How Exercise Works

A lot of people go out and exercise, but how many people really know what they’re doing? I’m not talking about their technical knowledge, or if they know what muscle they’re using, what I am talking about is what the body is going through. Often, people run, they bike, they Zumba, and they move heavy things around expecting a certain result. So what is exercise?

Exercise is a science. As I explained in my last post, exercise is a stimulus that is placed on the body to produce a specific change. Seems simple enough, right? But why is it that sometime exercise seems to work for some people some of the time and not for others much of the time? Here are a few things to think about: first, as a stimulus, our body isn’t going to respond unless we provide enough stimulus to cause change. This is because our body has evolved to survive (back in days when the human race had predators, famines to worry about). Our body wants to hold onto any extra energy sources that we put into our body (i.e. excess food) and isn’t going to spend extra energy maintaining any muscle mass that it doesn’t need.

This is why we need to apply enough stimulus to cause our body to change and become stronger. Our muscles can’t tell the difference between working against a weights, or against a beast trying to eat us, it’s all just a stimulus. So in order to cause our body to get stronger, we constantly have to apply more stimulus than than it is used to. Our body responds to an overload stimulus by rebuilding muscle cells so that it can better survive the next stimulus (whether it be an angry bear or a number of reps on the leg press).

It’s pure and simple, in order to make our bodies stronger, we have to apply enough of a stimulus frequently enough so that body believes our muscles are needed.

Found this post interesting? Have any questions? Leave a comment!


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