Meeting the stimulus of the workout simply means that your neuromuscular and neuroendocrine systems have been properly challenged in order to facilitate changes in both systems. You want your neuroendocrine system to be challenged because you want Human Growth Hormone released (I’ll post about this hormone another time) (i.e. fat loss) . You want your neuromuscular system challenged because that is where you see physical musculature changes (i.e. muscle repair and increase).
If you are UNDERREACHING in your workouts, you’re probably still getting some benefit, but you will not get the optimal benefit if you are not putting in your best effort FOR YOUR FITNESS LEVEL. If you are in turn OVERREACHING, you are going to set yourself back by jacking up your cortisol levels and being too tired for the next workout. I want each of you to learn how to scale up or scale down the posted workout appropriately so that you (1) don’t get injured (2) don’t get discouraged (3) don’t waste your time and energy. There are more reasons, but those are pretty darn good ones to start with.
How to scale up or down:
Range of motion . Increase it or decrease it. For example, squats. If you know you can go to the full depth squat (hips below the knees), and you’re only doing half squats, guess what, you need to kick it up a notch. If you can’t go full depth (yet), but can go half way, then that’s where you need to be working. And stay consistent in your range of motion. Don’t start doing quarter squats if you started with half. It’s about quality over quantity.
Weight. Increase it or decrease it. Please keep in mind that if you’re breezing through a workout, you need to up the weight. You should have to stop and regroup in a workout. It means you’re pushing yourself appropriately.
Reps. Increase or decrease the reps. If the prescribed reps are too many for you, scale it down some. If you’re flying through a workout, then increase the number of reps.
Intensity/Velocity. Slow it down or speed it up. Jump higher. Move faster.
PLEASE REMEMBER that if you can’t do what your neighbor in the challenge is doing it does not mean you are a failure or a misfit. This program can be done by almost ANYONE. So unless you’re in a wheelchair or grossly overweight (bedridden), YOU CAN DO THIS! It just depends on how much you put into it for where you are in your health and fitness journey. My desire for each of you is to be stronger, functionally fit, healthy and feeling better than you have in a long time or ever for that matter! I want all of you able to carry your groceries in the house when 90 years old. So this is not about looking like Arnold Schwarzanegger (ewwww!), but about being the best version of you that you can be, for you and for those who care about you.