H.I.T. the Links and keep your Muscles in Motion

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In this weeks episode # 32 we are excited to have Diana Del Garbino, CEO / Founder of Muscles in Motion, INC.

Muscles in Motion is a Personal Training Studio located in Lake Oswego, OR, which offers Effective Fitness Programs for Busy Lifestyles, and utilizes State-of-the-Art Technology to Track individual Fitness Progress.

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Diana Del Garbino opened Muscles in Motion in June 2007 with busy people in mind. She understood there are lots of ways to workout, and lots of ways to get results, but she wanted a place where everyone could get a great workout, and have incredible results, but not have to compromise their joints, spine, knees etc. Muscles in Motion applies exercise methods, that are based in science & bio-mechanics. Diana knows that her team will have you feeling wonderfully strong in a short amount of time.

Diana says “When you meet our staff you’ll see service minded people who put the clients first. We are proud of our team members from the Front Desk Associates, to our Personal Trainers. Come in for a workout and you’ll see it too.”

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TAKU’s NOTE: DIANA DEL GARBINO  is not just the owner of Muscles in Motion, she’s a highly qualified Professional Personal Trainer / Golf Fitness Instructor

Certifications:

  • Certified Golf Fitness Instructor Level 3, Titleist Performance Institute

  • FMS (Functional Movement Systems) Certified, Level 2

  • Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach and Certified Personal Trainer, National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

  • AED/CPR certified



BUILD A BETTER STRUCTURE: Osteogenic Loading!

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This week episode # 31 we feature Dr John Jaquish.

Dr. Jaquish is a research professor at Rushmore University, speaks at scientific conferences all over the world, has been featured on many of the top health podcasts, is an editor of multiple medical journals, and is a nominee of the National Medal of Science.

John Jaquish, PhD, is the inventor of the most effective bone density building medical device, which has reversed osteoporosis for thousands and created more powerful and fracture resistant athletes.

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His devices were put into production, and have since been placed in over 300 clinics worldwide. Osteogenic loading has now helped over 20,000 individuals with their bone health.

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Dr. Jaquish also quantified the variance between power capacities from weak to strong ranges in weight lifting, which brought him to his second invention, the X-3 Bar. The research indicates that this product may build muscle much faster than conventional weight lifting, and do so in less training time, all with a low risk of joint injury.

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Dr. Jaquish is currently advancing osteogenic loading research and speaking worldwide about its implications, as well as developing other biotechnology devices and products that will aid in the advanced health and well being of people all around the world. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of American Bone Health, and the editorial boards of the Journal of Steroids and Hormonal Science, and Diabetes Open.

Published data has shown, treatment with this Osteogenic Loading device has resulted in over 14% gains in bone density in both the spine and hip over one year of once-weekly treatment. Dr. Jaquish has presented at international osteoporosis conferences worldwide and is on the editorial board of Diabetes Open, and is a board member of American Bone Health, the global leader in patient bone health education. For more information about Osteo-Strong, you can visit this page.

TAKU’s NOTE: I have used the X3 Bar myself and have found it to be an excellent training tool. It is light-weight, portable, simple to use, and provides challenging workouts that are extremely efficient. This simple device allows one to perform, many classic strength training movements.


Project Total Mobility

In this weeks podcast episode # 30 we focus our attention on Flexibility. All other factors being equal, applying muscular force over the greatest range of joint motion can improve power output during skill execution. Therefore, maximizing one’s inherent flexibility can be beneficial. One’s joint flexibility is contingent upon skeletal muscle origins and insertions, body composition, and to some extent activity level. Some athletes are quite flexible while others are not. Whatever your level, it can be maximized by emphasizing full range of motion strength training exercises and performing basic pre-workout dynamic movement drills, and post-workout safe static-stretching exercises. An inordinate amount of time spent on static stretching is normally not necessary unless there is a specific need for it.

In support of this weeks topic I offer another awesome article by my friend Dr Wayne Westcott. Read on to see how combining simple static stretches immediately following your strength exercises provides maximum results in minimum time.

The Best of Both Worlds: Strengthening and Stretching

By Wayne Westcott

There are numerous books, articles, and videos about stretching available. Many of these resources describe several types of stretching exercises and present sample programs for improving joint flexibility. However, the proposed stretching protocols presented often require up to an hour to perform.

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While I do not question the effectiveness of such programs, in my experience few people have time for sixty minutes of stretching exercise. In fact, most of our fitness center participants spend about 30 minutes doing strength training (15 Nautilus machines) and about 30 minutes doing endurance exercise (treadmill, cycle, stepper, cross-trainer, etc.), leaving little time in a typical one-hour workout for stretching.

Our latest research has demonstrated the benefits of including stretching in the overall exercise program, but our participants attained excellent results from relatively brief stretching sessions. Consider the following findings from two of our studies on stretching exercise.

