Here is my notes from a seminar we did at The River in November. These are just notes, not an organized written work meant to be published. I am putting it up here due to many members wanting to see the notes because they weren’t at the seminar.
Benefits of Strength Training
1) Potential to build back lost muscle tissue.
**Research shows that adult men and women lose more than 5 lbs of lean body tissue mostly muscle every decade of life due to disuse. (Forbes 1976; Evans and Rosenberg 1992). See Attached Table.
Average American Woman’s Change in Body Composition During Midlife Years
Age 20 30 40 50
Bodyweight (lbs) 126 136 146 156
Muscle Weight (lbs) 45 40 35 30
Fat Weight (lbs) 29 44 59 74
Percent Fat (%) 23 32 40 47
**Regular aerobic activity is good for overall health it does little to prevent deterioration of skeletal muscle.
**A Study of elite middle-aged runners the subjects lost about five pounds of muscle over a 10 year period in spite of their extensive aerobic routine. (Pollock et al.1987).
**Muscles are the engines of our bodies. Muscle loss has profound impact on our bodies. Loss of muscle is like going from an 8 cylinder engine to a four cylinder.
Engine size is closely associated with fuel utilization. Less muscle tissue is largely responsible for a slower metabolic rate.
**Progressive reduction in muscle is largely responsible for a decline in metabolism by 2-5% per decade (Keyes, Taylor, and Grande 1973; Evans and Rosenberg 1992).
**When metabolism slows, calories that were previously used as fuel by muscle tissue are now being stored as bodyfat. Many times weight gain we call CREEPING OBESITY is typically due to fewer calories being expended rather than more being consumed.
**Dieting alone will not solve the problem. Dieting will exacerbate the problem. Extreme dieting will cause more muscle wasting.
**If losing muscle is a basic problem, then adding back should be the logical solution. Is it possible to build back lost muscle tissue? ABSOLUTELY!!
Many studies have shown that both strength and muscle tissue can be rebuilt at ANY AGE. (Frontera et al. 1988; Fiatarone et al. 1990; Campbell et al. 1994; Wescott and Guy 1996).
2) Build back lost muscle tissue
3) Losing bodyfat
4) Raising Resting metabolic rate.
5) Increasing daily energy expenditure
**Tufts University Study
Campbell and colleagues (1994)
After 12 weeks of strength training 30 minutes 3 days per week. 12 senior men and women added about 3 pounds of lean muscle tissue, lost about 4 pounds of fat, raised their resting met rate by 7 percent and increased their daily expenditure by 15 %. That’s 3 months of relatively brief training sessions that allowed them burn 350 more calories per day and lose bodyfat and gain back muscle.
6) Men and Women of all ages can increase their bone mineral density through strength training. Studies with senior men (Menkes et al. 1993) and senior women (Nelson et al. 1994) shown significant gains in bone mineral density. Indicating a reduce risk of osteoporosis.
7) Enhanced Glucose metabolism that may reduce the risk of adult onset diabetes. Research at the University of Maryland (Hurley 1994) showed a 23 percent improvement in glucose metabolism after 4 months of strength training.
8) 56% increase in gastrointestinal transit speed following 3 months of strength training. Which may reduce risk of colon cancer. University of Maryland (Koffler et al. 1993)
9) Significantly reduced low back pain with properly performed strength exercise. University of Florida (Risch et al. 1993)
10) Alleviate Arthritic Discomfort. Despite common belief proper exercise can relieve joint pain. Tufts University (1994).
11) In addition to physiological benefits strength exercise has many psychological benefits. Harvard University showed significant physchological improvements from s. exercise (Singh, Clements, and Fiatarone 1997) After 12 weeks of strength training 14 of 16 no longer met criteria of clinical depression.
Large Scale Study Conducted By (Westcott and Guy 1996)
1,132 participants in this study. Ages 21-80 years old.
8 week program 2-3 strength training session per week at 30 minutes.
Young adults lost 4.9 lbs of fat weight and added 2.3 pounds of lean tissue
Middle Aged adults lost 4.4 lbs of fat, added 2.3 lbs of lean tissue
Older Adults lost 4.1 lbs of fat weight and added 2.4 lbs of lean tissue.
**During this study participants showed a significant reduction in resting blood pressure.
** Basic finding that older strength trainees replaced muscle tissue at the same rate as the younger participants.
**Bottom Line Strength Training is Good For All ages and Vital to preserving the body through aging.
Myths Associated With Strength Training
1) Women Can’t Get Strong. Not True. Women can improve muscular strength at the same rate men can. Women must train for muscular strength.
2) Strength Training Definizes Women. Not True. Proper strength training has way to many health benefits to ignore it.
3) Lifting weights causes Bulky Muscles. Not True. The introduction of steroids into our society has caused this myth. The overwhelming majority of women simply don’t have the genetic potential to do this. Women don’t have significant amounts of testosterone which is a hormone largely responsible.
4) Strength training will make you Muscle Bound. Not True. Strength Training will if anything improve flexibility by strengthening muscles surrounding all joints.
5) More is Better. Not True. Better is Better and we have shown that small amounts of strength exercise can have a dramatic impact on body composition.
6) No Pain, No Gain. Not true. You may have some soreness after a training session. However, strength training should never cause pain in a joint. Change is necessary.
7) Muscles can turn to fat. Muscle and bodyfat are 2 different substances. You can either lose muscle or gain muscle or lose fat or gain fat. Explain the 4 processes
8) Strength training must be complex.
9) Strength Training is for young people. Already addressed.
