Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Filtering by Tag: Neural Adaptations

Weekly Newsletter

Hey Everybody

Wow, what an opening day for P90X3 yesterday! I know for a fact that the Team Beachbody website is still reeling after the amount of traffic it saw yesterday. Things should be better today for those of you who had troubles ordering yesterday. The initial rush should be slowed down now, although there is still going to be a HUGE demand in the coming days/weeks/months!

I want to personally thank all of you who not only purchased (or are going to purchase) P90X3 through me, but any other purchases you make through me as well. That is how I make a small return for the hard work I put forth helping all of you stay motivated, accountable, and in my mind, the most important part (and one fact that a LOT of Coaches miss) - educated on everything health and fitness!

With the holiday season underway, or almost underway, we now start to look ahead to the New Year and the goals/improvements we all wish to make. I know for a fact that I am going to be chomping at the bit to get going with X3, so I will more than likely start it as soon as it arrives - hopefully no later than December 22nd. Yes, for those of you asking, I will be doing LOTS of video updates along the way.

Let's cover this week's topics:

1. If you tried to order P90X3 yesterday and were bogged down by the website, make sure you try again today. There should be a lot less traffic now that the original rush is slowing. Please remember, if you did NOT receive a confirmation order and e-mail at the end of your purchase yesterday then your order probably did not go through. If you are uncertain, let me know and I will check my records to see if your order went through. Here are your P90X3 purchasing options.

2. Make sure you check out all of the latest news about P90X3. Yesterday I added the various training schedules as well as the workout sheets - a good idea of what you're in for!

3. If you are still mulling over what P90X3 option to get, let me convince you on how great of a deal the P90X3 Challenge Pack is. You get the Base Kit, your first month of Shakeology, a free 30-day trial membership to a Club Membership as well as the option to upgrade to Coach status for free ($39.95 value). For those of you interested in not only that, but also joining my 60-Day Coach Training Academy, let me know as my next class starts on Monday January 6th 2014. It is a great way to learn the ins and outs of the business and hit the ground running.

4. If you haven't already, make sure you check out our P90X3 Challenge Group. This one will be rockin' with excitement/motivation in the coming weeks as everyone gets their copy of X3 and gets ready to do battle. We're currently sitting at 25 members strong!

5. One of the best reads about Crossfit you will find!

This week's blogs:

Neural Adaptations and more - What does this mean for you?
John's Awesome Body Beast Results

From the blog archive:

Tough Mudder Tactics: Mud Mile
Introduction to the Glycemic Index
Tough Mudder Tactics: Spider's Web
Interval Training
Tough Mudder Tactics: Trench Warfare

And 2 favors that I ask:

1) If you like the hard work I put into writing my blogs and videos, PLEASE help me out by sharing them.  Click the share links below them and share them on FB, Twitter, etc.  It really helps me get more exposure and grow our team!

2) Also, as always, remember that the way I benefit from being your coach is that I earn a commission from any Beachbody products that you purchase, as long as you buy them through my site, tylerrobbinsfitness.com. It helps with the amount of time I spend answering all your questions, writing my blogs, filming my videos, and helping you out. Thank you! I really appreciate it!

Everyone have a great week!


Tyler Robbins
Independent Team Beachbody Coach
2013 Challenge Group - Team Fitness for Life

Neural Adaptations and more - What does this mean for you?

It is interesting to think about observable physiological changes caused by resistance training. Time and time again I see and hear individuals speak of the "gains" made from lifting some weights.

Most people do not understand the underlying processes taking place at a cellular level within the body. This leads to most individuals speaking of making immense gains in size and strength of their muscles after just working out for a few weeks.

Where am I heading with this? Well, increases in muscular size, as well as improvements in strength are not as quick as one might expect. It is all too common for an individual to either start, or return to an exercise regimen after an extended period of being sedentary, only to marvel at how big their muscles are getting, and how much strength they are experiencing.


First of all, let's discuss muscle hypertrophy, or the increase in size of your muscle cells. The "pump" individuals experience from higher repetition resistance training is known as "transient hypertrophy." Basically, this means an accumulation of fluids in the muscle cells, giving them the feeling of being swollen. This is a temporary increase in muscle size and should by no means be considered gaining long-term size. A measurable increase in muscle size will not be witnessed until at least 16 workouts into a resistance training program.*


Another observable and motivating symptom of resistance training is when an individual gains more strength. It can be an intoxicating feeling knowing that you are getting stronger. However, experienced strength gains witnessed by a beginner to a resistance training program are not necessarily what they think they are.

We sometimes perceive our muscles as self-controlling structures that abide by an "all or none" mechanism. This is simply not true. Your muscles are made up of muscle fibers, none of which are thicker than a strand of hair. When your muscle contracts, the entire length of the muscle shortens, however only a small percentage of the muscle fibers contract at any given time.

For example, if you were to pick a pencil up off of a table, a very small percentage of your muscle is actually doing the work to move your arm. However, if you were to be picking up a ten pound weight, more muscle fibers need to be "recruited" in order to lift the weight.

Muscle fiber recruitment is orchestrated by the muscles neurons. One, often overlooked, positive adaptation to resistance training is the improvements in your mind to muscle connection. Basically, your neurons greatly improve their efficiency at "recruiting" muscle fibers.

During the first 8 weeks of a resistance training program for a beginner is the improvement of said neural adaptations.** So, even though one may be experiencing strength gains, this is not due to an increase in muscle size or any measurable improvement in the strength of the muscle itself, instead, it is an improvement in the efficiency of the mind to muscle connection!

What does all of this mean?

For the average person, this should be a convincing argument towards practicing a lifestyle of consistency, especially when it comes to physical activity and resistance training. By going through constant cycles of activity and inactivity, your results will be mostly limited to neural adaptations.

If, however, you wish to gain muscle mass and/or strength, it should be of your best interest to stick to a consistent schedule in order to improve your neural adaptations and beyond.

On the flip side of this argument, and for those who go through periods of inactivity due to injury, etc. remember that strength gains return faster to those individuals who have used resistance training previously. Not only that, but your muscles tend to return to a state of previous strength level in a much faster period of time.

*Staron, R. S., Karapondo, D. L., Kraemer, W. J., Fry, A. C., Gordon, S. E., Falkel, J. E., Hagerman, F. C., & Hikida, R. S. (1994). Skeletal muscle adaptations during the early phase of heavy-resistance training in men and women. Journal of Applied Physiology, 76, 463-475.
**Moritani, T., & deVries, H. A. (1979). Neural factors versus hypertrophy in the time course of muscle strength gain. American Journal of Physiological Medicine, 58, 115-130.