Somehow I got hung up on the number 50 as the amount of repetitions that I do. This method has worked well for me however I am now at a plateau and need to improve. Usually I would just move up in the weight of my dumb bells. Right now, that’s not an option. Besides, I have been very successful in not injuring myself by using weights that work well for me. An increase might cause an injury especially when I’m considering going up by 30% from 45 pounds to 60 pounds.
Another way to get improvements is to increase the number of repetitions. This has worked well for me as I’m more into toning than size and strength. Increasing weight adds sized and strength whereas increasing repetitions will improve tone. My new method is not to reach a level of 50 repetitions. Instead, I’m going to push beyond 50. I’m going to do as many repetitions as I can per set. Originally, I would do 30 and then 20 to get to fifty. Now I’m taking a new approach.
This approach came to me from a Facebook link to an Arnold Schwarzenegger video.
In the video he references a phrase for Mohammed Ali that states, “I start counting when it begins to hurt.”
I thought about this comment and it makes sense to me. Doing the same number of repetitions means that you hit a plateau and become complacent. I want to continuously improve.. Therefore, I’m going to do as many repetitions as I can. If I have a total of 49 from all sets for one particular exercise, I’ll do the next set of repetitions to go past until I can’t safely lift the weight without cheating, injuring myself or dropping it on my head. In this way, I hope to take advantage of going over 50, like I have with improving my fitness as I’ve aged.