Doc, how many reps and sets should I do ?

Last night I (Dr Shawn Allen) received an email from a patient asking how many reps to do for their prescribed homework. Here was my response:

“hi Jon Doe:
as i may have mentioned, i do not give or care about absolute numbers…… is about finding clean patterns and ramping up a number count towards fatigue in the movement pattern. As you approach fatigue we want to stop at this early stage. This is NOT about strength at this point, skill and endurance are the first pieces of a neurologic motor pattern…….so, clean, precise movements on high volume slowwwww repetitions not exceeding fatigue. Go up to fatigue, but not past it.
Yes, you are paying attention to the right things that you mentioned when running……..but do not force them. Running is a complex motor skill ……and so you cannot truly cerebrally make the corrections happen right now and make them stick, all you can do and should do at this stage is PAY ATTENTION to the movements. Your brain needs to know what is right and what is wrong. That is were learning begins. There will be much frustration and failure at the start, but coaxing the stacking awareness we discussed is the starting point. The exercises will drive the skill and endurance you need to correct the physicalities of what you are doing wrong.”

perhaps not a perfect response, but not bad either. We thought we would share smile emoticon