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29.06.2022


Focus on muscle group during strength training does not result in more strength

If strength athletes focus during their training on the muscle group they target, the electrical activity in that muscle group increases. So the muscle works harder. You would therefore expect that strength athletes can become stronger by focusing their mental focus on a muscle.


Focus on muscle group during strength training does not result in more strength


Meta-study
Jozo Grgic, a Croatian researcher at Victoria University in Australia, traced 10 previously published studies in which subjects had trained muscles with and without concentrating on a specific muscle. All studies looked at the effect of focus on muscle strength.

Some studies looked at the acute effect of focus on muscle strength. In those studies, the researchers determined whether focusing on, for example, the leg muscles could increase the strength during a squat [internal focus] compared to focusing on raising the bar in your neck [external focus].

Other studies looked at the longer-term effect of focus. In those studies, subjects trained for longer periods of time.

Grgic aggregated the studies' results and re-analyzed them.

Results
Focus on the weight that strength athletes want to lift immediately leads to more power than focus on the muscle. That's what the figure right below tells you.


Focus on muscle group during strength training does not result in more strength


Focus on muscle group during strength training does not result in more strength
The middle figure shows that focus has no effect on strength development over a longer period of time. When the researchers excluded the strength of lower-body muscles, they saw that an external focus - i.e. a focus on weight, not on the muscle - led to greater strength gains in the longer term.

Conclusion
"Our findings indicate an acute increase in muscular strength when utilizing an external focus of attention", writes Grgic.

"When applied over the long-term, using an external focus of attention may also enhance resistance training-induced gains in lower body muscular strength."

More coming soon.

Source:
Sports (Basel). 2021 Nov 12;9(11):153.

More:
Focus on a muscle group during strength training | This is the effect 26.06.2022
Keep training in your imagination between sets to increase your strength 29.06.2010
Muscle groups work harder during a set if you focus on them 26.11.2009

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