Training Tips: Neuromuscular Training for Faster Results
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
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
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.