Best Training for Law Enforcement Officers

As a law enforcement officer, you know that staying in shape is an important part of your job. You also know that it’s extremely difficult to find the time to work out consistently.

Let’s face it, fitting in an hour or two of exercise every day is just not very realistic in your hectic, demanding schedule. That’s why you need to focus your work outs on the type of exercise to give you the best results in the shortest amount of time.

And the type I recommend is high intensity exercise – especially hill and stair sprints. These techniques allow you to get the most out of your precious workout time. Helping you build strength, power, speed and stamina while burning maximum amounts of fat – all in much less time than a traditional workout.

There are numerous reasons that high intensity is the way for you to go. Here are the Top 3:

1. Hill Sprints Build the Stamina Necessary For Your Job Demands.

endurance is something that every law enforcement officer needs – but it is a special kind of endurance. If you want to perform at your peak, then long, slow distance types of cardio just won’t work. Your endurance training needs to mimic the demands of your job. Those needs being – short bouts of intense exertion alternated with periods of long periods of lower intensity.

Think about it. How often does your job require you to jog at a low intensity for long periods of time? Or even run at a steady, moderate pace for 20 or 30 minutes in a row? Yet, these are exactly the types of demands that long, slow cardio workouts prepare you for.

On the other hand, high intensity work, like hill sprinting, provides you with interval training that meets your needs. It will take your heart and lungs to intensities far greater than those found in jogging or traditional types of endurance training. Your body will become used to reaching these higher levels, and recovering quickly in between the “sprints.” Not only that, with hill sprints, you will be able to spend much more time training at that high intensity than if you try to “go hard” at a steady state.

This type of training can lead to more protection for your heart and lungs than traditional “cardio”. Long, low intensity cardio can actually shrink the size of your heart and lungs because your body is excellent at adapting to the stresses placed on it. Training long and slow encourages your body to become as efficient as possible to make the exercise easier. The result: it shrinks muscle mass along with your heart and lungs. This has the effect of decreasing your reserve capacity – the ability of your cardio-vascular system to respond to high stress situations (exactly the kind your run into in your job). Without a high reserve capacity, your heart and lungs may be at risk during stressful events. High intensity training can help raise your reserve capacity instead.

Not only that, but more and more scientific studies are showing that VO2 Max (the traditional measure of aerobic endurance) is improved as much – or more- by using high intensity exercise like hill sprinting. This endurance is due to the sprints upgrading your oxygen intake system with new capillaries, developing stronger heart and lung tissue, adding more energy producing mitochondria and increasing your tolerance to lactic acid buildup.

Want the ability to respond to high intensity situations (and recover quickly afterwards)? Then train the same way.

2. Hill Sprints Give You Results In As Little As 15 Minutes.

Sure, this training sounds great – but how much time does it take?

Truth is, you can get these benefits in short workouts of 15 minutes or less – only 2 or 3 days per week.

High intensity work, especially hill and stair sprinting, is an incredibly efficient way to exercise. This stems from the fact that you must do more work in a shorter period of time. In other words, hills and stairs are like the perfect combination of strength training and sprinting – you literally “lift” or “push” yourself up the incline. The steeper the incline, the more demand is placed on your leg muscles. This intensity allows you to get in a superior workout in a very short period of time.

3. Hill Sprinting: The Incredible Stress Buster

The bad news: Your position as a law enforcement officer brings a great deal of stress along with the job. This stress can lead to health-related problems like heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

The good news: One of the best ways to “bust” that stress is with exercise – more specifically high intensity exercise.

Exercise in general relieves stress in a number of ways. First of all, exercise stimulates your brain to release substances (endorphins) that improve your mood. Besides that, exercise can decrease cortisol levels, provide a distraction from the source of stress and boost your self confidence.

Any exercise can have these effects, but high intensity can amplify your results. Recently, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia showed that high intensity exercise is superior in reducing anxiety and stress. The 2003 study even showed that the effects can be felt 30, 60, even 90 minutes after an exercise session.

These are just 3 of the reasons that every law enforcement officer should hill sprint. Take your endurance to a new level and reduce your stress in only a few minutes of exercise per week with this “old school” training. You, your fellow officers and those you serve and protect will be glad you did.

