Exercise guidelines, rules, and principles reduce your learning curve and help you reach results faster.
I chose Kaizen as an X5 principles to provide a progressive mental, emotional and physical structure without stifling creative potentials and without risking harm.
Kaizen also has an element of virtue within it that excludes engagement in harmful activities.
Since kaizen by its nature is abstract, other rules can make it more tangible and measurable.
In exercise, for example, you cannot measure kaizen so how do you evaluate your progress and how effective your workout routine is?
Exercise results are measured by how much and how well you adapt to a progressive change.
Improving your muscle tone, strength and shape are adaptation responses to your exercise type, exercise form, duration, and intensity.
Without increasing exercise intensity, your muscles will not change shape, size or strength.
Exercise intensity is another way of describing exercise load and resistance amount.
Imagine that you are doing a strength training exercise like squats.
As you increase the weights you carry on your shoulder, you are increasing the intensity. With higher intensity comes greater muscle stimulation and growth.
Once you make the connection between higher intensity and improved workout efficiency, the question is how much and how fast do you increase the intensity using Kaizen principle that includes not harming yourself.
2-for-2 rule is on tangible answer.
2-for-2, like many “ rules”, is a guideline that provides you with a mathematical formula to help you look for and recognize the time to increase the intensity of your workouts.
Before we get into what 2-for-2 exercise guideline is, let see how most individuals choose intensity without a guideline. They do one of the three things during their resistance training workouts.
1- First, they select a load that is either too light or too heavy for them. There is a process in choosing the right load for you. This same process works for women and men equally well. We’ll get to it later.
2- Second, they stay with the same load for weeks, months and even years and then they wonder why they are not appropriate progressing.
3- Third, without any reason they choose to increase their workout intensity, and somewhat randomly they choose what the next level of intensity should be.
If you fall under any of the categories I just mentioned, you are not getting the results you are cable of, and you are risking injury.
The 2-for-2 rule is a way for you to have a systematic way to evaluate your strength and know when it is time increase the intensity of your workout.
These rules and exercise guidelines take the guesswork out of customizing your workout routines and keeping you moving forward. They continuously challenge your body that is necessary for staying fit.
If you are planning to become stronger and more muscular or trimmer with less fat, using this rule helps you consciously recognize your step in your progression. And you know how to repeat successful steps and duplicate your results. The ability and skill to duplicate results are significant.
2-for-2 assumes that you have tested and know what right intensity is for you. Again, I’ll get to this later.
At the right beginning workout intensity, the number of repetition you perform is usually between 8 to 12 before you are unable to perform another repetition.
Usually, workout plan designs instruct you to perform as example 12 repetition in the first set, 10 in the second and 8 in the third.
The assumption of these instructions that many miss is this.
You perform 12, 10 and 8 because you are unable to do any more and not because you reached 12, 10 and 8.
Under the condition of choosing the right load, you can only perform 12 repetitions on your first set and cannot even reach 12 on your second set.
If you can reach 12 on your second set as well, that would mean that either your load was too light or you rested too long between sets.
In this example, with correct intensity level, you could only perform 12 repetitions in the first set, and you can reach ten reps on your second set and may be, just may be, reach 8 on your third.
Following this system of workout, you’ll become stronger with each consistent workout session.
As you get stronger, you do not change your plan that in this example called for 12 repetitions on your first set or second set. However, you try to do more than 8 repetitions on your third set.
As you get stronger, you will be able to do 9 and 10 on your third set. Your original strength allowed you to do only 8 at first.
Reaching number 10 on your last set indicates you performed 2 reps more than what you did in the beginning.
If in the next session you could also perform 2 reps more than you first bench mark, then it is time for you to to increase your intensity.
To summarize, when you can perform 2 additional reps than you were able to perform on your last set in 2 consecutive workout sessions, then it is time for you to increase your intensity.
Now that you can recognize mathematically when it is time to increase the intensity, the next question is, “by how much? That is what we’ll discuss in the next lesson.