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STUDY ONE: Our first study in this area was conducted with 77 golfers (average age 57 years) who did a standard strength training program (13 Nautilus exercises). Fifty-two golfers did strength training only, and 25 golfers did a combination of strength training and stretching exercise. The stretching protocol consisted of six exercises performed on a StretchMate apparatus (a platform and steel frame threaded with elastic cable and resembling a large spiderweb). Each stretch was held for 10 seconds, with most stretches performed on both sides of the body, and the total time requirement was about three minutes.

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Both groups of golfers made impressive improvements in body composition, adding about four pounds of muscle and losing about four pounds of fat over the eight-week training period. However, the golfers who performed stretching exercises increased their joint flexibility significantly more than the golfers who did only strength training. More important to the golfers, those who did strength training and stretching increased their club head speed twice as much as those who did only strength training (5.2 mph vs. 2.6 mph).

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Club head speed basically determines driving power, with each mile per hour increase equivalent to about 2.3 yards more driving distance. The combination of strength training and stretching exercise produced the greatest improvement in club head speed, and the total workout time was less than 30 minutes.

STUDY TWO: Our second study on stretching exercise involved 76 participants from our fitness classes. The small group fitness classes run hourly throughout the day in our research center (six members with two instructors). Each class consists of 12 Nautilus exercises and about 20 to 25 minutes of aerobic activity (treadmill or cycle).

About half of the research participants performed the standard training protocol, whereas the other half added stretching exercises to the workout. To save time and to make the stretches specific to the strength training, we paired every Nautilus exercise with an appropriate stretch for the same muscle group. Each stretch was held for 20 seconds, and most were done right on the Nautilus machines.

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For example, the Nautilus leg extension exercise for the quadriceps muscles was followed by the standing quadriceps stretch. Likewise, the Nautilus leg curl exercise for the hamstrings muscles was followed by the seated hamstrings stretch. This pairing procedure made productive use of the rest time between machines, using 20 seconds for single stretches and 40 seconds for stretches performed on both sides of the body. Although the total time requirement for the stretches was about six minutes, the actual duration of the workout was about the same due to the strategic placement of the stretching exercises between the Nautilus exercises.

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The results of this 10-week study were both anticipated and surprising. We expected the group that included stretching exercises to make greater gains in joint flexibility, and indeed they did. Their hamstrings flexibility increased 2.4 inches compared to a 1.4-inch improvement in the group that did not stretch.

However, we also found that the stretching group gained almost 20 percent more muscle strength than their non-stretching counterparts. Specifically, the participants who paired Nautilus and stretching exercises increased their hamstrings strength by 19.5 pounds, whereas the participants who did not stretch increased their hamstrings strength by only 16.4 pounds.

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So this study also showed superior results by combining strength training and stretching exercises. It would therefore seem that muscle strength, joint flexibility, movement speed, and performance power can all benefit from a relatively basic and brief exercise program that includes appropriate strengthening and stretching components.

Just as our previous research demonstrated that one set of each strength exercise is as productive as two or three sets, these studies clearly indicate that a few minutes of stretching exercise are sufficient for significantly improving joint flexibility. In fact, the three-minute stretching sessions performed by the golfers produced a 24-percent average increase in their hip and shoulder flexibility.

TAKUS’s NOTE: Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA, and author of several books on fitness, including Building Strength and Stamina, and Strength Training Past 50. Thanks to Dr Westoctt for allowing me to share his material.

Train Sane for the New Year

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Suddenly everywhere we look the workouts have gone insane. What’s that all about? Anyone who has read my stuff regularly, knows that I believe in hard work. However, just because a workout is named something that sounds tough, and or gets you out of breath, does not mean it is a smart or viable way to train long term.

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The truth is the number one type of exercise we can do for our health is strength training, And the number one reason folks don’t feel that they can workout is lack of time. With this in mind,why choose a program that says you need to confuse your muscles and workout 5 – 6 – or 7 days per week for an hour or more? The truth is that anyone from the elite athlete to the un-fit office worker can get all they need from two or three well thought out 30 or 45 minute workouts per week.

What’s that saying about a fool and his money? I’ve noticed that the “insane” workout folks are now trying to sell agility ladders and other tools to make folks more athletic etc. Don’t fall for the hype. Unless you want to be a world champion at using the agility ladder, don’t bother buying or using one. No matter what anyone tells you, it will not give you better footwork for your chosen sport.

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If you are a soccer player, what do you think will be more beneficial:

A: 30 minutes of agility ladder drills.

B: 30 minutes of extra time spent practicing skills with a soccer ball for improved ball mastery?

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Let’s talk science for a moment.

1. Purported “speed drills” that do not replicate exact sprinting body mechanics (same speed, muscle contractions, angles of force output, etc.) may not transfer to improve speed. Again, the principle of specificity states that to become proficient in any activity, the activity itself must me practiced exactly. Anything “almost” or “close” is NOT exact. Therefore, general drills such as high knees, skips, bounds, box jumps, or other slower-moving actions (relative to all-out sprinting speed) can be used, but more as a part of a dynamic warm-up routine.

