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Bodyweight Strength Training: Recommended For All-Purpose Strength

Mention strength training, and weight lifting or using machines immediately comes to mind. But there are many types of strength, not just “maximum” strength. I want to show you how bodyweight strength training is excellent for increasing each type of strength and why you should use your own bodyweight first and as an ongoing part of your strength training.

So, what is strength?

Well, a simple definition of strength is the capacity your body has to exert muscular and skeletal force against a resistance. The resistance can be the weight of your own body, the weight of something else or both. So, the larger capacity you have to move your own body or a foreign object in your environment, the stronger you are.

And being stronger has its benefits:

– You can do more with your body and objects you find in your environment
– You reduce the risk of injury because of increased ability to control your body and other objects
– You gain confidence knowing there is strength behind your movements
– You can overcome the challenges of sport, work and life easier
– And you look better because your strength is visually apparent in strong muscles

But the truth is, there are many different kinds of strength. And I believe each one can be improved upon with bodyweight strength training. Here we are going to look at the three main types of strength: maximal strength, explosive strength and strength endurance.

Bodyweight training For Maximal Strength

Maximal strength is the amount of force that can be generated from one, all out effort, regardless of time or bodyweight.

Some people say weight training is best for maximal strength training, and for some exercises they are right. However, many trainees are using weights to perform exercises because they can’t handle the weight of their own body. For example, many men and women do Lat Pull Downs because they can’t do pull ups or chin ups.

There are many other bodyweight exercises that can build maximal strength. How about one-arm pushups or one-leg squats as strength builders? Most weight lifters can’t perform these exercises, regardless of the weights they use in their training.

Bodyweight Strength Training For Explosive Strength

Explosive strength is strength per unit of time, and is also known as speed strength. So, this is how much force you can generate in the shortest amount of time. In terms of bodyweight training, it means how fast you can move your body from one position to another.

Think of explosive movements like jumping squats or plyometric pushups where your body is propelled with such force it actually leaves the ground. Is this type of strength important? You bet it is!

Bodyweight Strength Training For Strength Endurance

Strength endurance is the amount of force you can generate for an extended period if time. It is the ability to be as strong as possible as long as possible. This type of strength is characterized by being able to perform a movement repeatedly without being overcome by fatigue or sacrificing form.

When you think of bodyweight strength training, this is normally the type of strength people think of. Rhythmic, repeated bodyweight calisthenics for example builds strength endurance.

As you can see, there are a lot of different types of strength. And you can train each one by using the weight of your own body. No outside resistance is necessary.

Think of it this way. The training you do is specific. If you do a certain type of exercise, you become better at that exercise. So, if you are training for all-purpose strength (which included maximal, explosive and endurance strength) where the object performing the movement is your own body, there is no better tool than bodyweight calisthenics.

Bodyweight strength training should be the starting point, and a continual part, of everyone’s over-all workout program.

Plan Your Walking Program Today. Take Your Dog With You

Don’t wait to start a walking program. Start today!Brisk walking is one of the safest forms of exercise and one of the healthiest forms of exercises. It is a proven fact that brisk walking helps reduce the risk for heart disease, for breast cancer and for type 2 diabetes.

Brisk walking is also beneficial for your dog, not only for health reasons, but, every dog needs to exercise! This keeps them not only health, but happy and out of trouble. A dog is not meant to sit and lie around all day long.

Walking also helps you to reduce weight, especially if you make a lifestyle change to consume healthier foods.

One of the problems with walking is that you fall into a walking-rut, and do the same walk over and over again. A boring walk can take the briskness right out of it. So, change your walking habits and start to plan a walking program that is beneficial to you, and again, take your dog along. I am sure your dog is in as much need of a walk as you are.

Be watchful of your technique. If you are fitness walking, you should be able to walk about a mile in fifteen minutes, or walk for about one hour. Create a plan for a beneficial walk, for you and your dog!

-Walk upright, don’t slouch, as I am sure your mommy taught you.
-Bend your arms, and pump them while walking. This exerts your cardiovascular system and it will allow you to walk at a faster pace, for a longer time period.

Walking at this rate should take you to 70-80% of your target heart rate. Discuss this with a professional.
Turn your regular walk into an exercise. Both you and your dog will benefit tremendously by this.

