by: Anthony Campo
Most people are well aware of the muscle’s role in lifting a weight. Although the muscle produces the force needed to lift a weight, the brain helps to initiate the whole process. An area of the brain called the basal ganglia helps to prepare the body for the force that is needed. Without getting too technical, the point that I am making is that what you think about before your lift can help to play a role in how successful you are. Take the “empty milk carton theory” as an example… you think a carton has milk in it, but in fact it is empty, what happens? Your body outputs more force than is needed and up and away goes the milk carton. This is actually the feeling you want when lifting weights. It would be ideal for your body to produce more force than is needed to lift the weight more explosively. This starts with warm-ups; Attempt every lift by preparing for it as if it was a maximal lift. This will carry over to bigger weights as you work up, and make for a better work set. If you are lifting properly, the form should stay true though the entire lift no matter how heavy or light the load is. If you approach the weight thinking it is going to be very light, chances are, it will “feel” pretty heavy. The idea is to approach the weight like it is a maximal load to get that “empty milk carton” like feeling.