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2. Straight-ahead sprinting and change-of-direction agility drills elicit a “plyometric”(stretch-shortening) effect. Therefore, whenever you’re sprinting and doing agilities, your doing plyometrics. No need to spend an inordinate amount of time jumping on and off boxes.

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3.  Speed gadgets and gimmicks such as parachutes, rubber tubing, sleds, weighted vests, and the like are nothing exceptional. They by themselves will not make you “run like the wind” after their use. They can be used for variety in a conditioning program (repeated use can create fatigue), but that’s about it. It is a fact that running with weight or against resistance alters running mechanics from those used in unweighted sprinting you’ll experience during a game (sport-specific). Therefore, keep your running both sport and energy system-specific by replicating the situations / runs you’ll face in competition.

To find out how intelligent athletes train, check out the S.P.I.C.E. article from last August, and the November 2018 Article: Strength Training for Athletes

So to sum up, it’s not about feeling tired, sweating profusely or earning a T-shirt…It’s about consistent and progressive hard work on brief, intense, and infrequent programs designed to support your goals.

Remember Train Smart, Win easy.

TAKU

A few Questions and Answers with JC Santana

This weeks podcast episode #29 features my friend JUAN CARLOS “JC” SANTANA.

JC is a Fitness maverick, founder of the Institute of Human Performance (IHP) , dynamic speaker, sought-after consultant, prolific author … for over 30 years Juan Carlos “JC” Santana has been raising the bar in the fitness industry.

Question:

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  1. What is the quickest way to build explosive power in an athlete?

    A: From our observations with athletes of all ages and training levels – COMPLEX “POWER” TRAINING is the most efficient method and quickest way to train for power and develop POWER! Let me explain:

    Power is the optimal blend of strength and speed.  Therefore, when training for power strength training and speed training must be addressed.  Strength and speed are mostly neural in nature – which means the Central Nervous System (CNS) drives their performance – not necessarily the size of muscles!  The good news is that, especially in beginners where neural adaptations are greatest, power can be improved very quickly!

    The one-two punch is to work on Strength and Power simultaneously!  Nothing does this best than complex training. Complex training is a method of training where traditional strength exercises are paired up with explosive (unloaded) exercises.  One performs the traditional exercise, rests, then explodes with the unloaded exercise.

    The theory is that the traditional exercise excites the CNS without fatiguing it and the brief rest allows the involved muscles, the energy systems and CNS to recover. With a charged CNS and recovered muscles – the subsequent explosive movement is much faster and explosive.

    To learn more about the volume, intensity, frequency, duration, and application of power training get to one of JC’s Certifications at IHP!
    The ESSENCE OF PROGRAM DESIGN BOOK is also a great resource to learn how we program POWER TRAINING.  Learn how IHP develops their POWER TRAINING and puts cyborgs on the playing field!

    Question:

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  1. What's the best conditioning for grappling endurance?

A: Most coaches still think the best endurance for any sport, including GRAPPLING ENDURANCE, is developed through cardiovascular training (e.g. running, biking, swimming, etc). THIS IS INCORRECT!. The best conditioning for grappling endurance is training appropriate grappling-specific circuits!

According to the Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands (SAID) principle - “you get what your train for”. If you run, you get great running cardio, but when you ask your arms to engage in grappling-type of activities – that running will get you very little in the way of grappling endurance.

When your muscle contract hard and fast, they produce hydrogen at an accelerated rate! This hydrogen creates an acidic environment that is painful and eventually interferes with muscle contraction! The appropriate SAID circuit-training helps grappling endurance by several means:

  1. It makes one stronger so it allows more intense and frequent and contractions before hydrogen gets high enough to interfere with grappling endurance.

  2. It increases the body’s ability to neutralize (i.e. buffer) hydrogen so that the acidic environment remains low enough to not interfere with grappling endurance.

  3. It reduces the Rate of Perceived Excursion (RPE) of the exercises, thereby allowing the athlete to push themselves harder before they reduce their intensity.

So there you have it – train with GRAPPLING SAID CIRCUITS to take your grappling endurance to the elite level!

Question:

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  1. What would you consider to be some of the most safe and "functional" moves to teach a pregnant woman in second trimester who will have a baby and toddler to handle?

A: I love the standing band rows and chest presses, modified choppers, short med ball rotations, alt pulldowns, one arm overhead presses, 1/4- 1/2 squats with med ball pushes, etc. Make sure loads and exertion are appropriate.

TAKU’s NOTE: To learn more about grappling endurance training get to one of JC’s Certifications at IHP! The SAID for Grappling DVD is also a great resource to learn how they make their grapplers absolute monsters. To learn more about coaching progressions, volume, intensities, and creating powerful training programs that MAKE SENSE attend one of JC’s Certifications at IHP! Visit www.ihpfit.com for the best in training education.

START YOUR NEW YEAR’S RIGHT…

STRENGTH TRAINING FOR BUSY PEOPLE

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Well it’s that time again…NEW YEARS!! One of the many things that occurs around this time of year is that people make plans to get fit. For all these good intentions, many people quickly give up on these plans, often because they feel they don’t have the time to dedicate towards this seemingly daunting task. If you are on of those people who feels they don’t have time to read this article, let alone set aside time to work out, then this program is for you.

