A NEW WAY OF THINKING ABOUT EXERCISE
The purpose of strength training is to safely, effectively, and efficiently apply the exercise stimulus. The body then produces the desired results in direct proportion to the quality of that stimulus, as you read about in our article on How Exercise Works.
The Adaptive Triangle™ is a handy model we created to help people understand this exercise stimulus. Using the Adaptive Triangle™, you can determine how to intelligently adjust your workout.
We think in pictures. When I ask you to think about your car, your refrigerator, or your home, the first thing your brain does is produce an image in your mind.
So when we think about the exercise stimulus, we can intellectually know what the primary factors are. But we can only think about these factors once we have a visual image with which to work.
And here it is with the elements of the stimulus annotated:
So how can we use this image? Well, the most effective use of the image is to explain the fundamentals of how the different elements of the exercise stimulus work together to provoke an adaptive response from the body.
For example, you can see here that the more mechanical tension you have, the greater the muscle damage—primarily occurring during the eccentric phase of movement:
Another benefit of greater mechanical tension is that it causes a rise in metabolic stress—primarily occurring during the concentric phase of movement:
There’s also a feedback loop that exists as your set of exercise continues, whereby a rise in metabolic stress produces a cellular swelling effect (the “pump”) that increases the magnitude of subsequent muscle damage, which then turns back around and induces greater subsequent fatigue and metabolic stress:
And you now have a full picture of how to practically apply the stimulus. Tension is King, as it induces greater muscle damage and metabolic stress. These two reinforce each other to further magnify the stimulus:
For detailed information you can watch this video The Adaptive Triangle
THE BEST TOOL FOR THE JOB
We want to maximize all three elements of the stimulus so that we can get the maximum adaptive response from the body.
Our Adaptive Resistance™ allows you to safely and efficiently max out each element without compromise.
You can exert maximum voluntary force at all times, continue your set to achieve any desired level of fatigue, and perform as many full-force eccentrics as you like without restriction.
Welcome to the 21st century of exercise!