Category Archives: weight-training

Strength Training Benefits More Than Muscles – Harvard

While eat less; move more; live longer is the mantra of this blog, I hasten to add that strength training should be an integral part of that move more aspect. Harvard HEALTHbeat has come out with a new publication on strength and power training.

Here’s what Harvard has to say on the subject: “Most of us know that strength training (with free weights, weight machines, or resistance bands) can help build and maintain muscle mass and strength. What many of us don’t know is that strong muscles lead to strong bones. And strong bones can help minimize the risk of fracture due to osteoporosis.

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“A combination of age-related changes, inactivity, and poor nutrition conspire to steal bone mass at the rate of 1% per year after age 40. As bones grow more fragile and susceptible to fracture, they are more likely to break after even a minor fall or a far less obvious stress, such as bending over to tie a shoelace.

“Osteoporosis should be a concern for all of us. Eight million women and two million men in the United States have osteoporosis. It is now responsible for more than two million fractures a year, and experts expect that number will rise. Hip fractures are usually the most serious. Six out of 10 people who break a hip never fully regain their former level of independence. Even walking across a room without help may be impossible.”

I have written several posts on osteoporosis. You can read further on the subject here: What Can I do to Prevent Osteoporosis? An Early Sign of Osteoporosis? Are Men Vulnerable to Osteoporosis as Well as Women? Continue reading

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Weight-bearing exercises protect against osteoporosis – Study

Just two days ago I posted on older men being at risk of osteoporosis. “As I reported here, after the age of 50 men are as likely to get osteoporosis as prostate cancer. More to the point, older people of both sexes have great vulnerability to it.”

Now comes a new study that explains how weight-bearing exercises affect our bone structure and fight that disease.

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Osteoporosis affects more than 200 million people worldwide and is a serious public health concern, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Now, Pamela Hinton, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, has published the first study in men to show that long-term, weight-bearing exercises decrease sclerostin, a protein made in the bone, and increase IGF-1, a hormone associated with bone growth. These changes promote bone formation, increasing bone density. Continue reading

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7 Tips for successful weight training – Harvard

Although I don’t consider it fun, I realize that weight training is a necessity for living a healthy life and keeping my body working.

Here are seven tips from Harvard Medical School that my brother passed along to me.

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“Strength or resistance training challenges your muscles with a stronger-than-usual counterforce, such as pushing against a wall or lifting a dumbbell or pulling on a resistance band. Using progressively heavier weights or increasing resistance makes muscles stronger. This kind of exercise increases muscle mass, tones muscles, and strengthens bones. It also helps you maintain the strength you need for everyday activities — lifting groceries, climbing stairs, rising from a chair, or rushing for the bus.

“The current national guidelines for physical activity recommend strengthening exercises for all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms) at least twice a week. One set — usually 8 to 12 repetitions of the same movement — per session is effective, though some evidence suggests that two to three sets may be better. Your muscles need at least 48 hours to recover between strength training sessions.

These seven tips can keep your strength training safe and effective.

1    Warm up and cool down for five to 10 minutes. Walking is a fine way to warm up; stretching is an excellent way to cool down. Continue reading

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Heavier weight not crucial for muscle growth – Study

I am a senior citizen as regular readers know. So, sometimes, I need to scale down exercises to be appropriate for me. There is nothing sadder than an injury sustained while exercising and trying to make yourself healthier.

So, I was pleased to read of the new research from McMaster University is challenging traditional workout wisdom, suggesting that lifting lighter weights many times is as efficient as lifting heavy weights for fewer repetitions.

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Thankfully, you don’t need to mimic Arnold to build your muscles.

 It is the latest in a series of studies that started in 2010, contradicting the decades-old message that the best way to build muscle is to lift heavy weights.

“Fatigue is the great equalizer here,” says Stuart Phillips, senior author on the study and professor in the Department of Kinesiology.  “Lift to the point of exhaustion and it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light.” Continue reading

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How Much Weight Should You Lift?

Although the question of how much weight you should lift is a simple one, the answer isn’t so simple. A lot depends on why you are lifting. Do you want to build strength, or just build muscle size?

Bill Geiger, MA, of Bodybuilding.com writes, “You can pick up a 20-pound bar, curl it 75 times, and, after a while, you’ll become fatigued and your arms will get pumped. You’ll certainly be sweating a lot. Conversely, you can pick up an 85-pound bar, curl it 8 times, then have to drop it because you can’t do any more reps. In both cases, you trained “hard.” But is one approach better than another?