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WHY?

Why Strength Train? The primary purpose of strength training, or strength exercise, is to improve muscle function. It will help you develop stronger bones, tendons, and ligaments, enabling you to perform better in all physical activities. Strength training reduces your risk of low back pain, illnesses such as diabetes and degenerative problems such as osteoporosis. It also helps you reach and maintain a proper body composition by boosting your resting metabolism and thereby burning more calories throughout the day, even at rest.

HOW?

The Strength Training program below has been designed using research performed by Dr. Wayne Westcott and Rita LaRosa Loud, along with their staff at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA. In an effort to make exercise more appealing to those who are truly in need of its tremendous benefits, Dr. Westcott set out to prove that strength gains can come with minimal time and commitment. The number one complaint and excuse for discontinuing a strength training, or exercise regimen, is TIME. As you will find in this article, Dr. Westcott and his colleagues were able to prove that significant changes can occur in a person’s musculature and strength with a program lasting as little as 24 minutes, performed just two to three times a week.

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RESEARCH OVERVIEW:

Over the past several years, Dr. Wayne Westcott and his colleagues have conducted several research studies with adults, seniors, and children consistent with the American College of Sports Medicine exercise guidelines. With every study, Dr. Westcott has continued to uncover protocols that deliver results to the masses. In every program, the participants experienced excellent gains in muscle strength and impressive improvements in body composition. On average, the adult exercisers in these particular studies increased their muscle strength by over 40 percent, added about two and one half pounds of muscle, and lost about four and one half pounds of fat over an eight week training period.

The results from the shortened programs are at least as good as those attained using other exercise protocols, indicating that a basic and brief strength training program can be highly effective. Perhaps just as important, participants have been pleased with both the exercise process and the training product, with over 90 percent continuing their strength workouts after completing the program.

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BASIC STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM:

Participants performed one set of each exercise, with a weight load that could be lifted between 8 and 12 repetitions. Each repetition was performed at a moderate movement speed (about 6 seconds) and through a full movement range. When 12 repetitions were able to be completed in proper form, the weight load was increased by a small amount (5 percent or less). The participants chose to train either two or three days per week depending on personal preference. The studies have shown almost 90 percent as much benefit from twice-a-week training as three day-a-week training.

The basic training program used is relatively time efficient, depending of course on the recovery period between exercises. Assuming about a minute to perform each exercise and about a minute between exercises, the workout requires only 24 minutes for completion.

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20 SECOND STRETCHING BETWEEN EXERCISES:

The flexibility component of the program generally consisted of interspersing stretching exercises with the strength training movements. The participants experienced excellent results by performing a 20-second stretch for the muscle group just worked. For example, the leg curl exercise was followed by a 20-second static stretch for the hamstrings muscles.

The research has shown that adding stretching exercises to the workout may have duel benefits, enhancing both joint flexibility and strength development. The participants who did static stretches following their strength training exercise had greater increases in hamstrings flexibility and strength than the participants who did strength training exercises only. Because the participants typically took a 1-minute break between exercises, the 20-second stretches did not lengthen the overall workout duration.

STRENGTH TRAINING GUIDELINES:

 FREQUENCY

Train two to three days per week on an every-other-day schedule. Taking back-to-back strength training workouts is counterproductive because the muscles do not have sufficient recovery or building time. Two training days per week produce about 90% as much strength and muscle gain as three weekly workouts.

DURATION

Train with one set of 8 to 12 repetitions on each machine. At 6 seconds per repetition a set of strength exercises should take about 50-70 seconds. When the proper weight-load is used, this provides excellent stimulus for strength gains. The Strength Training Circuit should take approximately 25-30 minutes to complete once you know what adjustments and weight you need for each movement or machine. Until then, it could take 45 minutes or so to complete the circuit.

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INTENSITY

The weight-load should be heavy enough to fatigue the target muscle group with 8-12 repetitions.

 SPEED

Perform all movements slowly, approximately 6 seconds per repetition. Take two seconds to lift the weight-load, and take four seconds to lower the weight-load. Slow training increases the strength building stimulus and reduces the risk of injury.

RANGE

Perform all exercises through a full range of pain-free joint movement. Full-range training ensures greater muscle effort, joint flexibility, and performance power.

 PROGRESSION

Gradually increase muscle stress by adding approximately 5% more weight whenever you complete 12 repetitions in good form. Progressive resistance is the key to continued strength development.

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CONTINUITY

Proceed from machine to machine, or exercise to exercise in order and in a timely manner. Work the muscles from larger to smaller groups, which aids in efficiency, and provides better overall training effect.

MAINTAIN REGULAR WORKOUTS

Consistency is perhaps the most important variable in developing and maintaining physical fitness. Two or three non-consecutive workout sessions per week on a regular basis are recommended for maximizing muscular fitness.

Well that’s all you need to know. For more ideas on how to create efficient workouts check out these past articles: One And Done

TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to Dr. Wayne Westcott for allowing me to share his research here on my blog.

Resistance Training is Medicine:

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Introduction       

Not long ago, the muscle-building activity known as weight training generally was considered to be the domain of exceptionally strong men who competed in sports such as power-lifting, Olympic weight lifting, bodybuilding, and football. It was obvious that these athletes required high levels of strength and muscularity to excel in their chosen sport and that their mesomorphic physiques responded favorably to heavy resistance training with barbells and dumbbells. Average individuals saw no reason to engage in weight training, and participants in other sports typically felt that lifting weights actually would hinder their athletic performance.

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As American lifestyle became more sedentary and heart disease became the leading cause of death, regular exercise was promoted for attaining physical fitness, desirable body weight, and cardiorespiratory health. However, the overwhelming emphasis was on aerobic activity with little encouragement for resistance training. More recently, attention has been given to age-related muscle loss and associated physiological problems such as bone loss, metabolic decline, fat gain, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and all-cause mortality. Given the serious problem of sarcopenia in an increasingly sedentary and aging population, and the accumulating evidence that resistance exercise promotes muscle gains in men and women of all ages, it is understandable that leading researchers have advocated a public health mandate for sensible resistance training.

The series of events that seem to be associated with a large number of illnesses, injuries, and infirmities are 1) muscle loss, 2) leading to metabolic rate reduction, 3) followed by fat gain that places almost 80% of men and 70% of women 60 years of age and older in the undesirable categories of overweight or obese. These percentages are based on body mass index calculations that do not account for age-related sarcopenia. It is therefore likely that an even higher percentage of the older adult population has excess body fat (above 22% for males and above 32% for females).

Muscle mass declines between 3% and 8% each decade after age 30, averaging approximately 0.2 kg of lean weight loss per year. Muscle loss increases to 5% to 10%each decade after age 50, averaging approximately 0.4 kg per year after the fifth decade of life. Skeletal muscle, which represents up to 40% of total body weight, influences a variety of metabolic risk factors, including obesity, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Muscle tissue is the primary site for glucose and triglyceride disposal, so muscle loss specifically increases the Muscle protein breakdown and synthesis largely are responsible for energy expenditure in resting muscle, which is approximately 11 to 12 calIdj1Ikgj1 of untrained muscle tissue. Consequently, muscle loss is the greatest contributor to the age-related decline in resting metabolic rate, which averages 2% to 3% per decade in adults. Because resting metabolism accounts for about 65%to 70% of daily calorie use among sedentary men and women, reduction of muscle mass and resting metabolic rate may be accompanied by increased fat weight.

Reversing Muscle Loss

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Numerous studies have demonstrated that relatively brief sessions (e.g., 12 to 20 total exercise sets) of regular resistance training (two or three nonconsecutive days per week) can increase muscle mass in adults of all ages through the 10th decade of life. Many of these studies showed lean weight gains of about 1.4 kg following approximately 3 months of resistance training. A representative large-scale study with more than 1,600 participants between the ages of 21 and 80 years revealed a mean lean weight increase of 1.4 kg after 10 weeks of resistance training incorporating 12 total exercise sets per session. Training frequencies of 2 and 3 day / week produced similar lean weight gains, and there were no significant differences in muscle development among any of the age groups.

Recharging Resting Metabolism

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Resistance training stimulates increased muscle protein turnover and actually has a dual impact on resting metabolic rate. First, as a chronic response, resistance training results in greater muscle mass that necessitates more energy at rest for ongoing tissue maintenance. A 1.0-kg increase in trained muscle tissue may raise resting metabolic rate by about 20 cal / day. Second, as an acute response, resistance training causes tissue microtrauma that requires relatively large amounts of energy for muscle remodeling processes that may persist for 72 h after the training session. Research has shown significant increases in resting metabolic rate (approximately 7%) after several weeks of resistance training. However, more recent studies have revealed a similar elevation in resting energy expenditure (5% to 9%) for 3 d following a single session of resistance training. Participants who performed a high volume resistance workout (8 exercises x 8 sets each) averaged an 8% (trained subjects) to 9% (untrained subjects) increase in resting energy expenditure for 3 d after the exercise session. Beginning participants who performed either a moderate-volume resistance workout (10 exercises x 3 sets each) or a low-volume resistance workout (10 exercises x 1 set each) averaged a 5% increase in resting energy expenditure for 3 d after their respective exercise sessions.

