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What is a Workout Stimulus?

If you clicked on this blog, you've probably asked yourself the question "What the heck is a workout stimulus?"


Fear not, we have your answer.


The stimulus of a workout is the measure of intensity, muscle groups, duration, and aerobic output intended. Simply put, it's how hard you should be working, and what muscle groups you should be using.


For example: the intended stimulus of a 1 rep max back squat is very intense, working your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core, for a very short amount of time (ideally 5 seconds or less). The aerobic output should be low (meaning you shouldn't be breathing too hard), but the anaerobic output (or the energy you expend without absorbing and transporting oxygen) should be high. AKA you should be able to do the whole back squat while holding your breath.


Another example is running a marathon. The stimulus of a marathon is lower intensity, long duration (what seems like you're running for a week straight), and a high aerobic output. There should be no time in a marathon that you are holding your breath. The muscles recruited in a marathon (other than your heart and lungs) are your quads, hamstrings, and calves, mostly.


There is an intended stimulus in every workout, and if you're a member of Live Ready Fitness, or one of our Individual Programming clients, we will always tell you what the stimulus is, as it will of course be constantly varied.


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