The Tortoise Does Always Win

Lifting weights to me relates to the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.

I’m sure you all know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare and how the Hare is faster than the much slower tortoise but along the way he takes shortcuts and cheats himself due to arrogance and ignorance that eventually led to failure for the hare.

This relates to people gunning for their one rep max.  People who come with the “Hare Approach” to lifting will also see the same fate as the Hare did.

The Hare Approach:

1. You will burn out

Lifting weights close to your 1rm (one rep max) will show results right away as may jump up ten pounds in a month on your bench max however lifting that heavy weight will eventually catch up to you and cause muscle fatigue and will lead you to failure.

2. You will get injured

Training with heavy weights day in and day out WILL take a toll on the body.  Lifting such heavy weights puts a ton of stress on the muscles and joints in the body and could potentially lead to serious muscle and nerve damage.

3. You will plateau

You will hit a point training maximally that you won’t be able to get out of.  You will get stuck at a certain weight and won’t be able to break that plateau because of the high demands the heavy weights will put on your body.

The Tortoise Approach

The Tortoise approach type of lifters are going to see results at a slow, steady pace but will eventually get to their goal by minimizing the chance of injury and reducing burnout.

1.  Puts less stress on the body

Training at percentages of 50%-85% of your 1rm may not seem like much and you may feel weak doing them but by doing this you are saving your body from serious injuries.  It is also proven that you can still get stronger training nowhere close to your 1rm.  The complimentary exercises you do along side of the bench press will help you increase your 1rm also!

2.  Slow Progressions equal big gains in the end

You bench 250 pounds but you want to get your bench press up 300 pounds so what do you do?  Well sorry but you won’t be able to do this overnight, next week, or next month so go with the mindset that you are going to increase your 1rm 5 pounds every month.  If you do so you will be able to add 60 pounds to your bench in as little as a year and end up breaking the 300 pound plateau without having to train anywhere close to you 1rm in the bench.

3.  Don’t train to failure

Bodybuilders and power lifters can train to failure sure.  Most of them take banned pharmaceutical’s so they can handle a heavier training load.  But that is not you.  Keep in mind that the tortoise approach will have you cut out a few reps short of failure.  Training to failure will also lead to injuries.

To wrap things up in the world of lifting heavy ass weights the fictional story, The Tortoise and The Hair is actually a Non-fictional outcome!  Remember that training smart is more important than training hard!  Just because you do all sorts of lifts to FATIGUE yourself it doesn’t mean it is a GOOD workout!





Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “The Tortoise Does Always Win

  1. anoopbal

    Hi Jordan,

    Nice post, Jordan.

    Powerlifters rarely go to failure. Bodybuilders, atleast most of them, always go to failure. It could be partly because of the tradition, they love the pump feeling or they use a lot of high reps.

  2. anoopbal

    Hi Jordan,

    Nice post! Powerlifters rarely go to failure.Bodybuilders,atleast most of them, go to failure. It could be partly due to the tradition, they love that feeling, and they use a lot of high reps.

    If you are doing high reps, it is better to come close to failure. The type 2 fibers only get recruited at the end of the set.

    Heard about myo-reps Jordan?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: