Tag Archives: strength

Jan. 11.

What Goals are Realistic for You?

What Goals are Realistic for You?

To lose 20 pounds in one month, to have more energy, to fit into size 8 jeans by spring; these are most of our goals but are they realistic based on the body’s anatomy and your past history? To better give you some idea of how to set realistic goals I have answered some questions about weight loss, muscle gain and strength!

How fast can I build muscle?

First off, genetics DO play a role in all 3 topics (weight loss, muscle gain and strength.) There are three different body types: mesomorph, endomorph and ectomorph. Mesomorphs and endomorphs build muscle at a faster rate than ectomorphs who are hard gainers.

So on average how fast can the human body gain muscle? A 200 study analysis showed that the average rate of muscle increase was about 0.1-0.2% per day on untrained people. That means if you want to add an inch to your arm size it would take at least 2-4 months! Studies show the first week or two all muscles can do is repair and there are no extra resources to build. Therefore it will take at least 2-3 months of consistently training to see any major changes.

Overall muscle growth varies a lot per person. Some can gain 4-8lbs of lean mass in 3 months (this is the majority of people) but some bodies actually can gain at 2 times that rate!

How fast can I lose fat?

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The most important factor in fat loss is your metabolic rate. If you are a serial dieter you metabolism may be damaged and somewhat non-responsive. Every time you lose and regain weight it will become harder each time you try to lose fat unless there is some time given for metabolic repair.

If your metabolism is responsive a good base of how fast you can lose is:

Body fat percentage ÷ 20 = % of your current weight you should aim to lose per week.

Another way to calculate is 1.5 pounds of FAT per week, this could equal more on the scale since we are talking just fat not including water weight. Studies have shown that if more than 1.5 pounds of FAT (not scale weight) is lost that there will also be muscle loss.

When it comes to body types mesomorphs and ectomorphs lose fat at the fastest rate with the least amount of output. Endomorphs can lose fat at the same rate but usually require more output.

How fast can I increase strength?

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The first variable in strength increase is how long you have been working out. Have you ever heard that saying “muscle memory?” Well it’s actually more like central nervous system memory. Your brain will always remember movement patterns that are repeatedly done, like riding a bike or back squatting. Therefore be able to perform better and lift more with each squat session.

Second variable is simply what you inherit. There are two types of muscle fibers slow and fast twitch. Fast twitch muscle fibers are used for power and force, the amount of fast and slow twitch fibers you have are actually inherited.

Third variable, who gains strength quicker males or females? Males and females can have equal strength though men will gain strength at a faster rate because majority of the time they will have larger muscles and therefore able to move more weight.

My tip

Write down you overall goal (ex. Loose 20lbs.)

Then evaluate how much muscle or fat you have. Focusing only on scale weight can leave you frustrated and feeling like your body is just broken!

From here make a training plan where you can track MULTIPLE things (ex. How much weight your lifting, how fast you can do an action, circumference measurements,body fat and lastly scale weight.)

*If you are just beginning, a good time frame to have a goal is 6 months, then from there you can further break the goal down.

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Jun. 29.

Soreness & Effective Training

Soreness & Effective Training

Is DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) a true indicator of an effective workout?

Word on the streets is that there is this boot camp that will make you incredibly sore! They must be good trainers and constructing an effective workout right? …..wrong. Let’s go over some basics of what is actually taking place when these actin and myosin are at work.

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What is muscle soreness?

Muscle soreness post exercise should hit a peak around 24-48hours and why DOMS is named delayed onset muscle soreness.  DOMS is not related to lactic acid but is an inflammatory response. In an inflammatory response the body produces metabolic waste which then stimulates nerve endings to communicate to the brain there is pain. The body does as it would with any injury, it sends neutrophils to the site of the muscle damage to begin repair.

 

Who can get DOMS?

Anyone, at any fitness level.  Someone who has just begun an exercise regiment can expect DOMS but should communicate with the fitness professional about the severity of soreness.

 

Does soreness indicate a good workout?

No. Due to media and ignorance (to be frank) people have begun to chase soreness and rate a workout good or bad based on soreness. This is a dumb idea and will lead to injury. One can perform the same exercise frequently and not get DOMS and still make progress in their program. Extreme DOMS can also be an indicator that the individual over did it, which also indicates that their muscles are not yet capable of proper repair at that training intensity. Multiple studies have indicated that DOMS can cause injury due to compromised kinematics, reduced focus and motivation in lifts and hinders ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production.

 

How do I prevent DOMS?

