Author: Troy Theodosiou

Neuromuscular adaptation

One of the common training mistakes is rushing into training. Many teens are under the impression that more is better, and the harder they train out of the gate, the faster they will build muscle. This is not the case.

When you begin a resistance training program, the body undergoes a period of neuromuscular adaptation. This simply means that the strength gains you are experiencing come from your central nervous system adapting to the act of weight training. Your brain is getting much better at communicating with your muscles how to respond to this specific demand.

You can’t rush this process. Motor units are the communicators between the brain and muscle tissue. They have limited endurance. This means that when you start to train, they will fatigue easily. As the motor units fatigue, muscle fiber recruitment diminishes and you will feel weaker.

Over time motor units build up more endurance. This allows you to recruit more muscle fibers for a longer period of time. Greater fiber recruitment leads to more prolonged levels of strength and more effective training sessions.

Neuromuscular adaptation can take about 2 months.

Exercise form

Another reason to ease into training has to do with safety. You need to take time and practice form using moderately light loads. Rushing into heavy training before you have a working understanding of exercise form increases your risk of injury.

When you are injured you can’t train. When you can’t train, you can’t gain!

Muscle soreness

Diving headfirst into heavy training and normal volume can create excessive amounts of muscle soreness or DOMS. While muscle soreness is not dangerous, it can be debilitating and cause trainees to lose motivation.

As you begin your journey into lifting, understand that the point isn’t to beat your body up. The point is to progress each day, challenging muscles to respond and grow.

Ease into training by following the workout structure listed below. This will help keep your motivation high and allow you time to slowly adapt to the demands that can come from the muscle-building process.

Patience

Quality gains take years, not weeks. You can’t rush progress. Many teens try to improve gains by adding additional volume and training days. This is the wrong approach. Instead, you need to focus on improvement. Try to get a little stronger each week and month. Muscle building is a process that can take 3, 4 or 5 years. Learn to enjoy your training, and trust that results are coming.

Resources:

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL_XJQc5fK4

Beginners Training Guide https://prophysique.com/programs/