Based on the findings from these studies, regular resistance training may increase energy expenditure at rest by 100 cal / day or more. Reducing Body Fat Excessive body fat is associated with risk factors such as elevated plasma cholesterol, plasma glucose, and resting blood pressure, which contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In their review article, Strasser and Schobersberger concluded that resistance training is recommended in the management of obesity and metabolic disorders. With respect to overall body fat, several resistance training studies that showed approximately 1.4 kg of lean weight gain also reported approximately 1.8 kg of fat weight loss. With respect to abdominal adipose tissue, research has revealed significant reductions in intra-abdominal fat resulting from resistance training in older women  and older men as well as only one-third as much visceral fat gain in premenopausal women over a 2-year study period (7% resistance trained vs 21% untrained). Hurley et al. have identified increased resting metabolic rate, improved insulin sensitivity, and enhanced sympathetic activity as possible means by which resistance training may decrease intra-abdominal fat stores. Increased resting metabolic rate would seem to be a major factor in fat loss. A 20-min circuit resistance training program may require approximately 200 cal for every performance and may use 25% as many additional calories (50 cal) for recovery processes during the first hour following the workout . Furthermore, over the next 72 h, resting energy expenditure may remain elevated by 100 cal /day for muscle remodeling processes. Assuming two 20-min circuit resistance training sessions a week, the associated energy utilization would approximate 5000 cal /month (eight workouts / 250 cal + 30 days 100 cal).

Facilitating Physical Function

Aging is accompanied by a gradual reduction in physical function that negatively affects the ability to perform activities of daily living. Research has revealed that resistance training can reverse some of the debilitating effects associated with inactive aging, even in elderly individuals. In one study, nursing home residents (mean age = 89 years) performed one set of six resistance machine exercises, twice a week, for 14 wk. At the end of the training period, the participants increased their overall strength by 60%, added 1.7 kg of lean weight, and improved their functional independence measure by 14%. Other studies support resistance training by older adults for enhancing movement control, functional abilities, physical performance, and walking speed.

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Resisting Type 2 Diabetes

As the obesity problem increases so does the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. It is predicted that by the middle of this century, one of three adults will have diabetes . In their review article on aging, resistance training, and diabetes prevention, Flack et al. concluded that resistance training may be an effective intervention approach for middle-aged and older adults to counteract age-associated declines in insulin sensitivity and to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. This position is supported by numerous research studies, including those demonstrating improvements in insulin resistance and glycemic control. As presented in the previous section, resistance training also has been shown to reduce abdominal fat, which may be particularly important for diabetes prevention. This is because insulin resistance seems to be associated with abdominal fat accumulation in aging adults. Based on their literature review, Flack et al. suggested that resistance training programs incorporating higher-volume and higher intensity protocols may be more effective for improving insulin resistance and glucose tolerance compared with lower-volume and lower-intensity exercise protocols. This recommendation is consistent with the resistance training guidelines of the American Diabetes Association to exercise all major muscle groups, 3 days / week, progressing to three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions at high intensity.

A meta-analysis by Strasser et al. revealed that resistance training reduced visceral adipose tissue and decreased glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in people with abnormal glucose metabolism. The review authors concluded that resistance training should be recommended for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes and metabolic disorders. According to Phillips and Winett, resistance training is associated with improved glucose and insulin homeostasis because of increases in muscle cross-sectional area and lean body mass, as well as qualitative improvements in muscle metabolic properties, including increases in the density of glucose transporter type 4, glycogen synthase content / activity, and insulin-mediated glucose clearance. There also is evidence that resistance training may be preferable to aerobic exercise for improving insulin sensitivity and for lowering HbA1c.

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Improving Cardiovascular Health

A 2011 literature review by Strasser and Schobersberger concluded that, ‘‘resistance training is at least as effective as aerobic endurance training in reducing some major cardiovascular disease risk factors’’. The reported findings related to cardiovascular benefits of resistance training included improved body composition, mobilization of visceral and subcutaneous abdominal fat, reduced resting blood pressure, improved lipoprotein-lipid profiles, and enhanced glycemic control. This section addresses the effects of resistance training on three key physiological factors associated with cardiovascular health, namely, resting blood pressure, blood lipid profiles, and vascular condition.

Resting Blood Pressure

Approximately one-third of American adults have hypertension, which is a major factor in cardiovascular disease. Several studies have demonstrated reduced resting systolic and / or diastolic blood pressure following two or more months of standard resistance training or circuit style resistance training. One study reported resting blood pressure changes in more than 1,600 participants (ages 21 to 80 years) who performed 20 min of resistance training and 20 min of aerobic activity 2 or 3 dIwkj1 for a period of 10 weeks. Subjects who trained twice a week significantly reduced resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings by 3.2 and 1.4 mm Hg, respectively. Those who trained 3 days /week, significantly reduced resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings by 4.6 and 2.2 mm Hg, respectively. A study by Kelemen and Effron also demonstrated significant blood pressure reductions from combined resistance training and endurance exercise.

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials by Kelley and Kelley concluded that resistance training is effective for reducing resting blood pressure. A more recent meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that blood pressure reductions associated with resistance training averaged 6.0 mm Hg systolic and 4.7 mm Hg diastolic and were comparable with those associated aerobic activity.

