromuscular training into your workout plans. In future articles I will go into more detail on the specific types of movements to use for neuromuscular training, and how you can build your own neuromuscular training program.


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