Other little things you can do while walking to help tone your body and increase your health.
-Stomach. While walking, pull in your stomach for a few seconds, then relax it again. Do this a couple of times during your walk. (I just read about this tip)
-Thighs. Plan your walk so that you will walk either up a flight of stairs ( My entrance to the park actually has a fairly long staircase), or up a hill.

You also want to remain motivated. One way to do this is to plan for different routes. Don’t get so much into a rut that you walk the same way each time. And, take a look around you. Don’t just go speed walking through a beautiful park and always stay on the paved sidewalk. Walk on the grass, beside the stream, in the woods. You will get an amazing sense of tranquility and your dog will be closer to nature. You can exercise and enjoy nature at the same time.

Sometimes, go walking alone, just you and your dog. Other times, see if you can find some friends (maybe even with their dogs) and go in a pack.

Get the proper footwear. This is very important. Also, make sure your dog is not over exerted, especially in the summer. Bring lots of water for you and your dog. If you are walking in the winter, be very careful with your footwear; make sure it has lots of traction. Dogs can slip and break their legs as well as we can. And, most of the time they cannot survive a badly broken leg. So, have different rules for exercising your dog in the snow or ice. Be very careful. Actually, I would even say do not take them out when the snow and ice could be detrimental to them.

And, if you have to walk in the dark, have lots of bright clothing, even a flashlight. Get a neon leash/collar for your dog. And, do not walk in a secluded area alone. Go in groups. Remember, a walking routine is to benefit both you and your dog, but, make sure it is a safe day, a safe area and a safe time to walk.

And, always check with a health professional, for both you and your canine companion.
Enjoy!

Your Physical Fitness Definition Will Determine Your Success

It always amazes me that FITNESS is a multi-billion dollar industry… Yet a solid, concise and universal definition of fitness is hard to nail down.

Just ask someone participating in a physical fitness program, or even someone in the fitness industry for that matter, to give you a clear definition of fitness.

You will most likely be met with the “deer caught in the headlights” stare accompanied by nonsensical stammering.

If you do get an answer, it will most likely be slanted toward the specific abilities of the person asked.

For example…

A marathon runner will define fitness in terms of muscular and cardiorespiratory endurance… A power-lifter will define fitness in terms of absolute strength… A bodybuilder will define fitness in terms of muscle size and definition… etc.

But the overwhelming majority of people participating in a physical fitness program are not professional athletes concerned with the improvement of only one physical ability.

Therefore, basing your definition of fitness on one specific physical skill does not lead to a universal definition of fitness.

The fact is, your physical fitness success will be determined by your definition of fitness… So take some time to make sure you have a clear fitness definition.

Once you see how much a clear definition of fitness can improve your physical training, you will wonder how you ever physically trained in the past without one.

So what would a universal definition of fitness be for someone who wanted to physically train to become a better, all-around human being?

I’m glad you asked… but let’s take it step by step.

Here is a GOOD Fitness Definition…

The degree of competence and skill to perform in ALL the physical abilities of cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy and toughness.

I can already hear the criticism from the athletic crowd… You cannot “maximize” the performance of all the physical abilities in this fitness definition at the same time.

And they are absolutely right!

Fitness is not about the “maximization” of one particular physical skill at one particular point in time, but rather the “optimization” of all physical skills at any given time.

Fitness is a compromise of all the different physical skills that make up human activity.

Look at it this way…

Let’s say all of the physical skills were tested separately.

Some specialized athletes would score very high on some physical skills… and very low on others.

But a person that personified true, universal fitness would score well on all of the physical skills… without necessarily being the best at any one skill.

Here is an EXCELLENT Fitness Definition…

The acceptable and deliberate compromise of competence and ability to perform in ALL the areas of cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy and toughness to produce optimum performance results under the greatest amount of circumstances.

Not only is universal fitness a compromise of all the physical abilities… but it is the over-all ability to integrate all of the physical abilities and flow from one ability to the next in a seamless fashion to successfully complete a task.

So, what would adopting this definition of fitness do for you?

Your physical fitness training program would be assessed according to how well it “optimized” all the physical skills and not just how well it “maximized” one particular skill at the expense of all others.