It may surprise you to learn that the answer changes depending on your goal. If you’re looking to get as strong as possible, you’ll be using a heavier weight than someone who is trying to get as big as possible. And to improve muscular endurance, you’ll use an even lighter weight.

• Strength training means choosing weights that allow you to train in a rep range of 1-6.
• Building muscle mean choosing weights that allow you to train in a rep range of 8-12.
• Focusing on muscular endurance means choosing weights that allow you to train for at least 15 reps.

As a senior citizen, I need to lift weights as much as the next guy, but I do not want to break or tear anything. So, I observe the following rule, the weights should not exceed 30 percent to 40 percent of your normal body weight.

The above is NOT Tony about to lift that barbell

Lifting heavy weights compresses the discs of the spine; twisting and turning while lifting or using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift large, heavy objects can lead to a herniated disk and a lifetime of back pain. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should not exercise with more than 60 pounds of weights because as you age, the spinal discs are not as flexible and the risk of a back injury increases.

I mentioned in previous posts that as a senior citizen, I now do what I call ‘old man’ reps, i.e., half the weight with twice as many reps. The idea behind this is to work and lubricate the connecting tissues as well as to exercise the actual muscle.

Tony

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7 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water—about 17 ounces—increases metabolic rate by 30 percent in healthy men and women. The body needs water in order to process calories, so even if you’re mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may wind down. Even on non-training days, you should aim to drink a minimum of 2 or 3 liters of water a day; on days you do workout, amp up that amount depending on the intensity of your activity.

Our Better Health

SpryLiving.com    November 21, 2014

You hit the gym five days a week. You eat all the veggies you can get your hands on. You religiously avoid all white carbs. But in spite of your good intentions, the number on the scale refuses to budge. WTF?!! If this scenario sounds familiar, your metabolism might be to blame. Before you start thinking you’ve been screwed in the genetic lottery, take a deep breath. It’s okay. You can fix this.

First thing’s first. What is metabolism, exactly? After all, it’s a word we hear tossed around a lot in the health world. Your skinny friend who lives solely off junk food credits her thin frame to “a fast metabolism,” but what does that even mean? Is the concept of a fast metabolism scientifically legit, or is it a load of B.S.?

From a purely technical standpoint, metabolism refers to the “chemical processes…

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Combination of Aerobic Exercise and Resistance Training Best for Obese Youths

“Obesity is an epidemic among youth,” says Dr. Ron Sigal of the University of Calgary’s Institute for Public Health and Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. “Adolescents who are overweight are typically advised to exercise more, but there is limited evidence on what type of exercise is best in order to lose fat.”

This is interesting. I experienced a similar result when I Lost 50 pounds in 52 weeks. Also, at that point in my life, I had little understanding about cardio vs resistance exercise.

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

What exercise program can best fight the “epidemic” of teen obesity? According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, by combining aerobic exercise with resistance training.

The Healthy Eating Aerobic and Resistance Training in Youth (HEARTY) study, led by researchers at the University of Calgary and University of Ottawa, involved 304 overweight teens in the Ottawa/Gatineau area between the ages of 14 to 18. All were given the same four weeks of diet counseling to promote healthy eating and weight loss before being randomly placed into four groups. The first group performed resistance training involving weight machines and some free weights; the second performed only aerobic exercise on treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes; the third underwent combined aerobic and resistance training; and the last group did no exercise training.

What’s the best exercise to lose fat?

“Obesity is an epidemic among youth,”…

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What About My Weight as I Age?

I am aging along with everybody else on this earth. That has important aspects and implications. Me at 30 is not the same as me at 50 nor me at plus 70. It helps to know what to expect.

Most of our lives we hear that thinner is better. That is true, but for older folks activity becomes a more important factor. We have to be able to continue to do all our activities. As WebMD says, “It’s less about what you weigh and more about how much of your weight is muscle instead of fat. Your doctor can tell you if your weight is on track, in light of your age and overall health.”

exercise-motivation

Don’t cop out. “My metabolism is slowing” is a fact from our 20’s onward. It’s not a reason to stop working on your weight and health. If you stop being active, your body will shift to more fat and less muscle. Fat doesn’t burn calories, so an inactive person will gain weight. Eat less, move more is the mantra of this blog and should be of every person.

Being active works muscles and allows you to consume more calories. Sedentary oldsters are the ones with weight and health problems. You can have some cake and eat it, too, just choose a reasonable amount.

WebMd makes a good point about aging and eating, “Those corners you cut when you were younger (huge portions, happy hours, little to no exercise) You can’t get away with that any more. But age does not have to equal weight gain.”