Walking Exercise Is Good Among All Exercise

A big study that has been following over 13,000 nurses since 1986 found that those who were healthy and exercising or walking for exercise in 1986 were less likely to have any of 10 major diseases or have had heart surgery by age 70. They also were less likely to have cognitive impairment, physical impairment or mental health problems.

A warm core makes your muscles and joints more supple, which help you, avoid strains and sprains. That makes afternoon or early evening ideal for exercises that tap your muscles, like strength training, stretching, and interval workouts.”Increasing energy expenditure from walking was associated with a similar elevation in odds of successful survival, as those who got more exercise, according to the conclusion of the paper published on the findings of the Nurses’ Health Study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, provide evidence that higher levels of midlife physical activity are associated with exceptional health status among women who survive to older ages and corroborate the potential role of physical activity in improving overall health.

This is great confirmation that beyond helping manage your weight, walking and exercise is a great retirement investment! Even if you can’t put much money into savings, you can save up a nest egg of health for your later years.Walking has long been considered to be one of the more beneficial things we can do to extend our lives and health. With a form of exercise as easy as walking, you would think that more people would join in. While certainly more people are walking on the whole, a great many people that could be are not. Why is this? Most of the time, it is simply because they do not have a plan. This article will lay out a plan that most anyone can do, and show you how to get the most bangs for your walk.As with any walking or exercise regimen, it is important to first consult with your doctor and make sure you are healthy enough. Please check with your doctor before attempting this walking regimen.

The first thing you should do is to gauge your current walking ability. That is, how far can you walk without stopping? How fast can you walk without becoming winded? These are important factors in figuring out an effective walking regimen. Consider your initial walk to be a baseline for your plan.Head out to a measurable walking area such as a track, and walk as far as you can at regular speed. Make sure you warm up first by stretching and loosening up the muscles. At regular speed, walk for as far as you can. When you do get tired or winded, then you should mark down the distance that this occurs. On a separate occasion, go out and test your walking speed. A good distance is to walk a mile, and do it at a good clip. Time yourself for this walk.

Now that you have a couple of baselines, you are able to set up a walking regimen that can work for you. A good start up regimen with walking is to walk about four times per week. If you walk effectively, and get your heart rates moving, then four times per week is a great start. Two of these walks should be quick walking, and two should be more distance oriented. Take your baseline speed number, that is how long you can walk quickly, and add a couple of minutes each time you walk. As for distance, you should walk an extra tenth of a mile, each time that you walk.

It is important to schedule this walking regimen and that you do not depend on just ?finding the time? to walk. If you do the latter, you will quickly see that the time does not materialize out of the air. You have to plan for it.
Another key to success is to make sure that you bring along plenty of water, and that you do not walk during the heat of the day. Walk early in the morning or in the evenings. The last thing you want is to give yourself a heat stroke while trying to improve your health. Get yourself a mile counter, as well as a pulse monitor. These are highly effective at monitoring what you have done, and will help you stay focused on the goal.

There will come days when you are unable to keep your schedule. It is important during those times to try to find the walking throughout the day. Instead of taking elevators, take the stairs. Instead of riding to the diner from work for lunch, walk the two or three blocks. There are plenty of opportunities to walk if you seek them out. Give yourself as steady of a regimen as possible as your body will get used to it.

Once you are in a walking regimen, then you should constantly be challenging your best. You can always up your goals if you find yourself walking faster and farther. Do not try to overdo it in the beginning, however, or you could injure yourself.

Health Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity:

Reduce the risk of premature death.
Reduce the risk of developing and/or dying from heart disease.
Reduce high blood pressure or the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Reduce high cholesterol or the risk of developing high cholesterol.
Reduce the risk of developing colon cancer and breast cancer.
Reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Reduce or maintain body weight or body fat.
Build and maintain healthy muscles, bones, and joints.
Reduce depression and anxiety.
Improve psychological well-being.
Enhanced work, recreation, and sport performance.

Strength Training Versus Aerobics – What is the Difference?