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Blood Lipid Profiles

According to a recent report of the American Heart Association, approximately 45% of Americans have undesirable blood lipid profiles that increase their risk for cardiovascular disease. Several studies have shown beneficial effects on lipoprotein-lipid profiles resulting from resistance training, whereas other studies have not demonstrated significant changes in blood lipid levels. Some investigators have found that resistance training and aerobic activity produce similar effects on blood lipid profiles. A review by Kelley and Kelley reported modest improvements in blood lipid profiles resulting from resistance training, with the exception of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which did not change significantly. According to the American College of Sports Medicine position stand on Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults (3), there is evidence to suggest that resistance training may increase HDL cholesterol by 8% to 21%, decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 13% to 23%, and reduce triglycerides by 11% to 18%. In a study with elderly women (70 to 87 years of age), resistance training significantly improved triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol profiles. A 2009 review by Tambalis et al. revealed resistance training to be an effective means for reducing LDL cholesterol, but there is evidence that combined resistance training and aerobic activity improves blood lipid profiles better than either exercise performed independently. After a careful review of the research literature and their own studies, Hurley et al. suggested that lipoprotein-lipid responses to resistance training likely are to be genotype dependent, indicating that genetic factors may determine the degree to which resistance training influences blood lipid profiles

Vascular Condition

Vascular condition refers to the ability of arteries to accommodate blood flow, which directly affects blood pressure. Research studies are inconsistent regarding the effects of resistance training on vascular condition. Some studies indicate that resistance training reduces arterial compliance, some studies show no effect of resistance training on arterial compliance, while other research reveals enhanced vascular conductance and condition with resistance training.

As Phillips and Winett concluded in their literature review, further study is necessary to determine the relevant role of resistance training in vascular adaptations. Based on the research reviewed, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that resistance training may enhance cardiovascular health, as well as reduce the risk of predisposing metabolic syndrome. Although resistance training alone seems to provide cardiovascular benefits, a combination of resistance training and aerobic activity generally is recommended for healthy adults and for older adults. Resistance training also has been shown to produce positive effects in post coronary patients. Numerous studies indicate that resistance training is a safe and productive means for maintaining desirable body weight, increasing muscular strength, improving physical performance, and enhancing both self-concept and self-efficacy in cardiac patients.

Increasing Bone Mineral Density

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According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 10 million American adults (8 million women) have osteoporosis, and almost 35 million others have insufficient bone mass or osteopenia. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 30% of women and 15% of men will experience bone fractures due to osteoporosis. Research reveals that muscle loss (sarcopenia) is associated with bone loss (osteopenia). Adults who do not perform resistance training may experience 1% to 3% reduction in bone mineral density (BMD) every year of life. Logically, exercise interventions that promote muscle gain also may be expected to increase BMD, and the majority of studies support this relationship. Several longitudinal studies have shown significant increases in BMD after 4 to 24 months of resistance training.

A meta-analysis by Wolfe et al. indicated that exercise programs prevented or reversed approximately 1% bone loss per year (femoral neck and lumbar spine) in adult and older adult women. A more recent review by Going and Laudermilk revealed that resistance training increased BMD between 1% and 3% (femoral neck and lumbar spine) in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Conversely, other longitudinal studies have failed to show significant increases in BMD following 4 to 32 months of resistance training. Cussler et al. have identified several possible reasons for the inconsistent study results, including small sample sizes, short intervention periods, low completion rates, lack of randomized exercise assignments, and different resistance training intensities. Other variables that may influence BMD research results are growth hormone administration in men, hormone replacement therapy in women, dietary protein intake, and calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

A 2-year study by Kerr et al. indicated that resistance training resulted in a 3.2% improvement in BMD compared with the control group. However, studies show that termination of the resistance training program leads to reversal of BMD gains. Although much of the research on resistance training and bone density has been conducted with older women, there is evidence that young men may increase BMD by 2.7% to 7.7% through resistance training. The range of BMD change is related to different responses in different bones because the musculoskeletal effects of resistance training relatively are site specific. The majority of studies in this area support the conclusion in Layne and Nelson’s review that resistance training appears to be associated positively with high BMD in both younger and older adults and may have a more potent effect on bone density than other types of physical activity such as aerobic and weight bearing exercise.

Enhancing Mental Health

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According to a comprehensive research review by O’Connor et al., the mental health benefits of resistance training for adults include reduction of symptoms in people with fatigue, anxiety, and depression; pain alleviation in people with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and low-back issues; improvements in cognitive abilities in older adults; and improvements in self-esteem. While there is considerable evidence that appropriate resistance training reduces low back pain, arthritic discomfort, and pain associated with fibromyalgia, this section will address the effects of resistance training on cognition and psychological measures. Concerning cognition, much of the research has been conducted with older adults, and most of the studies have featured endurance exercise alone or combined aerobic activity and resistance training. However, studies using only resistance training interventions have shown significant improvement in cognitive abilities.