Basically, structuring your physical training to improve all the physical skills of this fitness definition would enable you to greatly improve over-all physical performance in a wider variety of activities.

Now isn’t that why most of us physically train?

Study this definition of fitness and use it to measure your current physical fitness training program.

How well does it measure up?

If your current workout program is lacking… it is definitely time for a change.

Your fitness success depends on it!

Talk The Walk: Beginning Basics To Walking Your Weight Off

Walking is one of the easiest ways to take the weight off because it is less strenuous than jogging. It is a better solution for those who have not exercised in a long time.

There are different types of walks that you can take in order to reduce your weight. The first is the casual lightweight walk, which is the leisurely type of walk. This type of walk is the least effective, however, and is the least likely of all the types of walking that will help you lose weight. It is a good place to start, and recommended for warm-up, but if you want to burn enough fat you have to try to pick up the pace as much as you can.

The best type of walking for losing weight is the brisk walking, or speed walking. The best way to engage in this type of walking is to stretch well before hand so you do not pull any muscles. Then, you should begin at the warm-up pace described earlier. Then, after you feel warmed up, and you feel as though your heart and blood is pumping slightly faster, then you can gradually increase the pace. Try to walk as fast as you can but do not overdo it.

While you are walking at a brisk pace, you can swing your arms one by one back in forth in opposite directions, like you are rowing a boat. This will help with your momentum while you are walking, and will help you keep your balance.

If you get tired while you are walking, you can slow down gradually and walk at a lesser pace. However, you need to remember not to speed up and slow down too quickly. That would be too hard on your heart. The best way to slow down and speed up is gradually, in order to prevent you from going into shock.

If you want to keep track of how many miles you have walked and how much fat and/or calories that you have burned, you can take a timer with you that will measure your performance. Another way you can keep track of the fat you burn is to walk on a treadmill. If you do not own a treadmill, you can sign up to use one at a gym.

Treadmills are a great way to walk, especially during the hottest days of summer because it is an exercise you can do indoors. This is ideal for those who risk the possibility of suffering heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. This is also a way to help keep you from becoming dehydrated, and is an alternative way for you to keep track of how many calories or fat you have burned.

Speaking of keeping hydrated, you will want to take a water bottle with you on your walk. However, do remember that if you drink water you should take it in very small sips at a time, very slowly. This will prevent you from getting a side ache or stomachache while you are walking.

If you keep track of your miles that you walk then you can figure out how many calories or fat grams that you have burned. This will help you plan your regular walking exercise routine. However, if you do not have an electronic way to keep track, you can figure it out mathematically. Formulas for figuring out how much fat you have burned can be found in numerous expert Dieting books. You can also find this information out from your doctor.

Another thing to remember about your walking routine is this: if you feel that you are hyperventilating, about to pass out, or feel that something else is wrong, either slow down or stop. Do not over exert yourself, and start out slower if it is your first few times walking. Even though your body is used to exercising, your body also needs time to adjust to it as well.

Also, if some of your leg muscles feel sore the next day there is generally no need to worry. That is a good sign that you are working muscles you have not used before. Usually the soreness goes away the more you walk. However, make sure you still stretch before your walk, and slow down gradually when you are about to stop walking for the day.

If you follow all of the above tips regarding walking as your workout, you will lose weight. Not only that, but you and your body will feel great.

Proper Nutrition- A Muscle Building Requirement

Proper nutrition is absolutely essential to anyone looking to see serious gains from their strength training routine.? We all want to see the best results from the hard hours put into the gym, but these results will only be optimized if you are on a proper Diet.? This will vary with each person, but here are some general guidelines for just about anyone to follow.

First, eat protein!? An approximate amount to eat in a day is one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.? Again, this number varies but for most people looking to gain strength and size, this is a good amount.? However, there are a few types of protein and some are more beneficial than others at given times of day.? Just before and after a workout, whey protein is the best source.? It gets to your muscles faster than any other protein source, allowing for faster recovery.? Protein from other sources such as dairy and meat are absorbed at a slightly slower rate.? This makes them a good candidate for eating at just about any other point in the day.? Try varying the times you eat these other sources to see how it affects you personally.

