Strength

What is Strength Training?

Our bodies function at their best when we optimize our lean muscle mass. How do we increase our lean muscle mass? Strength training! A lot of people who have been to traditional gyms have preconceived notions of what strength training is. Many people picture muscle shirts, clanging weights, and lots of grunting. Don’t worry, strength training is for everybody, and there are many ways to accomplish this goal.
The foundation of strength training is that we challenge our bodies using resistance. This resistance can come in a lot of different forms: weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells), resistance bands and TRX, and even your own body-weight. The important thing is that you challenge your muscles adequately.
In traditional strength training, we map our workouts using sets and reps. Each move is a rep, and the moves completed in succession without a break are a set. A well designed strength workout challenges you to the point that the last several reps of a set are difficult to complete. It is very important to use a heavy enough weight to reach this point of muscle fatigue. Don’t worry- lifting heavy weights does not make you bigger! It makes you stronger, speeds up your metabolism, and gives you countless health benefits. Many studies have demonstrated concrete benefits of adding strength training to your program. Benefits include: increased bone density, injury prevention, decreased cholesterol, and better weight management than cardio alone.
Currently, American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 2-3 non-consecutive days of strength training per week. The rest day in between these sessions is important for muscle recovery. How do you get started? As discussed above, to see the benefits of strength training you have to challenge your body. To do this in a safe and effective way, I recommend personal training or Targeted Strength and Conditioning as a starting place. Targeted Strength and Conditioning is a focused program that will progress you in a safe and effective manner. It is appropriate for all levels and is conducted in a small group environment. Time to get strong!

Small Group Personal Training is taking off!

The Small Group Training (SGT) Program is an exciting new option being offered for those that want to take their fitness to the next level. These SGT programs consist of specifically designed training sessions to help people learn how to safely, effectively and efficiently meet their goals within a supportive small group environment.

The SGT participants are able to set specific goals for themselves personally and as a group. The small group atmosphere combines the great motivation and camaraderie of group exercise with the custom designed training progression previously only available through personal training. Each session improves upon the last by utilizing an end of session de-briefing to reinforce skills and move forward in our training goals. Because of the personalized attention, the group can more quickly progress towards their goals and utilize a wider variety of exercises, including compound strength training moves and agility drills, than can be taught in a larger class setting. This results in an extremely effective work-out that is safe, fun, and challenging.

Not only are the customized sessions designed for you and the other group members, just as you would find in a personal training session, we are putting an emphasis on making your body stronger, improving your cardiovascular fitness, and increasing the caloric expenditure like never before. We offer six sessions throughout our Spring Schedule, as well as arrange private group sessions outside the scheduled time.  The biggest “value” to our customers participating in this specialized program offering is that the client receives a customized progression developed specifically for the group. This type of customized progression allows goal attainment that cannot be found within a general group exercise class, otherwise only found in Personal Training.

Justin, Katie, and Jay are all experienced Certified Personal Trainers who excel at designing effective exercise progressions.  All take great pride in conducting up-to-date research and custom designing each and every workout to best meet the individual and group needs.  Grab another member, a friend, a colleague, and get in the best shape of your life!

9 Reasons Everyone Should Lift Weights

#1: You’re Happier

Yes, exercise of any kind gets the positive endorphins running through your body, but lifting weights seems to have an increased advantage on your overall stress level. Why? Lots of reasons, described below!

 

#2: You’re More Useful

You were born with a great affinity to do something. You may be gifted to argue cases in court, cook an amazing meal, or keep cool while caring for a dozen 5-year-olds. Lifting weights helps you perform functional tasks better. One of the things we hear most is how much better people feel after initiating a proper strength training routine. It truly can be life-changing.

Suddenly, you’re not stuck waiting for help when a demanding task is put in front of you. Instead, you bend at the knees and get to work.

 

#3: You Get Focused

If you’ve ever struggled with trying to figure out what to do at the gym, we’re here to help. Don’t be afraid to ask how to best compliment some of what you do, outside of Energia. That includes lifting weights, using machines, etc. As your strength and the amount of weight you lift increase, intense focus and proper education is required to avoid injury. This focus and mindbody awareness in the gym—if you let it—will carry over into your non-gym activities.

 

#4: Your Body

Push yourself hard enough and your body will amaze you constantly. But your physique isn’t the only beneficiary of resistance training. Lifting helps your body fend off illnesses and injury by helping you shed unwanted pounds, lowering your blood pressure, improving your heart function, and more.

 

#5: You Do the Impossible

When you start any resistance training program, you can’t imagine lifting any more than you do in your first session. Three weeks later, you’ve already passed the impossible mark. By doing this over and over, you pick up a mental toughness and confidence that will aid you in all areas of life.

 

#6: You Eat Better

Have you been struggling to keep your daily calorie count down? Nothing helps you stay in line better than working out. Your regular weight-lifting routine makes you more aware of what you put in your body, making it easier to say “No” to those temptations that are always around the corner.

 

#7: Your Bones Get Stronger

While the first thing you may notice after lifting weights is stronger muscles, your bones are also secretly gaining strength at the same time. Since the risk of osteoporosis and broken bones only increases as you age, guarding against them with weight lifting only makes sense!

