Friday, July 28, 2006

Adaptations to Strength Training Blog

Strength training actually changes your body. Weight training, especially when the weight is periodically increased, results in adaptations by the muscle, connective tissue and nervous systems.

Muscles become bigger; i.e. the amount of muscle fibers increases. His is called hypertrophy. The hormone testosterone lays a part in this so men hypertrophy easier and faster than women hypertrophy. A high-resistance, lower repetition weight-lifting program will result in hypertrophy, while a low-resistance, high-repetition program will lead to little hypertrophy. Hypertrophy increases the amount of protein in a muscle. This adds to muscle strength. Unused motor units are activated with strength training. The recruitment of these motor units is responsible for much initial increase in strength.

The connective tissue changes with training. These are the three types of connective tissue: cartilage, which serves as a padding between bones at a joint; ligaments, that connect bones to bones at a joint; and tendons, which connect skeletal muscles to the bones, transmitting the force of muscle contraction to the bones. Tendons are an extension of connective tissue that weaves a network of support around and between the muscle fibers of a muscle, giving strength and stability to the belly of the muscle by holding the fibers of the motor units together. With weight training, connective tissues become thicker and thus stronger. They withstand greater contraction forces.

The Golgi tendon organ is part of the nervous system in the tendon. If it senses that the tendon contracts too much, it causes the muscle to relax. Strength raises the threshold of force at which the Golgi tendon organ is stimulated, probably because the overload of training causes more connective tissue protein to be added of the tendon. The associated muscle can then generate greater contractive force before the tendon organ is stimulated.

Some information from this blog was obtained from Personal Trainer Manual: The Resource for Fitness Instructors, from the American Council on Exercise, 1991, pp. 24-26.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this blog is meant to take the place of medical advice. Talk to a physician before starting an exercise program or implementing anything in this blog.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Exercises for the Older Adult

Older adults aged 65 and over may need to “take it easy” when working out, depending on their exercise level. Adults of this age that have trained on an intermediate level of at least 30 minutes a day five days a week my not need to be overly careful. As usual, they need to start working out on a beginner level and feel their body to see what it tells them about pain and endurance.

Concerns of the aging include osteoporosis, especially for women; loss of height; loss of lean body mass; decreased cardiovascular strength; decreased respiratory capacity; lower stroke volume and maximal heart rage; high blood pressure; and increased weight. Not everyone has these symptoms of age, or at least has them at the same time Exercise generally prolongs them. Working out make the heart and all muscles stronger, and keeps bones dense. At the same time, genetics and habits such as eating styles affect these “symptoms”. A physician must be consulted if someone has high blood pressure, osteoporosis, or difficulty breathing.

Older adults especially need to see a physician before starting and new exercise program especially if they are beginners. For beginners, people with cardiovascular and respiratory difficulties or physical such as joint injury, can do the following:

Exercise at a lighter intensity
Do the stationary bicycle at a low intensity level
Use a longer warm-up
Use a longer cool-down
Do repetitions slowly
Avoid extreme interval training
Avoid plyometrics

At least five sessions with a personal trainer are useful for older adults with the above concerns. Many gyms offer aerobics classes taught by aerobics instructors with special certifications for older adults.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this blog is meant to take the place of medical advice. Talk to a physician before starting an exercise program or implementing anything in this blog.

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Childrens' Exercise

Children are often obese these years in the United States. Some children still are very active. However, many of them eat a great amount of junk food. I recommend exercise of at least five days a week. Children will often play games like hide-and-go-seek and tag. They will play in the backyard or in quiet neighborhood streets or playgrounds. Children should be supervised whenever possible, especially in situations such as weight-bearing activities and swimming.

Children’s exercise intensity and duration should be lighter than adults’. Forty minutes or less of cardiovascular activities are a good idea for children. If a child does this, they should not engage in weight-bearing activities for more than 20 more minutes. Of course, for teenagers over 14 years old, especially for those that have mature bodies of strong muscles and bones and who have at least three months experience working out at an intermediate level.