If you are looking for a total body workout, you want to combine strength training and aerobics. These are two very different types of exercise but the work together to turn your body into a finely tuned machine. weight training will tone your muscles, making you stronger while aerobics will make your heart and lungs stronger, giving you more stamina while burning the fat. These two disciplines of exercise work best when you combine them with a sensible, sound nutritional plan. When you combine good nutrition, strength training and aerobics you can get the body you have always wanted.

Strength Training

Strength training is typically weight bearing exercise or resistance training. It does just what the title suggests, it builds strength. Weight lifting and exercise machines are examples of strength training devices. However, pilates and yoga can also be methods of strength training. You don’t necessarily have to hold free weights to use a machine to strength train. You can use the weight of your own body to provide resistance and increase your strength.

It is a good practice to strength train one set of muscles (such as the upper body) one day and another set (such as the lower body) the next. Most muscle groups need time to rest and recover after exercise. So while you can work out every day, you should work out different muscle groups each day to give worked muscles time to rest and repair. This will give you optimal results.

Aerobics

Aerobics is a cardio exercise that gets your heart rate up and keeps it up. This can be anything from walking to riding a bike. You can run on a treadmill or take an aerobics class. If it gets your heart rate up, it is an aerobic activity. You generally move a lot during aerobic exercise.

You can do aerobic exercises every day because they do not focus on specific muscle groups. Where strength training makes you strong, aerobics makes you lean. It also strengthens your heart and respiratory system, giving you increased stamina. With regular aerobic exercise, you will find that you can run faster and longer as well as perform better.

Interval Training

Interval training is a combination of weight training and aerobics and is attributed to effective weight loss and conditioning. During interval training, you do your regular weight training, but intersperse with brief spurts of aerobic exercise. For instance, you do a set of curls, then walk on the treadmill for five minutes. Next, you do a bench press and then ride a bike for seven minutes. In short, you do an aerobic activity such as jumping rope, walking on the treadmill, running or riding a bike for short bursts in between each set of weights or nautilis machines.

Interval training is very popular among athletes because it builds stamina and strength. With people who want to lose weight, it can bring about fantastic results. Interval training utilizes the best results of strength training and aerobics.

What is a Total Body Workout?

A total body workout involves both strength training and aerobic exercise so that your entire body is worked. You get the benefits of being stronger as well as having enhanced endurance. A typical total body workout consists of working one muscle group (such as the upper body) for thirty minutes or so a day three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then the other muscle group (such as the lower body) for thirty minutes or so three times a week – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Aerobic activity is practices every day for about thirty minutes. Some workouts differ in times, some go longer and some are shorter, but that is the basic total body workout.

Nutrition

If you are working your body with strength training and aerobics, you need to have the proper nutrition to fuel your body so that is can perform at an optimum level. You should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. You need a lot of protein to fuel your muscles, muscle growth and loss of fat. The various fruits and vegetables give you the vitamins and minerals that you need. Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa also offer protein, fiber and minerals. If you are training intensively you may find that you need nutritional supplements. This is very common for people who train vigorously.

There are specific differences between strength training and aerobics. Actually, these two types of exercise work together to form a total body workout. When you combine the two you will find that you body is stronger, leaner and have better stamina. If you want to tune your body to an optimal level, strength training and aerobic activity are the way to accomplish it.

Natural Nutrition: Regain Your Health With Proper Nutrition

Natural nutrition has two governing precepts: the body has the remarkable power to heal itself but is also unable to work against itself. Natural nutrition is not only about what they ingest in the form of food and drink it is also about taking responsibility for the quality of our decisions.

Nutrition Should Not Come From A Factory

The multitude of combinations of ingredients naturally found in fresh produce, as opposed to supplements, are essential in order to maintain peak health. pick to take in to your body only those foods that are full of natural enzymes and nutrients and your body will feel and look healthier and more energized. plenty of health conditions can be treated successfully through proper nutrition.

Consume Natural Vitamins

Stay away from foods which have unnatural additives, which have been irradiated and which are genetically modified. Processed, prepackaged, refined, manufactured, artificially flavored and/or colored, preservative-laden, chemically treated, or chemically engineered foods are highly discouraged. They do not contain the nutritional value of whole foods and they contain plenty of additives, which further depletes the technique of essential nutrients. To keep in tune with the cycles of nature you can select foods that are in season.

