Australian Natural Bodz - - Train Smart -

At last we have found the an­swer. Why does it feel good to train your biceps, shoul­ders or what­ever mus­cle group in front of a mir­ror? Ac­cord­ing to Satoshi Hirose, a re­searcher at Ky­oto Uni­ver­sity, you can gen­er­ate more strength in a move­ment if you can see your mus­cles work. Hirose does re­search on the in­flu­ence of vis­ual in­for­ma­tion on the func­tion­ing of mus­cles. In an ex­per­i­ment, pub­lished in Neu­rore­port, Hirose got six­teen vol­un­teers to squeeze a spring with their thumb and in­dex fin­ger. The squeez­ing ses­sions lasted a minute and in that time the test sub­jects had to squeeze the spring shut 90 times. The power that the sub­jects de­vel­oped was recorded. The sub­jects sat in front of a screen, upon which Hirose pro­jected images of a hand that was con­tract­ing and re­lax­ing in the same rhythm as the sub­jects had to squeeze the spring. The test sub­jects were also shown pho­tos of Hirose’s own face, re­laxed and mak­ing an ef­fort, pho­tos of a foot con­tract­ing and re­lax­ing, and of a larger and then smaller ball. Watch­ing a hand con­tract­ing and re­lax­ing in­creased the strength with which the test sub­jects squeezed the spring. Look­ing at the other images did not have a sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect. Hirose concludes that mak­ing mus­cles work is more ef­fec­tive if we see the same mus­cles work­ing. He thinks that this in­for­ma­tion is of use for designing op­er­at­ing sys­tems for ma­chines and com­put­ers. We, the mus­cu­larly ob­sessed ed­i­tors of this mag­a­zine, think that his find­ings are also in­ter­est­ing for ath­letes. Gym go­ers can acu­tally en­hance the qual­ity of their strength train­ing by watch­ing their mus­cles move dur­ing their train­ing ses­sions – So all those mir­rors in the gym are not there for dec­o­ra­tion, they ac­tu­ally help our mus­cles grow! Keep­ing in mind we have to ac­tu­ally lift some

weights not just sit there ad­mir­ing our­selves in the mir­rors.

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