As long as you are eating enough protein, the amount of carbohydrates and fat you should eat is completely dependent on your personal goals.? If you are looking to gain size, definitely increase the calorie intake which will require more consumption of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.? If you are looking to cut or maintain bodyweight, play around with the amount of calories you take in to see what works best.? Try to avoid cutting calories from protein, however, as this may lead to loss of muscle.

Eliminate sweets from your diet.? This means anything high in saturated or trans fat as well as anything high in processed sugar.? Most people have a pretty good understanding of what these treats are, and we all know that they are not too beneficial to our health.? Making a serious effort to limit the consumption of these types of food may deliver pretty impressive results on its own.

All of these points should be taken into consideration when deciding on a proper diet for yourself.? You may not know the correct amounts to eat right away, but a little bit of experimenting will let you know pretty quickly what is best for your body.? Using this proper diet in conjunction with an effective training routine and plenty of rest should maximize your results.

Strength Training for Football

strength training for football is an artistic and scientific process. There are a lot of variables that must be considered. Players that serve different roles in the game need different training regimens. You have to do a little planning and take a structured approach to your strength training routines. Doing so will be greatly rewarding and bring out your inner champion!

Here is a quick list of facts that you need to keep in mind concerning your strength training for football. It isn’t just about how big and bulky you can get – quite the contrary actually.

? Bigger muscles are not necessarily stronger muscles o You need to not only develop the size of a given muscle; you need to actually be considering the muscle’s strength. That’s what it’s all about.

o A strong muscle is more than big; -.

o Many a big muscle is torn loose from the joint that it is meant to move. A torn muscle can literally take months, even years to heal fully. Some never do.

You develop tendon and ligament strength by taking your training seriously. Don’t attack your weight training like a crazy fool. Take your time. Pay attention to strict form in every rep. Perform your reps slowly and with full control. Haphazardly jerking or throwing the weight up and calling that a successful rep is not only careless; it is a false achievement. Weight training is about far more than just moving the weight from point A to point B. Remember that!

? Bulky muscles too often yield decreased speed, agility and finesse. o Especially for wide receivers, defensive backs and tailbacks, muscles need to be specifically trained for bursting power and speed. -. Football is no game for wimps. It is also not an event for big, slow, overly bulky pigs just because they might be able to bench 400 lbs in a quirky, jerky, off-balance fashion. Be real!

Do yourself and your team a serious favor and ensure that you will be around season after strenuous season to help out. Take your strength training for football very seriously. Slow down while at the gym. Develop your tendon and ligament strength along with your bulk. The end result will be superior, lightening fast, impossible to rip, explosive muscles that have the true strength of a beast! Now that is what you are after.

There are several types of strength training for football to consider. Football is versatile and needs versatility in strength training programs. Here are the types that we will address:

? Functional strength training for football ? Hypertrophy strength training for football ? Maximal strength training for football ? Power strength training for football

First, we will define each one and then address how to combine them all into the total athletic package for football.

Functional strength training for football:

Football can really put a hurtin’ on your body in a lot of different ways. Your body is twisted, bent, bounced and forced into uncountable positions of unnatural strain. You need to ensure bilaterally symmetrical development while engaging your strength training. That means that you give equal, animalistic (but controlled) effort to both sides of your body. You want symmetrical development, not lopsided malformation.

You also need to ensure that you never get so wrapped up in the development of your prime movers (quads, biceps, pecs, etc.) that you neglect your supporting muscle (hamstrings, triceps, calves, posterior delts, lower trapezius, etc.). The message here is that you must maintain balance. If you fail to develop your body in a symmetrical, holistic fashion, you are begging for injury.

Hypertrophy Strength Training for Football

Don’t let the hard-to-pronounce name fool you; an increase in muscle fiber size makes up for the improvement and increase in the muscle mass. This is the type of strength training for football that everyone thinks of. You get to concentrate on muscular growth and sheer bulk. Remember that even linemen should only dedicate roughly half of their strength training to hypertrophy strength. More than that and you are entering into the slow zone – the zone of painful injury because you lack agility and speed.