 

#8: Your Balance Improves

Staying on your feet may not be an issue today, but as you age, it will become one of your top priorities. This is especially true considering how often elderly people lose their balance and wind up with life-altering broken bones. Lifting weights at any age will give you a balance boost that will last throughout your life.

 

#9: Your Brain Function Increases

Believe it or not, people who lift weights aren’t the meatheads they’re made out to be. Quite the opposite. Research has proven that lifting weights actually has the power to improve your brain’s ability to do its job. Your metabolism sure likes it too.

 

Reach your fitness potential faster by coupling your good diet with a challenging exercise program. We’re here to motivate, instruct and encourage you to reach your goal.

 

Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will truly improve your quality of life. It’s the perfect time of year to do so!

Eliminating the Confusion – Everyday fitness definitions for beginners

Metabolism – The sum of all physiological processes in which matter is produced, maintained, and destroyed. The ability to burn and utilize energy (calories) is a factor of metabolism.

Calorie Deficit – The difference between the amount of calories you take in and the amount of calories you burn. If you create a daily deficit of 500 calories, you are on track to lose one pound of body fat per week.

Body Mass Index – A comparison of weight to height used to estimate body fatness. It does not, however, distinguish between fat and fat free mass (muscle). Thus, someone with lots of muscle may be falsely represented as ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’.

Basal or Resting Metabolic Rate – The amount of energy you expend just functioning from day-to-day. This number does not reflect any type of physical activity whatsoever. It is generally represented in calories.

Strength Training – Using an external load while isolating different areas of the body, to evoke a muscle response and adaptation over time.

Interval Training – Strength and conditioning using intervals of time rather than a set number of repetitions. A great way to mix in cardio with your strength training!

Repetitions – A rep is a single isolated movement from start to finish. Generally, any given number of repetitions forms a set.

Compound Set – Performing two exercises within the same muscle group with little or no rest in between.

Superset – Performing two exercises of opposing muscle groups with little or no rest in between.

 

 

Maintenance Mode – Initiating a strength training program post weight loss

Gone are the days of eating 1200-1500 calories, struggling to create a daily deficit that will allow the scale to budge. You’ve lost the weight. By now, you’ve adapted to eating 5+ meals per day, you’re making good choices, and you understand the meaning of portion control. Now, it’s important to begin to identify new goals for yourself. To keep the weight off, it’s essential that you continue to strength train. Doing so will facilitate further increases in metabolism and will ultimately allow you to eat more while sustaining your weight. How much more? We will work on this in a few. The most important thing to remember is that your body, your muscles need these calories to thrive. If you’re coming off of a program in which your goal was to lose at least 1 pound of body fat per week, you’ll automatically be consuming a minimum of 500 calories more than you were before. Those looking to increase muscle mass will generally require an additional few hundred calories/day on top of that. All of a sudden that 1200 calorie diet turned into an almost 2000 calorie ‘diet’ just like that. Scary right? It doesn’t have to be.

 

Let’s work it another way. The most essential nutrient for sustaining and building muscle mass is protein. Protein requirements for sedentary individuals are typically seen between .6 and .8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. Since we aren’t sedentary, we won’t worry too much about these numbers.  A more active adult may require up to 1 gram/kilogram or .55 grams of protein per pound. For a 150 pound individual, the protein requirement is roughly 82.5 grams. Time for a little math…

Protein has an energy density of 4 calories per gram.

82.5 grams of protein x 4 calories per gram yields 330 total protein calories.

The average active adult should consume roughly 20% of their daily intake in protein alone.

Multiply the total number of protein calories by 5 (20% x 5 = 100%) to determine your estimated caloric intake. In this case, 330 total protein calories x 5 = 1650 calories, which represents your total daily allowance.

 

For those looking to increase muscle mass, protein requirements are even higher. Research has shown that requirements increase up to 1.4 grams/kg or .64 grams/pound (sometimes even higher in strength athletes). For that same 150 pound individual, using the same equation yields a total daily expenditure of 1920 calories. So there you have it, a range of 1650 – 1920 calories, depending on goals (plus a little extra when you exercise!).

 

How about the other nutrients? Carbohydrates, like protein, have an energy density of 4 calories per gram. Fat is more than double at a whopping 9 calories per gram! Alcohol is the only other energy yielding substance (not a nutrient) and produces 7 calories for each gram, still more than carbs and protein. In any case, recommendations are typically to sustain a total fat intake of less than 30% of your daily allowance. Using the example above and a daily fat intake of 25%, you get 412.5 total fat calories. Divide this by 9 calories per gram and you are looking at a daily allowance of about 45 grams of fat. Still try and stay away from saturated and trans fatty acids as much as you can. Finally, running the same breakdown for a daily carbohydrate intake of 55% (the remainder), you get 907.5 total carbohydrate calories or approximately 227 grams.

 

Estimate of average energy requirements for an active, 150 lb adult to sustain muscle mass:

1650 calories on non-exercising days*

200-300 extra calories on strength days*

83 grams of protein*

45 grams of fat*

227 grams of carbohydrate*

 

If you made it this far, I applaud you! Email me with questions or for help in estimated daily requirements. You can also check out the BMR calculator in the ‘fitness tools’ section of the personal training tab.

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