Check out my previous post on strength training. Even if your muscles have slacked off with you, you can revive them and revitalize yourself. Muscle loss isn’t permanent. Health clubs have free weights, weight machines and there are numerous exercises you can do just using your own body weight including yoga that will build muscle.

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle due to aging. This results from lack of activity, hormonal changes and poor nutrition. Eat less and move more. Sarcopenia does not have to be a permanent condition.

The bottom line is that your health doesn’t have to fade and your waistline doesn’t have to bulge as you age. But, you do have to take an active part in the process. As you age, your margin of error keeps shrinking. So, pay close attention to what and how much you eat. Get out there and get some exercise. Walking is a very good way to start. It works your muscles and clears your mind as well as burning the odd calorie.

Check out my Page – How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off for more guidelines.

No one likes folks who don’t practice what they preach. About 10 years ago my weight got out of control and I ballooned over 220 pounds. I took off 50 pounds in a year, but that only got me down to the mid-170’s. You can read How I lost 50 pounds in 52 weeks. The National Institutes on Health considers me one of its Success Stories.

I am now 74 years old and wear the same size pants I wore in high school. I ride my bike around 7000 miles a year here in Chicago. My resting heart rate is below 50 beats per minute. I have weighed in the low 150s for two years. If I can reach this level of health, there is no reason you can’t, too. Just decide to do it.

Tony

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Body Weight Exercises

I don’t know if this table is comprehensible or not, but I thought I would give it a try.

Ads I said in the earlier post – “Body-weight workouts are the best because you can pretty much do them anywhere. Your living room, hotel rooms, the beach, your backyard, a gym…they go where you go.”

Periodic Table of Bodyweight Exercises
Courtesy of: Strength Stack 52

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Test Your Fast Food Smarts – Web MD Quiz

I really enjoy the information available from WebMD. They offer articles, studies and quizzes on healthy subjects.

I want to tell you about this recent one – Test Your Fast Food Smarts.
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I have been writing this blog for the best part of four years. As a result of this project, I have taken off 15 pounds from what I had thought was my ideal weight 165 pounds. In addition I have a resting heart rate below 50 beats per minute and my body fat remains under 17 per cent. Before I took the quiz I thought I had a really good fix on fast food even though I don’t eat very much of it. However, of the 16 questions in the quiz I got less than half of them right.

Here are a couple of examples of questions in the quiz. I hope they will whet your appetite for more info on the subject.

How many Americans eat fast food every day?

How many of us guzzle sugary drinks daily?

To burn off an order of medium fries, a 155 pound adult needs to? Ride a stationary bike hard for 30 minutes or do high impact aerobics for 30 minutes or strength train for 60 minutes?

On average a teen will grab a fast food meal that has how many calories? 500 to 800; 800 to 1100; 1100 to 1500 calories?

No, I am not going to spoil your fun by giving you any of the answers. I hope you will take the test and derive the full benefit from it. At the risk of using a cliche – You’ll thank me for it.

Tony

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Filed under aerobics, fast food, Mc Donald's, Weight, weight-bearing exercise, weight-training

Five Weight Training Tips for Arthritis Sufferers – Harvard

Although I am an avid bicyclist, I also recognize the need for weight training to keep my muscles from shrinking as well as to make my body a fat burning machine by replacing fat with muscle. In addition, as an arthritis sufferer, I have written repeatedly about arthritis and exercise: Yoga for arthritis, What are good exercises for folks with arthritis? and Is it okay to exercise with arthritis?

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So I was happy to see Harvard offering five weight training tips for people with arthritis.
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150413 Get strong and stay strong with strength training

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Exercising the muscles increases the stress placed on the bones, which in turn makes the bones stronger and less susceptible to fracturing. Resistance training also helps increase the fat burning capability of the body due to the more active muscle tissue in relation to fat. If you are a senior and concerned about lifting weights, check out Weight-training Techniques for Seniors.

Explosivelyfit Strength Training

Get strong and stay strong with strength training

It would appear, from a casual glance at the magazines in the stores that aerobics is a panacea for all the health problems existing in our country. Well it does sell magazines, but is it true?

Certainly participating in aerobic activity plays an important part in accomplishing and then maintaining a certain level of good health. However, lifting weights or sandbags, using resistance bands, and body weight calisthenics are important to anyone who wants to preserve or increase their lean muscle mass.