Maximal Strength Training for Football

In a nutshell, this refers to the development of cross sectional areas of each muscle. It is responsible for explosive power. You have to lift maximal loads in order to promote the development of these “fast twitch” motor units. Strength and power are close cousins. When you are performing maximal strength training, you explode into the lift. You fire a burst of energy into the weight propelling them to the desired destination. You must remember the first lesson about strict and proper form. Do not ruin your workout by flopping like a fish under the weight. If you have to do that, then take some of the weight off of the bar. Remember: you didn’t really lift it at all if you flopped your way through it. More importantly, flopping and squirming invites bench-sitting injury. Believe it!

Power Strength Training for Football

You have to possess the ability to instantly convert all of your strength into booming power to prevail on the football field. When you collide at full speed with an equally strong opponent, he who has the most explosiveness will shine with victory – not to mention instilling a demoralizing fear in said opponent. You have to accentuate your functional, hypertrophy and maximal training sessions with power strength training. You want your CNS to recruit fast twitch muscle fibers as quickly as possible. Now that you understand that more than just going in and fish-flopping through your workouts is needed in order to develop the total package for football, you need to understand something else: Cycle training. If you wish to optimize your strength training for football, then you have to incorporate all of the above training methods.

Develop a timeline. Construct a program to cycle through each of the training types in succession. Functional training is followed by hypertrophy work. Follow that with 4 weeks each of maximal and power training and then repeat. Vary your training. You do not want your body to plateau so training cannot be the same consistantly. Think of your body as a multifaceted machine that needs different care at different times. Always take your time with each individual rep to ensure proper form. Develop symmetrically. Develop tendon and ligament strength. You must develop size and power!

Release your inner beast through diverse and intelligent training and rule the field!

How Much Walking Will Help You Most?

Walking is a good exercise.

I guess you know that. But do you walk regularly? I mean do you walk as an exercise? If someone has some kind of physical limitation or problem then he/she cannot walk. Otherwise every one of us walks.In fact we need to walk everyday. We walk in home, we walk in road, we walk in shopping mall, we walk in office and so on. This type of walking is of very short period and they doesn’t help our body like walking as exercise does. They do not contribute that much to our body. To get the real health benefits of walking you need to walk for a longer period and at a higher speed and not to mention regularly.
But how much walking is enough for you per day if you walk as an exercise? American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Heart Association (AHA) released an updated physical activities guideline in 2007. The guideline is updated from its earlier version published in 1995.

This guideline provides an exercise outline for healthy adults to stay healthy and fit and also to be away from chronic diseases. According to this guideline if you are a healthy adult person then moderately intense exercise for 30 minutes is enough for a day.By moderately intense exercises they mean some workout which will do the following two things:

  1. Make your breathing faster but you will be able to take conversation with others and
  2. Make you sweat

But do you have to do this kind of work out 7days/week? According to ACSM and AHA physical activity guideline you should do this type of workout 5 days a week.

So it is clear from this guideline that if you walk as an exercise then you should be¬†walking for at least 30 minutes and 5 days a week. The more the better. And in addition to that you have to be cautious about the speed of your walking. Because if you take a slow speed walk then walking for even 60 minutes won’t be that helpful. So walk at a pace in a way that you sweat and you feel that your heart rate has increased. This kind of walking will help you most.

Make a habit of walking. Keep yourself fit. Achieve fitness to enjoy more happiness in life. Increase your knowledge for a better life.

Speed Endurance Training to Chase Down Your Competitors Like They Were Standing Still

And if you are sick and fatigued of getting passed up every time at the end of your own sprint races you should understand that you now need to start working on your own speed endurance. Working on your own speed endurance is very imperative to your own overall speed. You can have all the quickness in the world but it wouldn’t matter and if you get passed up each and every single time. In fact it can be very embarrassing if you are constantly blasting out the blocks in the lead and then slowly get passed up at the end of the race.

In order to prevent this from happening you must incorporate the proper training program. When you begin to perform your speed endurance training sessions you ought create sure that you are possibly warmed up. A typical warm-up includes running two laps around the track with some dynamic stretches towards the end.

By utilizing the proper warm-up routine you are making sure that you’ll not pull any muscles during practice. Now that your warm-up is out the way you can now begin to focus on your training session. When you first begin your own speed endurance training session you can start off with simple workout such as running four 150 m sprints. In between the sprints you should create sure that you are rested for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

You do not want to start running with ugly form just because you’re worn-out. Try to focus on the quality of your own workouts more than the quantity each and every single time you step on the track.