11 Most Productive Movements
1) Flat Dumbbell Press or Machine Press or Slight Incline Press Less than 45 %
2) Overhead Press- Dumbbell Overhead Press / Shoulder Press
3) Overhead Pulling/ Pulldown/Pullup
4) Horizontal Pulling/ Rows Dumbbell/ Chest Supported Rows
5) Curls/ Seated Dumbbell Curls/ Bench Curls etc
6) Tricep Pushdowns/ Tricep Extension Variations
7) Squating/ Leg Presses and Variations
8) Lunges / Walking and Stationary Dumbbells Preferred
9) Standing Calf Raises Variations
10) Basic Floor Crunch or Crunch Machine and Variations
Posterior Chain (Spinal Erectors, Hamstrings, Glutes)
10) Back Extension, (Dead lift Variation if safe for you)
Lateral Raises for Lateral Deltoids
Seated Calf Raises for Soleus Muscles of the lower leg
Warm Up Protocol.
Biggest mistakes I see is folks wasting potential energy with their warm-ups.
Example Upper Body Flat Dumbbell Press
Working Resistance 80 lb dumbbells for 3 sets of 8 reps.
Start Warmup with 40 lbs for 8-10 reps, then move to 50 lbs for 5-6 reps, then move to 60 lbs for 4-5 reps, then 70 lbs for 2 reps or so. At this point you should be ready to go.
Example Lower Body Warm up
Leg Press working resistance with 5 plates per side for 3 sets of 20 reps.
Warmup with 1 plate for 10-15 reps, then 2 plates for 8-10 reps 3 plates for 6-8 reps and 4 plates for 4-6 reps, Then go.
Total Working Sets For Upper Body
Per Exercise I think for body composition purposes at least 3-5 sets per movement. If you are training at or close to failure per set.
Total Working Sets For Lower body
Per Exercise again I think 3-5 sets per movement. If you are training at or close to failure per set.
Rep ranges, Exercises, Ranges of motion that will allow you to not damage joints or the body in any way. Some folks can’t squat or dlift due to lever lengths mechanics etc. Give example of rep ranges with my rehab.
One of the biggest mistakes controlling reps but not to slow. Balanced approach to rep speed. Balanced approach to training.
Repetitions For Upper Body
Generally speaking lower rep ranges are of value. Definitely below 10 has extreme value. Due to upper body tends to have a higher percentage of FT muscle fibers not always.
Repetitions For Lower Body
Generally Speaking slightly higher rep ranges may be more valuable. Above 10 reps. Our lower bodies have a lot more total muscle tissue and more of the IM muscle fibers and ST muscle fibers.
Frequency of Training
2-3 days per week on non consecutive days.
Muscle Group Recovery
Measure recovery with progress.
Volume and Intensity would determine Frequency. You have 2 choices. 1) Train Muscle Groups more frequently with limited volume and intensity 2) Train with high volume/ intensity and train at a lower frequency.
Limit Training time to under 1 hour. Preferable under 45 minutes. To much exercise can cause adrenal fatigue and a cascade of destructive hormones. Namely cortisol and a decrease in testosterone in men.
You can’t expect your body to change if you aren’t pushing yourself to either lift a heavier resistance or increase the number of reps with the same resistance. Basic progression.
Another way to progress may be through increasing the amount of work in a given time. Which would be to increase workout density. An Example would be how many pushups or pull-ups can you do in 5 minutes. Record and try to beat next time.
You must learn to listen to your body. Learn which exercises are good for you and which exercises do not harm joints.
Upper Body 1
Flat Dumbbell Press 3-4 sets of 10 – 15 reps
Pulldowns 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Shoulder Press 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Dumbbell Rows 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Seated Dumbbell Curls 3-4 sets of 10 -15 reps
Rope Tricep Pushdowns 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Lower Body 1
Leg Presses 3-4 sets of 20-25 reps
Walking Lunges 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps per leg
Back Extensions 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps
Standing Calf Raises 4 sets of 20 per leg
Floor Crunches 4 sets of 20 reps
Upper Body 2
Incline Dumbbell Presses 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
Pulldowns 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
Lateral Raises 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
Chest Supported Rows 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
Alternating Dumbbell Curls 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
Tricep Extensions 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
Lower Body 2
Dumbbell Squats 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
Stationary Lunges 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps per leg
Back Extensions 3 sets of 15-20 reps
Standing Calf Raises 4 sets of 15-20 per leg
Seated Calf Raises 2 sets of 20 reps
Crunches 2 sets of 20 reps
Perform this workout on M W and F or T R and Sa
Upper 1 Monday
Lower 1 Wednesday
Upper 2 Friday
Lower 2 Monday
Upper 1 Wednesday
Upper 2 Friday
Day 1 Monday
Flat Dumbbell Presses 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Incline Dumbbell Presses 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Presses 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Lateral Raises 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Rope Pushdowns 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Dumbbell Extensions 1 arm 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Day 2 Wednesday
Leg presses 4-5 sets of 20-25 reps
Walking Lunges 3 sets of 10 reps per leg
Hamstrings, low back
Back Extensions 3 sets of 15-20 reps
Standing Calf Raises 3 sets of 20 reps per leg
Seated Calf Raises 3 sets of 15-20 reps
Crunches 3 sets of 20 reps
Day 3 Friday
Pulldowns or pull-ups 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
Chest Supported Rows 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Posterior Deltoid Raises 2 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell Shrugs 2 sets of 20 reps
Seated Dumbbell Curls 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Bench Curls 3 sets of 8-10 reps
I do believe changing routines can be very valuable. However, I think your training should be consistent for at least 8-12 weeks then possible changing to another routine. I like to think I have milked my training dry of all the benefits before moving to something else. Very often folks change too soon not realizing that the change was done in the midst of their best results.
Taking time off
Taking time off from training is quite valuable. I have found taking5-7 days off training every 8-10 weeks to be very beneficial.