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Thread: [sensations] you're looking for when working out page

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    Furan's Avatar
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    Question [sensations] you're looking for when working out

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    Hi everyone,

    I have no idea whether there has already been a dedicated thread to sensations, but I'd like to ask the question to everybody here, including Mark.

    What are the sensations that you're looking for when you're working out ?

    I ask this question from a technical standpoint. I mean, whatever the exercise you're doing, what kind of ability are you seeking to achieve ? brutal strength ? fullest coordination with as little effort as possible (just like dancing) ?

    For instance, let's stick to isometrics : how do you do your planks (no matter the difficulty) ?
    once you're in position, do you try to squeeze each and every muscle that might get involved in the process of holding it ? or do you feel better if you're trying to relax everything that you can, as long as the form remains perfect (which means you use minimal amounts of strength to get what you need) ?
    I've heard/read so many different things about the way to breathe, the way to "focus" on the core, but in the end, it seems that people tend to emphasize form over sensation. And I've been through different types of training myself (racket sports, gymnastics, weight-lifting, dancing, martial arts, boxing), all of which appear to have different approaches towards "fitness".

    Now, I am a bit confused but I know I seek efficiency and coordination of the whole body.

    I would very much like to hear and discuss what you folks think about it, how you experience whatever training you do.

    -- BTW, do not hesitate to redirect me to a blog post or anything pertaining to that matter

    Thanks.
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    Doms?

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    It really depends on the individual and the particular exercises being performed. Personally, I aim for efficient movement in most things I do but that can change when I'm doing some 1RM work. Furthermore, if you forego "sensation" and focus on performance this can become a slightly less important concept - at least from a physiological standpoint.

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    @Coach Palfrey,
    thanks for your response. I understand your point about performance. Actually, I had been focusing on performance for a couple of years before relaxing and trying to feel everything that I am doing. Then, I discovered that - let's stick to the basic plank example - I could hold the position with a given "quality" in form but I could do it in two different ways : once in position, just hold it, don't think too much about it ; or once in position, try to squeeze the involved muscles even more, get as rigid/stable as possible.

    Do you believe, from your experience, that these are two distinct paths, in terms of results ?
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    If I have time to focus on trying to feel various sensations, then it is time to put more weight on the bar or run faster, in my opinion. My main sensations when exercising are a bit of anticipatory fear (ie damn that bar is going to be heavy, oh this is gonna hurt), then pain, then extreme fatigue.

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    A focus on proper form should be paramount in any case. It varies from exercise to exercise, but you should always go back to basics. This will prevent injury, and increase performance in the long run. People get into trouble when they go too hard or too heavy too fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Furan View Post
    @Coach Palfrey,
    thanks for your response. I understand your point about performance. Actually, I had been focusing on performance for a couple of years before relaxing and trying to feel everything that I am doing. Then, I discovered that - let's stick to the basic plank example - I could hold the position with a given "quality" in form but I could do it in two different ways : once in position, just hold it, don't think too much about it ; or once in position, try to squeeze the involved muscles even more, get as rigid/stable as possible.

    Do you believe, from your experience, that these are two distinct paths, in terms of results ?
    Well that would depend on what you class as "results".

    You should take a look into Mihalyi Csiksentmihalyi (pardon the spelling) and the Theory of Flow. He talks about the balance between the demands of a task and the ability of the individual - I think you'll find some interesting relevance to your questions there.

    My personal opinion is that maximum performance comes from "losing" yourself in the technique.

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    @tfarny @New Renaissance, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    @New Renaissance : actually, I went back to basics noticing that I was not making much "global" progress so I believe I got your point.

    @Coach Palfrey : I shall look into it thanks for the reference.

    @ all the others :
    all those in the martial arts, dancing, juggling, or whatever activity involves many many repetitions to learn, what do you think of this discussion ?
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    I have a Catholic approach to exercise. I don't feel I've done it properly unless I experience some kind of discomfort afterwards.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Caveman View Post
    I have a Catholic approach to exercise. I don't feel I've done it properly unless I experience some kind of discomfort afterwards.
    hahahaha +1

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