Resistance Training Wayne Larsen B.S. Exercise and Sports Science CSCS
What is Strength (Resistance)Training? • Training that applies resistance against the force created by a contracting (shortening) muscle • Goal is to gradually and progressively overload the musculature system so it gets stronger • Many ways to use gravitational forces to increase muscular tension through a range of motion
Ways to Strength Train • Machines • Free weights • Elastic resistance (bands, tubing, etc.) • Body weight • Suspension training (TRX) • Kettlebells • Ankle weights/hand weights
Who Should Strength Train? American College of Sports Medicine Position Statement “Resistance training should be an integral part of an adult fitness program and of sufficient intensity to enhance strength, muscular endurance, and maintain fat-free mass.” • Answer: YOU! (It’s not just for Wonder Woman and Super Man!!)
Benefits of Strength Training • Increased strength and function in daily life • Improved body composition • Increased metabolic rate • Increase bone density • Improve GI mobility • Decrease resting blood pressure • Improve blood lipids • Enhanced self confidence • Relieve depression • Increased strength of connective tissue • Decreased arthritic pain
Strength training and metabolism • Degenerative diseases assoc with aging are related to loss of muscle mass, strength (Evans & Rosenberg 1992) • The amount of muscle we have is the single biggest factor affecting metabolic rate • On average, lose ½ lb muscle/yr after age 30 • by age 50 that’s 10 lbs. of muscle gone! ..but which way did scale go?? • Rate of muscle mass loss doubles after age 50. (Nelson et al. 1994) • Muscle is metabolically active tissue – it burns calories while you sleep!
FITT Principle and Strength Training • Frequency: 2-3x/wk, on non-consecutive days • Intensity: expressed as a percentage of the 1repetition maximum, or the most you can lift in one rep (% 1-RM) • 60-70% 1RM =12-15 reps • 70-80% 1RM= 8-12 reps • 80-85% 1RM= 6-8 reps • Time: the number of sets • 1-3 sets of each exercise • Time commitment needed to improve less than for aerobic fitness • Type: lots of different types of resistance to try!
Basic Beginner Workout • Perform a proper warm-up • Do 1exercise for each major muscle group • Work in order of large muscles to small • Select weight you can do 12-15 reps each exercise • Start with 1 set per exercise • Allow 1-2 mins. rest between sets
Progression • After 4 weeks, increase load 5% • Build up to 8 -12 RM • When more than 8 -12 reps can be completed with good form, add another 5% to weight • Gradually increase the number of exercises per muscle group to 2-3 • Gradually increase # of sets to 3 • Vary routine often! use different exercises to train same muscle(s)
Progression • Periodization • process of structuring training into phases • causes muscle to continually adapt to new conditions and allow recovery from the stress of training • Example: 4-week cycles • Increase volume / intensity for 3 wks, then recover for 1 wk Week 3 Week 5 Week 2 Week 4 Week 1 Training Volume
Proper form is the KEY • Proper breathing – Exhale on the Effort • Proper technique = recruiting desired muscles • Watch demo • Learn each movement before using any weight • Use mirrors to keep an eye on your technique • Always use full movement range • Control speed as you lift AND lower weight • Don’t use momentum • Work negative(eccentric) as well as positive (concentric) phase of movement) • Proper posture and stabilization • Every exercise can be a core exercise! • Watch grip • Caution with carpal tunnel, osteoarthritis, etc.
Free weights vs. machines – which is best? • Advantages of free weights: • simulate motor unit recruitment patterns that occur during performance more closely than machines • Inexpensive and convenient for home use • Allow for greater variety of exercises • Accommodate individuals of any body size
Free weights vs. machines–which is best? Disadvantages of free weights: • Safety issue, especially for novices • Requires spotters • Requires more skill • Cumbersome to change weights /resistance
Free weights vs. machines–which is best? • Advantages of machines (“selectorized”) • Can isolate specific muscle easier and more effectively • Simple to use • Safe - do not need a spotter • Can change resistance quickly • Disadvantages of machines • Expensive • Limited availability • Limited number of exercises/machine • Don’t develop inter-muscular coordination • Minimal effect on core stabilizing muscles
Myth #1: Women and Strength Training • “But I don’t want big, bulky muscles!!” • REALITY: you won’t get them! • Muscle tissue denser than fat, so takes up less space • You get smaller, not bigger, as you gain muscle and lose fat • Testosterone is necessary for hypertrophy • Hypertrophy takes lifting near-maximal loads at low reps • More common to lift too LITTLE weight!
Myth #2: Spot reducing • “If I do leg-lifts, it will burn the fat off my thighs” • Reality: exercises that focus on a certain area will build tone and endurance of those muscles, but won’t burn localized fat • Study on tennis players arms • Univ of Mass: 13 males, vigorous abdominal training program for 1 month (>5000 sit-ups) • Fat biopsies from abdomen, back, and hips showed no change in fat lost off abdomen
Myth #3: Muscle turns tofat • “If I stop lifting weights, all the muscle I developed will turn into fat!” • Reality: muscle and fat tissue are separate tissues, and are NOT inter-changeable • If calorie consumption stays constant as your lean mass atrophies due to disuse and your metabolism slows, you will store excess as fat tissue…..but fat is not flabby muscle
Compound vs. Isolation exercises • Compound exercises are key ingredient in today’s “functional fitness” programs • Multi-joint, multiple muscles involved a large movement pattern used in real-life • Usually performed with free weights/minimal equipment, weight–bearing (closed chain) • No external stability; activation of core musculature is required to maintain posture
Benefits of Compound Exercises • Using more muscle groups… • improves posture, coordination, reaction time and balance • means more calories burned during exercise • simulates real-world exercises and activities • gives you a full body workout in less time • improves joint stability • may decrease injury risk • allows you to lift heavier loads
Isolation Exercises • Isolation exercises work only one muscle or group, and one joint, at a time • Usually done on commercial weight machines in gym • Move from one machine to next until work your “whole” body • Activation of core not as great, as external support for posture (spine) is provided • Used in physical therapy to correct specific muscle weakness or imbalance after injury
Examples of Isolation Exercises • bicep curls • tricep kickbacks • leg extensions • hamstring curls
Compound vs. Isolation Exercises • Isolation easier to perform correctly • Isolation good way to target specific weakness, or emphasize a specific muscle • Most exercise programs include both • As fitness level increases, include MORE compound movements for the most efficient and functional routine
Myth #4: Strength training and hypertension • “I’ll get high blood pressure if I lift heavy weights” • Reality: BP spikes quickly during a heavy lift, then returns to normal in between • Avoid the Valsalva manuever (forced expiration against a closed glottis) to minimize increases in blood pressure • Chronic hypertension is culprit in CAD; studies show regular strength training lowers resting BP
Myth #5: Strength training & flexibility • “Strength training decreases flexibility - I don’t want to be muscle-bound!” • Reality: strength training can actually improve flexibility • Be sure to go through your full range of motion on every exercise!
Myth #6: Stretch to warm-up • “Stretching is the best thing to do during a warm-up” • Reality: low-level aerobic exercises a more effective way to increase circulation and muscle temperature • Increasing muscle temperature is the most important element in preparing for resistance training • Stretching is most effective at increasing flexibility when a warm muscle is cooling (after your workout)