When you careen through life the way I sometimes do, trial-and-error is often the best way to learn how to do something right.

Don’t get me wrong. I am cautious and thoughtful. Most of the time. But I will jump right into a project or task, or try something new without any idea how it will all turn out or whether or not it was the right decision, just for the heck of it.

In an earlier blog I talked about being absolutely overwhelmed by the number of diet and weight-loss books on the market. It’s like, no matter what you try, someone, somewhere will swear you’re doing it all wrong. If I were determined to wait until I found the perfect program, I’d never get started.


So really, I’ve been going on my instincts: What feels right. For me.  It’s the trial-and-error method, and while it’s not the most sophisticated, it’s far and away the most efficient. Will I always learn something? Absolutely. And hey, it’s also the best way to find out that there’s not always just one solution to a problem.

Like all the soreness I was feeling yesterday (and still am, btw). Blog reader Alyxherself researched and found better answers than I did: The “negative repetitions” technique I’d been using is considered an advanced intensity technique. That results in muscle fatigue and the inability to adequately recover.

I am not in any condition for advanced techniques. I just didn’t know any better. It was the method I’d been taught long ago, but I couldn’t tell you where or when. Alyxherself wrote:

“If you pump quickly through the ‘push’ phase of the movement you'll intensify your workout and burn more calories, while building some ‘fast-twitch’ muscle.”

Forget the “Aha!” moment. This was a solid “Duh.” Thanks, blog reader Alyxherself. I’ll definitely be doing this from now own.


I also heard from Intentionallyuncommon – a female power lifter. (!!!) Even she says lingering soreness is a sure sign I’ve overdone things:

“Nix the negative reps for now, stick with lighter weight and higher repetitions.”

Ladies, consider them nixed. And I already know better than to weight-train every day. No worries.

Folks, I cannot adequately express my gratitude for all of your kind words, encouragement and opinions. I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into when this blog began, but like I said, many times it’s OK to dive right in without knowing how things will turn out. That’s where the fun is. Most of the time.

Onward and upward.

Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something.  ~ Frederick Smith

Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.