In a meta-analysis by Colcombe and Kramer, aerobic activity plus resistance training produced significantly greater cognitive improvement in inactive older adults than aerobic activity alone. According to O’Connor et al., self-esteem, as a global concept of one’s perception of himself or herself, relatively is stable over time and less likely to be affected by physical training than other psychological measures. Nonetheless, positive changes in self-esteem as a result of resistance training have been reported in older adults, younger adults, women, cancer patients, and participants of cardiac rehabilitation. With respect to other psychological measures, studies by Annesi et al. have shown 10 week of combined resistance training and aerobic activity to improve significantly physical self-concept, total mood disturbance, depression, fatigue, positive engagement, revitalization, tranquility, and tension in adults and older adults. Depression is a serious mental health issue that may be associated with decreased functionality, especially in older adults.

In their comprehensive review, O’Connor et al. noted that at least four studies have examined the effects of resistance training on depression levels in clinically depressed individuals, and at least 18 studies have examined the effects of resistance training on depression symptoms in healthy adults or adults with medical problems. Although these trials produced mixed results, the review authors concluded that there was sufficient evidence to support resistance training as an effective intervention for reducing depression symptoms in adults with depression .

Singh et al have researched the effects of resistance training on depression in elderly individuals. In a classic study, they found that more than 80% of the depressed elders who performed three weekly sessions of resistance training were no longer clinically depressed after just 10 weeks of exercise. Based on these studies, it would appear that resistance training is associated with reduced depression levels in older adults.

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Reversing Aging Factors

Finally, some interesting research has been conducted on resistance training effects on muscle mitochondrial content and function. There is evidence that circuit (short rest) resistance training can increase both the mitochondrial content and the oxidative capacity of muscle tissue. Another study, using standard resistance training, showed a reversal in mitochondrial deterioration that typically occurs with aging. After 6 months of resistance training, the older adult participants (mean age of 68 years) experienced gene expression reversal that resulted in mitochondrial characteristics similar to those in moderately active young adults (mean age of 24 years). The favorable changes observed in 179 genes associated with age and exercise led the researchers to conclude that resistance training can reverse aging factors in skeletal muscle.

Evidence Based Exercise recommendations for resistance training.

Training exercises:
Perform 8 to 10 multi-joint exercise that address the major muscle groups (chest, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms, hips, legs).

Training frequency:
Train each major muscle group two or three non-consecutive days per week.

Training sets:
Perform two to four sets of resistance training for each major muscle group.

Training resistance and repetitions:

Use a resistance that can be performed for 8 to 12 repetitions (or 60-90 seconds of TUT).

Training technique:

Perform each repetition in a controlled manner through a full range of motion. Exhale during lifting actions and inhale during lowering actions.

TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to my friend, and mentor Wayne L. Westcott, PhD for the above article as well as joining us for this week’s podcast episode #28. For more awesome research check the various links throughout the article above. The full article is titled: "Resistance Training is Medicine: Effects of Strength Training on Health". References and footnotes were removed for brevity.

One and Done: Five Easy Steps to a One Hour Workout

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Two of the biggest mistakes I see in the gym are people training too often, and not training hard enough. Most folks mistakenly believe that they can make up for lower quality workouts, by simply upping the quantity. Unfortunately this does not work.

Most of these people hit the gym five or six days a week, repeating the same old stuff over and over, like a hamster going round and round on his little wheel. The sad thing is they make about as much forward progress as that hamster does…they are basically going no where.

On the other end of the spectrum are the folks who feel they just don’t have time to train. They want to do cardio, lift weights, stretch, and still have a life. They look at the gym hamsters, and wish that they to could somehow find the time to spend 10-12 hours a week in the gym.

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WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

First, you will not make progress by doing the same thing over and over. If you expect your body to produce a change, than you must start by inducing that change with an unaccustomed stimulus.

Next,once the stimulus has been introduced, get out of the gym and let your body do it’s thing. The workout does not produce the change. Change happens during your recovery period.

Finally, 4-6 workouts every two weeks is enough for anyone to get the job done. Not only that, each workout should not take more than an hour to complete. That’s right, one hour. You will do cardio, weights, stretching…and all in one hour.

Here’s how it works:

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Step One. 0-5 minutes. Warm-up = Easy cycling @ 60% Max Heart Rate

Step Two. 5-20 minutes. Endurance exercise (Cardio) = Interval cycling alternating 3-min @ 70% Max Heart Rate and 3-min @ 80% Max Heart Rate

Step Three. 20-25 minutes. Cool-down = Easy cycling @ 60% Max Heart Rate

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Step Four. 25-55 minutes. Strength Training = One set each of 8-12 exercises covering all major muscle groups. Example: Leg Press, Leg Curl, Chest Press, Row, Shoulder Press, Pull-down, Triceps, Biceps, Ab’s, Low-back

Step Five. 55-60 minutes. Cool-down and Stretching = the Big-4: Hamstring stretch, Low-back Stretch, Shoulder Stretch, Calf Stretch

WOW…That was easy. Now, get into the gym and create your own workout using the above guidelines as your template. If you like free-weights, use free-weights. If you prefer running or rowing to cycling, DO IT!.  Try alternating three days in the gym the first week, and only two days the next. Mix things up, keep it fresh.

Before you know it, you’ll be having fun, getting fit, and still have time for a life outside the gym.

TAKU