Nature Heals

The body requires vitamins which for the most part should come from selecting nutritious foods. Keep in mind that vitamins consumed as a supplement are missing most of the enzymes, co-enzymes, minerals, mineral activators and other substances that work with vitamins which allow them to be absorbed and fully used by the body.

Your body is for the most part a self repairing machine if it has the required nutrients and is not compromised by toxins and pollution. Unfortunately they live in a toxic environment and the mass market food supply no longer provides all the nutrients they want. The first essential step toward wellness, therefore, is to be sure you are getting the correct amounts of the proper nutrients by choosing only the freshest, least altered foods.

Natural Nutrition Is Healthy

Various health conditions have been corrected time and time again by supplying the body’s requirement for balanced nutrition. Rather than treating areas or symptoms in isolation, natural nutrition treats the whole person, restoring a state of balance, so that the body may then correct its own symptoms. High quality natural nutrition is about ‘balance’ not ‘potency’.

By consuming natural nutrition you are able to reverse plenty of conditions including:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis/Rheumatism
  • Asthma
  • Childrens’ behavioral problems
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • IBS/Digestive complaints
  • Headaches
  • Infertility
  • Skin problems, including Acne, eczema and psoriasis
  • Weight problems

Natural nutrition is about handing us back control of our own health, enabling us to see and feel what is going on and take action accordingly. it is without a doubt the most effective form of nutrition. Consuming only natural ingredients continually keeps us aware of our current health picture.

Unnatural nutrition is six of the major causes of plenty of of our diseases, while natural nutrition is an equally powerful agent in curing these diseases and rejuvenating our health. A poor Diet could be unknowingly contributing to your pain and discomfort, short temper, heartburn, fatigue, weight gain, depression, allergies, and anxiety.

Performance Enhancement through Improved Endurance

Muscular endurance is the ability to create maximum force for a maximum amount of time. The amount of force becomes smaller as time increases. Anaerobic and aerobic are the two main types of muscular endurance, but there are other meaningful types of endurance, as well. Improving endurance is of great importance to both professional athletes and non-professionals alike. Various training regimens can improve endurance, but different types of endurance may require different programs; it’s important to know the distinctions.

Why Endurance Training

Conditioning/endurance training causes muscular adaptations, forcing muscles to work more efficiently even when not exercising. When the neuromuscular system faces increased demands, it adapts with increases in muscular function. A key adaptation is an increase in mitochondria with an increase in respiratory capacity. One consequence of the adaptations induced in muscle by endurance exercise is that the same work rate requires a smaller percentage of the muscles’ maximum respiratory capacity. Another valued adaptation of endurance training is the increased utilization of fat, with a proportional decrease in carbohydrate utilization, during submaximal exercise. The muscles actually work more efficiently and burn off more fat doing so, even when not exercising at one’s peak performance.

Endurance and Cellular Changes

Mitochondria metabolize many of the damaging byproducts of anaerobic exercise, which is why anaerobic performance can be improved by improving aerobic endurance. Thus, endurance training’s effect on mitochondria is significant. Research has shown that endurance exercise training induces an increase in the mitochondrial content of skeletal muscle. That’s not the only adaptation, even to mitochondria: Skeletal muscle mitochondria undergo an alteration in composition in response to endurance training, with some enzymes increasing two to threefold. Endurance training changes how muscles work on a cellular level, even transforming muscle fibers from one type to another.

Anaerobic Muscular Endurance and Training

Anaerobic endurance is characterized by energy use for a very short period of time, less than ten seconds. In an anaerobic state, the muscles need more energy than is readily supplied, so they use energy reserves to fuel activity. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the preferred energy source, which may become depleted in as little as three seconds. When ATP is depleted, the muscles use Phosphate-Creatine (PC) to create more ATP. Both are exhausted within about ten seconds, at which point the muscles begin glycolysis, or the breakdown of carbohydrates for energy. While glycolysis restores the ATP stores, it also produces hydrogen ions, causing that familiar burning sensation in one’s muscles. Glycolysis may last for up to sixty seconds, though the body soon turns to aerobic forms of energy.

