Here at Vertex Fitness, we are always pushing (as an aside, muscles pull, so we won’t tell you to push a weight up). We push ourselves to learn more about our craft, we push each other to become better instructors, but most importantly, we push our clients to work as hard as they possibly can each and every workout.
On each exercise, we try to get each person to give what we call Maximum Effort. The definition of Maximum Effort is to take the involved muscle to a point where it can no longer exert enough force to overcome the resistance with proper form. This point is also known as Momentary Muscular Fatigue or simply, muscle failure, one of the hallmarks of High Intensity Training.
Training to this point allows for two main things. Because the intensity is high, workouts must be brief. In today’s over scheduled world, shorter workouts give you time to schedule more stuff to do.
But brief workouts are of no value if they are not effective. Working to Maximum Effort ensures that the muscle is thoroughly inroaded (inroad refers to the number of muscle cells that you can momentarily fatigue during an exercise). If you work to the point where no more repetitions are possible, then you have fatigued enough muscle fibers to force the body to respond (i.e. get stronger).
I can’t tell you that working to that point is fun; it’s not. However, it might just be the best way to get the results you want in the shortest time frame!