Without exercise, losing weight through reduced caloric intake results in loss of both fat and muscle tissue. Long duration, steady state activity will actually cause you to lose even more muscle, further reducing its effectiveness by lowering your metabolic rate. In addition, one can easily consume in minutes the number of calories burned through several hours of steady state activity. You should understand that 95% of people who lose weight gain that weight back within one year. Not an encouraging statistic, I know. What it really shows though is that the fads and fixes do not work. You can join the successful 5% by learning a few important facts: Muscle is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body. According to some estimates, every pound of muscle tissue gained burns an additional 35 to 50 calories per day. More importantly, strength training prevents the loss of muscle and bone tissue while reducing calorie intake. Combined with a well-balanced, moderately reduced-calorie diet, high intensity strength training has proven to be the best method of losing fat and improving body shape.
The only system you can directly exercise is your muscular system. Exercise, by definition, is demanding muscular work. The purpose of exercise is to produce some kind of positive change in your body. In other words, the work you perform should cause the muscular system to adapt; ie., grow stronger. When this occurs, the rest of your body benefits as well. Strength training is the safest, most efficient, and most productive means of improving your health and appearance. One of the most significant changes of aging is loss of muscle tissue. This affects everyone, even those who are very active, unless they are working to reverse this process. The average individual lose about 15lbs. of muscle and gains about 30lbs. of fat between ages 25 and 50. While a net gain of 15lbs. may not seem like that much, the shift in body composition lies beneath all the degenerative conditions typically associated with aging.
Faster movement unloads the muscles during parts of the repetition cycle (allowing them to momentarily rest) while overloading them during other parts of the cycle (risking injury) because of momentum involved. Slow movement eliminates momentum and makes your muscles work harder, providing better results in less time. Overloading muscles is essential to stimulate adaptive change; however, it is essential that exercise is performed within safe parameters. Slow motion allows greater control, improved mindfulness, and decreased joint impact.
Your muscles remain close to normal body temperature at all times, even if your skin feels cool to the touch. Contrary to popular belief, muscles don’t need to “warm-up.” By the time you start sweating, your muscles are already beyond their optimal operating temperature. Sweating is a sign you are overheating and will result in a decreased intensity of effort. Performing steady state exercise to warm the body uses up the body’s recovery resources and wastes your time. For best results and safety, it is desirable to begin and remain cool throughout your workout.
Stretching is not needed when proper exercise is performed through the maximum available pain-free range of motion. Stretching without resistance may actually compromise joint integrity and stability. Increasing your range of motion is also possible without sustained stretching when done with proper resistance.
You cannot exercise your heart in isolation. When you perform so-called “cardio” your heart responds to deliver more blood and oxygen to the working muscles. High quality muscle contractions mean plenty of cardiovascular stimulation is provided during intensity-based strength workouts, especially when performed with minimal rest between exercises. Contrary to popular opinion, increases in heart strength due to exercise are minimal and contribute little to your body’s efficient use of oxygen. While sustained “aerobic” activities increase your body’s ability to perform these specific movements, they do not stimulate muscle growth because they do not sufficiently fatigue your muscles. Most of the conditioning effect of exercise is the result of enhancing the muscle’s ability to utilize oxygen.
The risk of injury does not come from the effort involved but from forces associated with rapid acceleration, fast movement, and abrupt changes in speed or direction. In other words, injury results primarily from improper form or technique. We ensure you perform exercise properly and only progress resistance based on your proven ability.
As a general rule, most people require at least a full 24 hours recovery time before exercising again. Your instructor will recommend the ideal schedule for you. It is a good idea to work out as many as three times in the first week as you learn good form and your instructor determines your ideal resistance. Then you can decrease to twice a week and, in some cases, once a week. Keep in mind, the benefits of exercise can only occur when you are resting, not while you are exercising, so you must allow adequate recovery.
According to plenty of scientific research, there is no advantage to multiple sets. One set that fatigues your target muscles is all that is required to stimulate muscle growth. Research also demonstrates that the ideal time under tension should be 60 seconds to 90 seconds – approximately 75 to 80% of your maximum.
About 20 minutes. It takes only 1 to 2 minutes to fatigue the muscles during each of 6 to 10 exercises. That adds up to about 15 minutes under load. Add a minute or less to move to each successive exercise and you end up with a session of about 20 minutes in duration. Our sessions are scheduled for 30 minutes to allow time to answer questions and make any necessary adjustments.
Injury is always a possibility, but even less likely than with many common activities. We begin with relatively low resistance during the first workout and increase over the next few workouts until you are working with a meaningful load that you can safely handle. This usually involves somewhere between 3 and 8 repetitions for optimal stimulation. We also monitor you constantly for proper technique. The risk of injury is very low.
On the contrary, recreation is of great benefit psychologically and contributes greatly to quality of life. In fact, the purpose of training is to enhance your functional ability to enjoy these activities safely and competently. However, sustained activities, such as treadmill running, stationary cycling, stair-stepping, or other sustained activities, performed for the sole purpose of getting fit can actually undermine your strength and possibly endanger your health. Recreation is supposed to be fun. It is, however, no substitute for the hard work of proper exercise.