We are all subject to DOMS, especially those fitness enthusiasts. The best treatment is the full treatment. Meaning make sure your training is progressive and smart, listen to your body while training and don’t ignore flexibility and mobility in your program.

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Does DOMS affect hypertrophy?

No study has shown that it does. DOMS is predominately caused by the eccentric contraction therefore some people will contract slower during the release (eccentric), training this way will not increase hypertrophic gains. Training a muscle group more often will lessen the chances of you getting DOMS and still produce hypertrophic gains.

 

Soreness, is part of the process but does not equal the process.

 

Contreras, Bret .., and Brad J. Schoenfeld. “Is Post Exercise Muscle Soreness a Valid Indicator of Muscular Adaptations?” Is Postexercise Muscle Soreness a Valid Indicator of Muscular Adaptations? 35.5 (2013): 16-19. Nsca-scj.com. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Oct. 2013. Web. 19 June 2015. 

Mercola, Dr. Joseph. “Decreasing Post-Exertion Muscle Soreness: What’s the Best Way?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 June 2013. Web. 23 June 2015.

 

 

 

 

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PERIODIZATION
Feb. 01.

Fundamentals of Training: Periodization

Fundamentals of Training: Periodization

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Not all of us are trying to become power lifters but all of us can benefit from an increase in strength. Whether you are an intermediate gym goer, a mother, an athlete or a 70 year old woman the benefits of muscular strength help with every day activities.

How does someone gain strength? Strength is gained by stressors put on the body and adaptations occurs.  Like a baby adapts to the new stress load of their body weight, it does not take long for adaptation to occur and the child start running around the house. The same occurs in a grown individual’s body when lifting weights at the gym. It is quite a bit more advanced than simply adding more and more weight;  that is where periodization training can help you get to the next level.

Periodization is a system of training where training is broken into periods of time, each period has is a specific goal set for strength, power or hypertrophy gains.  When adding stress to the neuromuscular system there are phases the muscle goes through. First the neuromuscular system has an alarm response where energy out put is high as the body recognizes it is being challenged, then there is resistance where the body is adapting to the stimulus and lastly the exhaustion phase where energy is depleted and no adaptation occurs. There are two forms of periodization training linear and non linear. Using these methods of training help avoid the exhaustion phase and use all valuable energy in the adaptation phase until a peak performance or competition.

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Linear is where training is broken down into weeks or months (mesocycle) where each period has a specific goal and rep range. This is best for the beginner lifter where training phases are broken down into 4-6 weeks. It is easier to track and can allow slower progressions to avoid injury.

Nonlinear periodization training is for the more advanced lifter and is a daily change in either volume or intensity (intensity=%1RM, Volume=sets x reps.) The most commonly known of this form of training is DUP or daily undulated periodization training because daily the adaptation mechanism is changed.

Which is better?

There is no evidence that one program works better than the other.  Different athletes should consider which program is most beneficial based on when and how often they need to perform optimally.

 

Challenge your abilities!

 

Hoffman, Jay R. “Periodized Training for the Strength/ Power Athlete.” NSCA’s Performance Training Journal 1.9 (n.d.): 8-11. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.

Wathen, Dan, Thomas R. Baechle, and Roger W. Earle. “Periodization.” Famu.edu. N.p., 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 29 Jan. 2015

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deadlift2
Feb. 13.

Importance of the Deadlift

 

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The deadlift is often a client’s most dreaded exercise in the beginning; as time progresses and the deadlift is performed again and again it soon becomes a favorite exercise.

Why is the deadlift important?

1. The exercise uses so many muscles! What better way to show total body strength? And why most clients dislike the exercise in the beginning, until strength is built this exercise is a killer!

Though the deadlift works the whole body the muscles strengthened the most by the deadlift would be your back, the posterior chain and glutes. Lower body muscles are used as well but the importance of upper body strength and how to engage them is a must for this movement. Take a look at the diagram below of muscles at work.

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2. Unlike the squat the deadlift causes you to move the weight concentrically from rep one. A squat is eccentric, meaning the first rep is lowering the weight not causing legs to contract. Therefore moving a weight from a dead stop is the best way to increase your rate of force development.

3. The deadlift is functional and can help the body better through daily tasks;  unlike selectorized  machines.

4. It is a movement that is executed properly can correct for many muscle imbalances and weaknesses.

5. Helps gain size, strength and speed! How speed? Try to sprint or jump without glutes or hamstrings!

6. Deadlifts burn a ton of calories! It a compound movement, meaning uses multiple joints and muscles attached to those joints; forcing more energy to be used.

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Teaching Rosa how to deadlift

 

“Some people whine, quit and make excuses. And some deadlift.”

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