3-phase perspective of exercise – Phase 1: Initiation

Here’s a perspective I’ve found helpful to bring to each exercise I perform: anticipate that the exercise has 3 phases: initiation, progressive fatigue, and “full (100%) finish.”

Just focus on the “initiation” phase this week, and see if adding attention to this adds something to your workout.

“Initiation” phase quick description: I bring all of my focus and attention to the muscles I’m intending to work as I start to exert effort. This might even include a few seconds before any movement begins, as I start to lightly push, pull, or whatever–and also check in that my position is good and everything feels good. This continues as I first begin to move slowly. And as I start to move, I’m thinking of trying to use the movement primarily to feel more effort in the muscles I’m working–NOT trying to move as a primary goal.

I feel “locked-in” to the exercise if initiate properly. I feel the muscles I’m targeting. I feel positioned well. I start moving in a manner that’s focused at exercising my muscles, not focused at moving a weight.

All of this sets me up to continue my effort into a connected, controlled, and effective “body” of the exercise that fatigues my targeted musculature, and then to finish with a truly focused, true 100% effort for a few seconds–that I can do with both zen-like focus and a high degree of safety, because I’m still “locked-in” from the initiation. That’s where it starts.

I recommend focusing on experimenting with and refining your “initiation” of exercises this week. I’ll follow up to share a few important tips about the other two phases; but you might even discover some of that on your own if you get really into the initiation of each exercise you do.

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