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Strength training, compounding the benefits

Strength training enables you to engage in other activities more often and longer than had you not strength trained. You'll to enjoy life more and play longer and more often. Additonally, You will suffer less injuries. Engaging in activities longer and more often compounds the benefits derived from strength training creating a virtuous cycle.

Examples:

Carole lived with constant back pain. Her back pain disappeared shortly after she began strength training. Three years later she was still going strong attending dance classes with people half her age. The additional activity of dance classes contributed positively to her health as well.

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The best thing you can do for your brain - exercise

“There’s a lot of hype in this field in terms of brain improvement. I did set out to find out what actually works and what we know. What we do with our bodies has a huge impact on our brains. Our brains are more like our hearts in that everything you do for your heart is thought to be equally as good or better for your brain. Exercise is the best studied thing you can do to your brain. It increases brain volume, produces new baby brain cells in grownup brains. Even when our muscles contract, it produces growth chemicals. Using your body can help your brain.” From the NYT article, The Talents of a Middle-Aged Brain.

A strong body and a strong mind can be obtained through exercise. Prior blog entries dealing with cognitive decline and exercise:

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High Intensity Interval Training Lowers Blood Sugar

[Lief, one of our clients' has gone from five insulin shots a day down to one. He has been training with us for about four years. His video testimonial is on this page.]

Short, intense bursts of activity to mini workouts seemed better able to metabolize sugars – from this article Brief Brief, intense exercise lowers blood sugar:

"Small, new study found that 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week -- a total exercise time of 75 minutes a week with warm-up and cool-down included -- could lower blood sugar levels for 24 hours after exercise, and help prevent post-meal blood sugar spikes in people with type 2 diabetes.

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Living without back pain or living with it

There are many changes that come from exercise - increases in strength, stamina, body leanness, speed, and flexibility – that can be measured. Changes that cannot be accurately measured include the decreased likelihood of injury and the attendant pain and how well you feel. The right exercise can result in an increase in one’s quality of life. In some cases it can be dramatically life changing. As trainers this is the most rewarding result we experience with clients.

One client: “ A year ago at this time I was experiencing frequent bouts of aches and pains in my neck, shoulders, and back. I figured it was just part of growing older. Since I started strength training last January, these problems have gone away. Amazing!”

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More results in eight weeks than I had in three years.

Number sixteen in a series about what clients have to say about their workouts.

Barbi was an avid runner. She began
strength training eight weeks ago. Barbi had this to say, “I have had more results in eight weeks than in three years working out with another trainer”.

With strength training in order to produce a change the body has to perform more work than it is used to handling. Then, given adequate time to recover and adequate nutrition, the body adapts as a form of self-protection by becoming stronger.

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What is E.P.O.C?

The Wikipedia definition of EPOC : “Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity.”

Anaerobic exercise increases EPOC more than aerobic exercise does. Resistance exercise (strength training) is primarily anaerobic. Circuit resistance training produces the largest EPOC response.

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Less frequent exercise can be better - a personal experience

When I first began lifting weights I worked out every other day - Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday - repeat - and I never missed for five straight months.  The sessions were with a personal trainer, and accurate records were kept.

Soon my progress stopped. I was particularly stuck with bicep curls just barely achieving eight reps each time for five months. Twice during that time I got nine reps on that one exercise; I likened it to a religious experience – achieving beyond the realm of normal.  The workouts during this time were grueling, as I was hell bent on breaking through a plateau.

I went home for Christmas.  It had been more than a week since my last workout when I found a health club with the very same line of equipment I had been using. I thought surely I would be weaker. I was shocked to find that I was stronger. On the bicep curls I got eleven reps, not the usual eight. I had no explanation for it.

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Lowering metabolic syndrome risk factors, which type of exercise is most effective?

A study designed to test the efficacy of exercise in lowering metabolic risk factors consisted of three groups.  One group used a less-intense regimen called “moderate continuous-training” (CME). Another group did not exercise, and the third group used a high-intensity aerobic-interval training for four months.
From this article High-intensity exercise better at improving metabolic syndrome risk factors the results:

“• Short bursts of high-intensity exercise, rather than longer spells of moderate-intensity, exercise may improve the health of people with metabolic syndrome.

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Healthy Hearts and Strength Training

Is strength training safe for cardiovascular health and is it healthy? You might be surprised by the results of one study. From this study, Strength Training Early After Myocardial Infarction, comes this quote:

“For the three treatment groups, 30 of 42 subjects had one or more cardiovascular complication (arrhythmias, angina, ischemia, hypertension, hypotension) during the aerobic exercises as compared to only 1 subject with complications during the resistive exercises.”

 An interesting result that speaks for itself - 30 complications for aerobic rehab versus one for resistance exercise rehab.

Another quote from the study:

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Best method for reversing the the aging process

Our bodies undergo many changes that can be reversed with proper strength training. Wearing glasses, dying one’s hair, or applying creams for age marks have their place, but nothing compares to the long list of benefits from high intensity interval training for strength:

1. Base Metabolic Rate (metabolism) decreases. Those who are stronger can have the metabolism they had when they were twenty years younger. More muscle requires more calories.

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