The New Face of Strength Training
In years past, strength training exercises were often thought of as activity limited to those programmed to devour red meat at rates that would make a carnivore proud. However, fitness trends change and more people have discovered the longterm benefits associated with its use.
Strength training is not limited to the young or “able bodied.” It is often prescribed to seniors and others seeking recovery from chronic conditions. It is more than “iron pumping” bragging rights. It is a lifetime prescription that will significantly improve daily activity.
Benefits of Strength Training
Rarely was weight lifting thought to be a vehicle for weight loss. However, it is a very viable means. Not only does it improve muscle integrity, but it also incinerates fat and raises the resting metabolism or the rate at which the body burns calories at rest. Yet, it spares the body of the muscle consuming effect of standard, cardiovascular exercise.
Weight training also spikes growth hormone levels for hours after the workout. As we get older, hormone production slows and physical changes associated with age begin to occur. Increased levels of growth hormone can slow these changes. In part, this is why older people committed to lifetime fitness appear more energetic and younger than non-exercising counterparts.
Testosterone is the hormone associated with strength and male vigor. Like growth hormone, its decrease with age causes many unwanted side effects in men. Increased fat, decreased muscle, hair loss and erectile dysfunction are but a few. Post exercise response can increase levels for more than an hour. However, associated weight loss can increase levels permanently.
Strength Training Exercises
Compound exercise movements are most effective when strength training. These include movements requiring several major muscle groups for proper execution. The deadlift, squat, pull up, chest press and standing shoulder press are favorites among the list. If outdoor activity is your thing, hill sprints are a great way to improve strength, endurance and overall appearance. Kiss the inner/outer thigh machine goodbye.
These movements are complex and must be learned with proper technique to prevent injury. They place great oxygen demand upon the body and will significantly increase strength and appearance in a short amount of time.
Eating for Strength
Working muscles need fuel. Therefore, strength exercise to lose weight must be accompanied by balanced, healthy eating. Fad diets need not apply. Not only will they hinder results, but they only provide temporary solutions to the problem. Balanced eating remains key and organic foods, specifically, continue to garner much attention as the preferred choice for many, health conscious Americans.
Eating organic helps you lose weight in that it typically contains less starch, sugar and pesticides when compared to conventional counterparts. While not affecting the weight of adult populations, pesticides are known to have possible effects when predicting future obesity in children. Organic foods also contain no synthetic hormones or genetic modifiers designed to improve color, taste or shelf life.