girl doing bench press

The Science of Doing Exercises Correctly to Keep you Safe

The new year is upon us and many newbies are showing up at the gym in droves and doing the best they can to carry out their New Year’s Resolutions. This is great! With more than 50% of the population being obese, it’s great that people have great intentions at the beginning of the year to get in better shape than the previous year! The most important thing for them is to get some guidance so that they can guarantee results!

Many people will go to the gym and believe they truly are doing things correctly. But are they?

Truth be told we see many people doing the right movement pattern when performing an exercise, but where they drop the ball is intention and time under tension.

Intention is stimulating the muscles you are intending to work and minimizing the muscles which you are not trying to work. (If you’re doing Chest, you want to feel your chest more than your shoulders and triceps even though shoulders and triceps are secondary muscle groups)

Time under Tension (T.U.T)- This is the amount of time a given muscle group is directly stimulated. If you are looking to improve a muscles development this is one of the first places you will look.

Some things to consider when you’re doing exercises.

  1. What muscle am I trying to work?
  2. Am I feeling that muscle?
  3. Am I doing the exercise slow enough that at the end of the set I reach momentary failure?
  4. Are the exercises that I am doing in the correct order to offer my muscles the maximal development I am looking for?

Momentary Failure – The moment in which the muscle cannot complete more than one extra repetition.

Exercise Selection –  It is important to focus on large muscle groups and movements that will stimulate the most muscle first before moving on to isolation or single joint movements for a given body part.

Example Quality Chest Workout :

  1. Dumbbell Flat Bench Press 3 x 12
  2. Dumbbell Inline Bench Press 3 x 12
  3. Chest Press Machine 3 x 12
  4. Dips 3 x failure
  5. Dumbbell Fly w/ Top Squeeze 3 x 15

A Less Efficient Chest Workout would be starting with the Dumbbell Chest Fly’s. If you start with the Fly’s you will burn energy and be unable to give maximal effort and glycogen to the larger muscle groups when you get to them. Always start with the compound movements 1st.


Shoot for 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions following a 2 second positive and 2 second negative on your movement pattern. (Positive is the lift; Negative is the lowering) Also known as the agonist and antagonist muscles.

For example: On a biceps curl

The curl is the positive (bicep is the agonist muscle, the triceps is the antagonist). The lowering of the curl is the negative.

For more information reach out to us! At Formal Fitness Training we believe that no one should have to struggle in the gym. Ask for help!

You are 5 days into 2018! Have you started on your goals yet?

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