In terms of anaerobic training, the periodization technique has become the mainstay in the majority of weight training programs. The periodized program is a method of changing workouts over time to allow for better recovery and therefore greater gains in strength. It seeks the ideal stress-to-recovery relationship so as to maximize muscular adaptations. Studies have shown that order and intensity of training affect endurance results: Gradual increases in volume and decreases in intensity may result in greater gains in muscular endurance than the classic strength programs that gradually increase intensity and decrease volume regardless of the frequency of these alterations.

Aerobic Muscular Endurance and Training

Aerobic endurance is characterized by longer periods of exertion and the body’s use of oxygen to create energy. It is slower-paced than is anaerobic activity, but it can continue for significantly longer periods of time. This is the energy system used for running marathons or swimming many miles. The oxygen prevents muscles from producing lactate. Aerobic endurance provides the basic foundation of human activity.

Those who want to increase pure aerobic endurance might follow an extensive volume endurance training regimen where intensity is low, but distance is high. This might be the preference of distance runners, cyclers, and so on. Alternately, athletes can follow an intensive endurance training regimen, which increases the intensity of the workout with slightly less volume. It has been characterized as giving the most aerobic benefit for the time input.

Endurance Training Continued:

People seeking to improve endurance must be mindful of the type of endurance. Different types may require different training regimens to achieve peak performance. There exists a continuum from pure endurance athletes to pure power athletes, from those that depend on aerobic endurance to anaerobic endurance. Many athletes fall somewhere in between, with a mix of aerobic and anaerobic endurance requirements, like the soccer player who needs to be able to run for the whole game, but also to sprint after the ball. Where someone falls in that continuum affects what type of endurance training is most useful.

Threshold Training

Threshold training is extended training at one’s peak performance level. A person’s threshold is the highest intensity that can be sustained for a long period of time, usually an hour. It’s a good predictor of competition performance, so improving it is often a key goal for athletes. Everyone is different, but the threshold is determined by the level of waste build-up in one’s system; one way to improve the body’s waste-removal process is to improve aerobic endurance.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been a commonly-used training technique in recent years. By intercutting durations of exercise at peak performance with durations at lower intensity, athletes can conceivably do more volume at their threshold level than they could if they worked straight through at their threshold. All of these training regimens increase demand on the muscles, thus causing them to increase performance.

Sweet spot training falls between intensive endurance training and threshold training. It’s the point at which an athlete is maximizing effort but can still get in a significant volume, thus achieving a training effect. It’s considered a good way to increase speed and power at the threshold, but it is quite a slog. It’s not as grueling as threshold training, of course.

Endurance Training for Non-Professional Athletes

Non-professional athletes have different physical characteristics than professional athletes. A professional athlete will have a lower heart rate, an enlarged heart, increased cardiac output, and even increased muscle enzymes. Yet endurance is necessary even for non-professionals, for those who just want to participate in recreational sports. Stamina, being able to last the full competition while remaining alert, is essential. Given the time limitations most people have ? due to working jobs and living lives, rather than training full-time ? intensive endurance training is likely the best option for improving aerobic endurance within a manageable time commitment.

But non-professional athletes should make sure never to start out with threshold training. Doing so is both inefficient and likely to cause injury, which undermines the very point of the training. Still, if they go about it smartly, training will help improve endurance for non-professional athletes and professionals alike.

The Benefits of Proper Nutrition

In today’s fast paced society we often grab whatever is quick and easy for lunch or dinner as we rush to get onto the next “big” thing. Many of us simply do not stop and take the time to think about what we are putting into our bodies and the fact is that if you are not eating a nutritional Diet, you may find yourself feeling ill or developing a serious medical condition.

One of the most common and serious side effects of an imbalanced diet is obesity. More than 58 million Americans are overweight and more than 40 million are considered obese. However, by incorporating a proper nutritional program into your daily schedule, you will find that maintaining a proper weight will make it easier.

Obesity can lead to many health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and strokes. By maintaining a well balanced diet, you will be able to keep yourself at your ideal weight, as well as preventing further medical conditions.

