It’s hard. Is that really necessary?

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Here is a look at what happens during those last 10 seconds when your heart rate jumps, you're out of breath, and your mind is telling you that you are done. It is at the point where you keep trying but you can’t move the weight stack anymore, where the magic happens.

  • You burn fat

When you push that extra little bit, to the point where you can no longer move the weight, you empty your muscles of meaningful levels of glycogen. This is key, because if this glycogen is stored, it's stored as fat. It is important to note that this does not happen when you are walking or doing something that is not intense. If you do not push to the limit, that excess glycogen is not being used as fuel, and you don't get rid of it.

  • You burn up glucose, improving your cholesterol and blood sugar levels

When you completely exhaust your muscles, you empty your cells of excess glucose. If you don't do this, you will have high circulating levels of glucose, which can lead to increased insulin resistance. When this happens, the muscle cell walls have increased inflammation, which can affect the arteries and increase cholesterol levels. When you push to the maximum point, it breaks down glycogen for use as energy within your skeletal muscles. This helps regulate your blood sugar, which can prevent diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol.

  • You strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system

Muscle is the basic mechanism being served by the aerobic system. As you get stronger and your muscle strength improves, the necessary support systems (which include the aerobic system) must follow suit. This means you will improve your circulation and your body’s ability to use oxygen. If you perform low-intensity training (such as walking/low impact exercise), you will not be pushing the aerobic cycle as much as it can be pushed to produce this result.

  • You need fewer cardio workouts during the week

When you give it your all in your Pure Strength session, it is during the “recovery” from this high-intensity exercise that you’re actually getting an increased stimulation of the aerobic system equal to or greater than what you would get from conventional steady-state “aerobic” exercise. Less cardio workouts = less stress on your joints, tendons and ligaments.

So here's a challenge for you. Wherever you are with your workouts, try giving it an honest 10 percent more. Tell yourself you are going to do one more repetition, 10 more seconds or even 5 more seconds. If you do this, you will get a lot more from your Pure Strength workout.

We want this for you. So just go slow and give it your all!