Train Smart, Not Hard
Your brain cells are in a constant state of flux, and many are destroyed just days after being formed. Though much of the growth and development of neurons occurs in the womb, neurogenesis continues in adulthood. And research in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that exercise is the single most effective way to accelerate this process.
In February, researchers at the University of Bath pointed to a sedentary lifestyle and high blood glucose levels as a ‘tipping point’ for developing degenerative neurological conditions. But a study in the journal Plos One found that a tough workout encourages the growth of your hippocampus – that’s the memory bit of the brain, remember? Increase blood flow to this area of the brain and you’ll stimulate its growth while also releasing norepinephrine, a chemical known to sharpen attention, motivation and perception. And you’ll get yoked in the process. Clever, no?
To achieve this, we asked PT Luke Grahame (roar-fitness.com) to design an adaptive barbell complex that requires full-body input to stress the nervous system while keeping your mind engaged. Perform all of the movements described here as a single flowing complex without letting go of the bar until each set is complete. There’s no time limit, but it’s advised you rest twice as long as it takes to complete each set. For the first two weeks, perform 4x8 reps of high pulls from the floor, snatches and overhead squats. In the third week, add 4x8 reps of jump squats with a bar. And for the fourth, a snatch grip military press. Complete each session twice a week for core and cognitive strength alike.