Following a healthy dietary program will also reduce your risk of certain diseases and illnesses, related to poor nutrition. For example, research has concluded that choosing fast food even just twice a week can increase your risk of developing diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and there has been some controversy on whether saturated fats that are commonly used at fast food restuarants, plays a role. However, if you want to make sure that you are not at risk for cardiovascular disease, decrease the amount of carbohydrates you take in, as excessive amounts can increase blood glucose and insulin. Eaten in excess, these will increase your risk of heart disease, as well as high blood pressure.

When you begin a healthy diet, you will find that you will not only feel younger, you will end up looking younger. Nutrition plays an important part in the health of the dermis, the innermost layer of the skin. Skin is made up of elastin and collagen and when it does not receive proper doses of vitamin C, you may find that you are more prone to wrinkles and sagging.

Vitamin C, as well as vitamins A and E are antioxidants and will help to reduce the damage caused by free radicals. As vitamin C assists in the manufacturing of collagen, you will find that it will help reduce skin damage, therefore, leaving your skin healthier, as well as, looking more vibrant and fresh.

Another benefit to engaging in a lifestyle of proper nutrition is the increased energy and lack of fatigue you will feel. Food is fuel for your body. If you are not currently following a nutritious diet, you may notice that you will go through spells of fatigue throughout the day. Perhaps, one moment you are feeling very energetic and the next moment tired.

Feelings of fatigue could be due to an overabundance of sugar in your diet. Sugar is known to harm the body in many ways: including raising your cholesterol level and increasing digestive difficulties, such as indigestion, acid reflux, and problems with bowel movements. If you follow a nutritious diet, you will be limiting your intake of sugar and therefore, limiting your risk of health issues associated with sugar.

The fact is, following a proper nutritional program can lead to a healthier lifestyle. When you have more energy, you are much more likely to exercise, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight. You will also reduce the risks of illness and disease that are caused by either a lack of vitamins and minerals or due to an over-abundance of foods that will increase the risk of certain health conditions.

When you enlist in a proper nutritional program, you will find yourself not only feeling healthier, but looking healthier, as well.

Strength Training Made Easy

What is strength training?
Strength training is using muscular force against resistance. This type of training can build the strength and size of skeletal muscles. Different forms of resistance can be used when training for strength. This includes bands, body weight, and specially designed weights or machines.

In the past, strength training was primarily used by athletes to enhance performance and/or increase muscle size. However, strength training is now recognized as a critical factor in the health and fitness of all genders, ages, and abilities. Leading health organizations such as the ACSM and NSCA recommend regular strength training as part of one’s fitness regimen.

Why is strength training so important?
Strength training is important for:
? Preserving and enhancing muscle mass
? Preserving and enhancing metabolic rate
? Improving bone mineral density
? Improving glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
? Lowering risk of injury
? Improving ability to engage in daily activities
? Improving balance
? Improving self-esteem
? Enhancing strength and endurance
? Enhancing speed, power, and agility
? Improving overall body composition
? Decreasing bad cholesterol levels
? Decreasing blood pressure
? Improving aerobic capacity

What you should know
Sets and Reps
Weight loads allowing less than 15 repetitions are important for muscular strength and hypertrophy while weight loads that can be repeatedly lifted for greater than 15 repetitions are important for muscular endurance. More specifically, less than six reps will help with developing strength and power, six to 12 reps will help keep the muscle under tension and develop muscle growth, while more than 12 reps is ideal for endurance and metabolic conditioning.

Strength Training Frequency
Aiming for about 2 – 3.5 hours per week of strength training is adequate for most individuals. This should be divided equally over the course of the week. Examples include:
? Monday/Wednesday/Friday for 60 minutes
Or
? Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday for 45 minutes
Strength Training Body part/Movement Workout
So how should the workouts be divided up? One of the best ideas is a constant rotation. One month could be full body workouts. The next month could be body part workouts. The next month could be movement plane workouts. Body part specific workouts are better for regional hypertrophy while full body workouts and movements plane workouts benefit strength, power, speed, and muscle growth.

Choosing exercise Sequence
Remember to select the harder exercises before the easy exercises (e.g., multi-joint before single-joint, free weight before machine, etc). An example would be squats before leg extensions.

