For many of you there will be a strict exercise routine whereby you will stick to a certain amount of repetitions per set in every exercise you do. How many of you are concentrating too much on the amount of repetitions and not on the actual exercise itself. Feel the burn!! The great Arnold Schwarzenegger wouldn't start counting his repetitions until he felt the burning sensation in his muscles. Imagine what the burning sensation would feel like if you started counting your repetitions when normally you would only have 1 or 2 repetitions left!?
The message I want to get across to you is that maybe you can push yourself harder. Some days you aren't going to want to exercise because you feel tired and you just generally don't feel like doing it. On these days I want you to exercise as you will be amazed at how far you can push your body. Sometimes during your training you will stick to what is comfortable for your body. I want you to break out of this habit too. In order to reach your goals you have to be willing to push yourself harder and further each time you exercise, otherwise you won't reach your full potential and you'll be left wondering why you haven't succeeded.
One way of reaching your full potential is by not counting the repetitions you do per exercise. What does this mean and do? If we take weight training for example, when you lift a weight your muscles engage and they start to work. When you perform the first few repetitions you may find that the weight is being pushed or pulled quite easily. This is because your muscles are comfortable at lifting the weight at this stage during the exercise. It will start to get hard towards the end of the set, maybe the last couple of repetitions. This is when your muscles really start to work and this is where you will notice the biggest difference in changing of your body. If however, you are not feeling this burn then you need to either perform more repetitions or increase the weight.
To unleash your full potential you need to go beyond what your body is used too. This means stepping out of your comfort zone and pushing for more repetitions per exercise. When you feel the burn sensation in your muscles it means you're working them properly and breaking them down. If you stop when you feel it, you won't develop and change your body. Another reason to experiment by not counting and the repetitions and to keep going. Do not get this type of training mixed up with going to failure. Remember I am trying to get you to push maybe one or two repetitions out that you have in you, but you don't necessarily do because you stick to a number rather than how your body is working at that present time.
Most of the time when it comes to exercise it is all down to your psychological ability to push you further than what you are used too. It is all a mind game and from the moment you step inside your fitness environment you need to tell yourself you are not going to quit.
In summary then. Push your body to work harder than what it normally does. If this means doing 11 repetitions instead of 10 then this is ok. I guarantee you the 11th repetition will be the rep that makes the difference. By ignoring this and sticking to a number of reps beforehand is going to inhibit your training. Finally, make sure you give it your all in every training session. If you want to succeed and develop you need to go beyond what you did yesterday. Keep up the great work.