We are not talking about showboat muscles. We are talking about muscles that are necessary to help lead an active daily life. Having a strong upper body, midsection, and lower body helps delay the frequent muscle weaknesses that automatically come with age.

Exercising the muscles increases the stress placed on the bones, which in turn makes the bones stronger and…

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Weight Training Techniques for Seniors

One of my problems with most advice on working with weights is that it is written by young jocks for young jocks. I am a senior citizen and I don’t want to break or tear any parts of my body. If I tried to emulate some of the recommendations or workouts done by you younger guys and gals I think I would end up in the emergency room.

The principles of exercise change for seniors whether it is cardio or resistance work. I have written about seniors doing endurance sports and also seniors lifting weights.

Dr. Anthony Goodman, in the course I took called Lifelong Health, said that seniors should concentrate on using lower weights, but do higher reps because seniors want to strengthen their ligaments and tendons as well as the muscles. Ligaments and tendons weaken as we age and lead to injuries that can really slow you down. Strengthening ligaments can also protect you from common aging problems like Achilles tendon rupture, rotator cuff tears in the shoulder and hip and knee injuries.

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Having said that, I am very pleased to pass on the bottom quarter of a recommendation from Dr. Doug McGuff as reported by Dr. Mercola on his fitness website in January of 2012. Although over a year old, it was news, welcome news, to me. I hope it will be to you, too. Sometimes old news is good news.

Dr. McGuff is explaining super-slow weight lifting. As you will see in his conclusion it is especially helpful for seniors.

Essentially, by aggressively working your muscle to fatigue, you’re stimulating the muscular adaptation that will improve the metabolic capability of the muscle and cause it to grow. McGuff recommends using four or five basic compound movements for your exercise set. These exercises can be done using either free weights or machines. The benefit of using a quality machine is that it will allow you to focus your mind on the effort, as opposed on the movement, because the movement is restricted by the structure of the machine.

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What is the Most Balanced Exercise Program?

The more I read and write about exercise, the more the element of balance becomes important. Exercise if crucial to our well being, but it is easy to overdo it, or use bad technique and set ourselves back with an injury. Heaven knows I have had biking injuries galore.  So what is the most balanced exercise program, let me count the options.

Among the possibilities, are walking, running, weight lifting, bicycling, yoga, tennis, kick-boxing to name a few.

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WebMD says that walking, weight lifting and yoga constitute the most balanced plan because there are “three different types of exercise: aerobic/cardio (walking), strength training (weight lifting), and flexibility training (yoga).

“All three are important. Aerobic or “cardio” (walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, tennis, basketball) boosts the strength of your heart and lungs; strength or “resistance” training (weight lifting, resistance band exercises, etc.) help to keep your muscles and bones strong, and help with balance and coordination; and flexibility exercises (yoga, stretching, tai chi) can improve your range of motion and reduce your risk for injury.”

You can take the WebMD test on Fitness Do’s and Dont’s at the link.

I really like their breakdown because I consider walking to be the Cinderella sister of exercises. Everyone does it to some extent, but very few people appreciate the benefits.

Here are some of my posts on walking.

Benefits of Walking and Cycling

Walking, not Sudoku for Seniors

National Walking Day – American Heart Association

Mall-Walking

Tony

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Filed under aerobics, aging, Exercise, stretching, tai chi, target zone, walking, warming up, Weight, weight-bearing exercise, weight-training, yoga

Some Exercise Motivation Slogans

I ran across these on the web, they are available as posters, water bottles, etc.

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the_only_person_small_gym_poster

I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

Tony

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Filed under aerobics, calories, cardio exercise, Exercise, fat, health, healthy living, motivation, Weight, weight-bearing exercise, weight-training

17775541-single-dumbbell-used-in-weight-lifting-and-fitness-workoutsIt’s good to remember that weight bearing exercise helps your bones as well as your muscles …. FRAX is a Fracture Risk Assessment Tool …

Explosivelyfit Strength Training

Exercise-good for your bones

After looking at the FRAX and maybe scaring yourself into doing something useful for your body when it comes to taking care of your bone health here are a few guidelines for starting an exercise program.

To begin with, exercising for at least a half an hour a day with weight bearing activities such as walking, jogging, skipping rope, running, or the mild plyometric rope skipping will improve the health of your bones. The literature recommends higher intensity load bearing such as that encountered when strength training.

When strength training, do so standing up, and not on a bench or a machine. The hips and spine seem to respond better to the upright position rather than the laying down or sitting versions of many popular exercises. A different neurological signal is sent to the bones when lying down as when compared to standing up.

Strength training…

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