Medical clearance for children is especially important. Proper breathing techniques are especially important. They should drink plenty of fluids and rest at least one minute between sets. It is very important for children to rest a muscle group engaged as a primary mover in an exercise the next day. Children should not perform single weight maximum exercises or sudden explosive movements.

Children’s exercise equipment should be safe. Mats are necessary under machines and playgrounds. Adults should make sure that children know to report fatigue or other symptoms of exercise.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this blog is meant to take the place of medical advice. Talk to a physician before starting an exercise program or implementing anything in this blog.

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One-Repetition Maximum

The one-repetition maximum (ORM) is how much weight in a certain exercise a person can lift, push or pull without being able to perform one more repetition of the same exercise with the same muscle right afterwards.

For beginners, this should be performed only with the supervision of a personal trainer, physical therapist of physician. Implementing the ORM is not a good idea for an exercise routine It is a good idea to do a few times a year for each muscle group, such as once very three months, to measure strength progress. It can also be done at the beginning of an exercise program for the same purpose, but only with supervision for beginners

It is useful to break muscle fibers up so that they can grow bigger and stronger. During the night’s sleep and the next day’s rest, these muscle fibers will grow back bigger and stronger. If someone uses a twenty-pound free weight for a biceps curl for one or more repetitions, for instance, and a minute or a few minutes later uses a five-pound weight for the same exercise, the five-pound free weight will seem like a feather. In the same way, ORM done a few times a year for each muscle can ready the muscle for lighter weights that are still an advance over the last weights used for a certain muscle. Always be sure to stretch the muscle used before and after the ORM.

The ORM measures muscle strength. Muscle endurance is the ability of a person to perform many repetitions with a sub-maximum resistance. Usually, a person can perform 10 repetitions using 75% of the weight of their ORM. For instance if the ORM for someone in doing biceps curls is 20 pounds for each arm, they can perform 10 repetitions at a time with 15 pounds.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this blog is meant to take the place of medical advice. Talk to a physician before starting an exercise program or implementing anything in this blog.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Metabolic Equivalent (MET)

A metabolic equivalent (MET) is a multiple of the resting oxygen consumption, or the metabolic rate consuming 3.5 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute, or the metabolic rate consuming 1 kilocalorie per kilogram of body weight per hour.

The intensity of exercise is determined by a specified percentage of the client’s maximal oxygen consumption or functional capacity (50 percent to 85 percent) and then choosing activities that are known to require energy expenditure at a desired level.

A functional capacity is the maximum amount of oxygen used per kilogram of body weight. Working at, let’s say, 50% of functional capacity of 10 is working at 5 METS. Several activities are around 5 METS. These include walking a moderate pace.

Some sports at times of excursion, such as hockey or football, are 7 METS and higher. Running on a treadmill at a high speed and intensity would be 7 METS and above. Other factors are taken in with METS to determine exercise difficulty. These factors include sickness, oxygen in the air, hills, heat, humidity, and air pollution.

Some information for this blog is taken from

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

How Many Pounds Can You Lose in One Week?

A total of 3,500 calories are in a pound. Carbohydrates and protein have 4 calories per gram. Fat has 9 calories per gram.

An intense level of exercise for 1 hour will be about 600 calories per hour. This varies. A person who runs very quickly and does interval training will burn more. This is an average. If someone works out at an intermediate or advanced level at least 1 hour five days per week, they can burn at least 500 X 5 = 2,500 calories per week. If they cut down calories that they eat by 500 calories a week, that is an additional 2,500 calorie deficit a week. You can also do this by working out 2 hours per day for 5 days at a lower intensity of 250 calories per day. Cardiovascular equipment usually tells you how many calories you burn after you fill in statistics like gender and age. You can also consult textbooks and exercise such as those by the American Council on Exercise.

Women and men differ by gender, age, health, stress levels and pregnancy (for women) in how many calories they burn per week. Usually losing more than 3 or 3.5 pounds per week is not healthy. It may mean a large cut in calories or too much intense exercise, especially if you are a beginner. Also, remember that muscle weighs more than fat. You may want to actually gain weight per week while losing inches in certain areas!

Again, try out your nutrition and exercise plan and see what works and feels good for your soul, mind and body!

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is for information purposes, and is not intended to take the place of medical advice.