Training Progression
There are many different ways to make progressions with your strength training routine. You can increase the weight lifted, the repetitions performed, or the sets completed. You can also decrease the tempo of each set to allow greater time under tension. Decreasing the rest between sets doesn’t allow your body to fully recover and is metabolically taxing. Even changing the biomechanics of the exercise can be a method of progression (e.g., flat to incline, supinated to pronated, etc.). Finally, there are many intensity boosters that can be used with strength training, here are some examples:

? Supersets – Example – Back to back bench press and dumbbell rows
? Drop sets – Example – 10 reps with 100 pounds on squats, 8 reps with 80 pounds on squats, 6 reps with 60 pounds on squats, and so on….
? Rest/pause – Example – 10 reps with 100 pounds on squats, rack it, rest, 4 reps with 100 pounds, rack it, rest, 3 reps with 100 pounds
? Circuits – Example – 8 reps of push ups, 8 reps of deadlifts, 8 reps of rows, 8 reps of lunges, 30 seconds of jumping jacks
? Density training – Example – Doing push ups and pull ups for 10 – 15 minutes with minimal rest
? Negatives – Example – Grab a weight that is heavier that normal, lift it, then take about 6 – 8 seconds while resisting on the way down
? Isometrics – Example – wall sit for 30 seconds
S.A.I.D. is an acronym for Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. In other words, our body adapts to whatever demands it is given. Mindlessly wandering from machine to machine for months on end will not result in optimal results. Cycling your program will keep you sane and challenge your body. This also applies to the design of the strength training program. A program designed to improve muscular endurance won’t benefit muscular strength.

Summary and Recommendations
? Strength train for 2 to 3.5 hours per week, spread evenly.
? Always warm up before strength training.
? Higher sets and lower reps for strength.
? Lower sets and higher reps for metabolic conditioning and endurance.
? Focus on body part workouts if you are more interested in regional hypertrophy.
? Focus on movement plane workouts if you are more interested in function, performance and strength.
? Do the most taxing exercises first in your routine.
? Always vary your routine. The best program, as the saying goes, is the one you’re not currently doing.
? Don’t forget about progression. Otherwise, you won’t progress!
? Excelling at strength training is virtually impossible without good nutrition

Improve Your Physical Fitness Level

Most of us could use some improvements in the area of our physical fitness. We have become a society hooked on sedentary activities and unhealthy Diets that include fast food. Physical fitness is essential for having a body that is well cared for. Your level of physical fitness can affect your chances of developing health problems as you get older.

It is never too late to start improving your level of physical fitness. It does take time and it does take dedication, but over time your new activities will seem second nature. Once you start to see the benefits of improving your physical fitness level, you will be even more motivated to keep doing it.

There is a common misconception that physical fitness means running until you are exhausted. That is not the case. Physical fitness involves taking on some type of physical activity that you enjoy. You can choose sports, exercise equipment, walking, running, aerobics, weight lifting, dancing, and many other types of physical activities. You should pay close attention to the foods you consume as your body will feel different.

If you think you are too ran down to exercise, try a brisk walk for 10 or 15 minutes. Also reduce the amount of caffeine and sugar in your diet. You will quickly notice an improvement in your energy levels and your mood. The more you exercise the more energy you will have. Physical fitness has great benefits for your mental health as well. Studies show people who exercise regularly have lower levels of stress and are less likely to suffer from depression.

If improving your level of physical fitness is important to you, see your doctor for a complete check up. Discuss your decision during that visit. You aren’t going to see improvements in your physical fitness level overnight, but by making small changes to your exercise routine and your eating habits, you will see improvements over time. You will start seeing improvements in your energy level, your mood, and even how well you sleep early on in your quest for better physical fitness.

Everyone has different levels of physical fitness. Don’t compete with your friend, someone at the gym, or your neighbor as this is only setting yourself up for failure. Instead, challenge yourself to do better. Challenge yourself to improve your physical fitness level from where you are today. If you start walking 15 minutes a day, add more time until you are up to 30 minutes. Then work on walking further in that 30 minute time period. Challenging yourself when it comes to physical fitness is a great way to motivate yourself as well as to gauge your progress.

Physical fitness is a very important part of taking care of your body and your overall health. A combination of physical activity, a balanced diet, and getting enough rest on a daily basis will help ensure your physical fitness level is sufficient to meet the ongoing physical and mental needs of your body.