Fibion Blog • Benefits of Improved Muscle Activation • Timo Haikarainen

Benefits of Improved Muscle Activation

Benefits of Improved Activation

Benefits of Improved Muscle Activation

Importance of maximal activation for weight loss

Muscle activation related to muscle mass, fat burning and weight loss. Maximal activation is critical in shaping of the body composition as only those parts of the muscle that has been activated can adapt. In addition, with maximal activation higher force can be produced enabling greater mechanical and metabolic loading of the muscle. This, in turn, brings larger gains in muscle mass and also helps to retain muscle mass when burning fat.

Muscle activation and improving performance. During last year with my customers we were pushing strength results forward with a quite some pace. Percentages of development for the beginners were steadily around 50-150% and even with more advanced trainees often around 20-80%, which is nicely above the average development rate shown by research studies, which is always my principle target in both coaching and personal training. With athletes we have achieved 10% increases in speed strength and 3-4% improvements in maximal speed even in few weeks by concentrating both to improve activation of single muscles and coordination of muscle groups.

In addition to force production and activation of single muscle (or muscle group), muscles must be able to seamlessly work together both during strength exercise and athletic performances. This feature, however, cannot be fully separated from the development of activation capability of individual muscles. Athlete or exerciser needs to have ability for both.

If single muscle cannot be activated effectively, it will be weak and it does not work optimally in more complex movements either. This method of “training the weakest link” has been critisised by “train the movement not the muscle -school, but I would not be ready to give up activation training of individual muscle to improve all-encompassing movement skill (like running or jumping) – although of course integrated to overall training plan.

Next blog reveal the best ways to improve muscle activation, which can get your results (or your customers) to new heights.

Timo Haikarainen
Timo Haikarainen

Personal Trainer

Fibion Guest Blogger


Connecting sport science research with practical applications

Timo started his coaching and instructing career in 1990s in martial arts, athletics and fitness exercise. From year 2002 he has worked as a gym instructor, personal trainer, and sport coach. Between 2002 and 2008 Timo studied biology of physical activity in University of Jyväskylä, where he graduated majoring in Sport Coaching and Fitness Testing. During the years Timo has accumulated over 15 000 hours of personal training. Practical coaching continues still active even though during last 6 years expert work and education as well as media work in TV and magazines take a big share of his time. Timo is educating personal trainers and gym instructors at SAFE Education, SATS Finland and Sport Center Pajulahti. Timo’s own sport background comes from martial arts, athletics and strength training.