9 Reasons Why Everyone Should Strength Train

The general opinion when the general public here the word ?weight training? is of oiled up, macho, muscular men flexing and showing off there muscles. This view often shies a lot of people away from lifting weights?.especially women.

However, some form of strength training can benefit anyone male or female at any age. It provides amazing health benefits that cannot be ignored. They are?

1. INCREASE METABOLISM/MUSCLE MASS
Strength training builds muscle. I know that?s probably the most obvious benefit, but it is extremely important. As we age, we lose approximately a pound of muscle every year after the age of twenty. Even people who exercise regularly, but neglect strength training will still lose ? a pound of muscle a year. This will cause us to get weak and make us more vulnerable to fat gain as we get older because the metabolism is slowing down. You may notice people who eat whatever they want and not gain anything, but as they approach 30-40 their metabolism has slowed and they are starting to gain weight. Strength training is the only way to maintain or add muscle mass as we age, keeping our metabolism running high.

2. IMPROVE BONE MINERAL DENSITY
Not only does strength training stimulate muscle growth; it also stimulates the growth of bone tissue. The stress of strength training on the bones stimulates the bones to lay down more minerals, improving bone mineral density. Similar to muscle mass, bone mineral density is at its peak at around the age of twenty and from there is on a gradual decline for the rest of our lives. This makes us susceptible to injuries and diseases such as osteoporosis as we age. Strength training can help prevent or even reverse these conditions. This is one of the main reasons why women should do some form of strength training, as 1 in 2 women or there about now develop osteoporosis.

3. IMPROVE JOINT STRENGTH AND STABILITY
Increasing the strength of muscles, also greatly enhances the strength and stability of the joints these muscles surround. This is extremely beneficial to prevent injuries as we get older.

4. DECREASE ATHRITIS
Strength training improves our bodies control of our joints, which decreases the stress put on them in day to day activities. This helps reduce the chance of our joints degenerating. Therefore strength training can help prevent or reduce the severity of arthritis, and recent studies are showing it can help reduce the symptoms.

5. IMPROVE VITALITY AND QUALITY OF LIFE
The condition of our muscles is responsible for our ability to perform everyday activities. Muscles are like an engine, if they are well looked after, you can drive it regularly without fear of it breaking down. Strength training keeps our muscles in top condition, making daily activities much easier and enables us to participate in more vigorous activities without fear of injuries or lack of energy.

6. INCREASE FAT LOSS
Muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories. Every extra pound of muscle we add burns approximately an extra 50-100 calories a day. Therefore, the more muscle we have the more calories we burn while we are sleeping, doing daily activities and through exercise. For example, the metabolism can be like a car, the more muscle you have, the larger the engine and the more calories you burn, much like the way a V8 chews through fuel. If we neglect strength training, our metabolism might be closer to that of a scooter or a lawn mower!

7. DECREASE CHANCE OF DEVELOPING DIABETES
The increase of muscle mass, due to strength training increases the use of blood sugars into the muscles, helping reduce the chance of developing diabetes. Also increasing our metabolism through strength training helps prevent fat gain, which is closely related to the development of late onset diabetes.

8. IMPROVE SPORTING PERFORMANCE
This is pretty obvious but a strong athlete is a great athlete. All forms of power, speed and explosiveness come from having a good base of strength. For instance take 2 guys who weigh the same and they perform the Bench Press. Lets say Person A can bench 400lbs and Person B can bench only 200lbs. Who do you think could bench throw 100lbs the highest? Person A you would assume could throw it higher because 100lbs is only 25% of his max Where as Person B would be trying to throw 50% of his max.

9. DECREASE BLOOD PRESSURE
Recent studies have shown that strength training can help reduce blood pressure. Therefore there is a less chance of developing heart disease. If our muscles are stronger, this places less stress on our cardiovascular system while performing day to day activities.

For all you women out there don?t be scared to lift weights, its good for you. You do not have the hormones men do to build large, bulky muscles, so don?t be shy. You will only be able to replace the muscle you had lost through the aging process and at most maybe gain a few more pounds, but that is it. Those pictures you see of women looking like men with massive muscles are due to them injecting male hormones in them, so trust me it won?t happen to you.

So as you can see some form of strength training should be performed by everyone. Men, women, children and the elderly can all benefit from strength training. Most importantly, it prevents our body from deteriorating enabling us to live and enjoy more of life as we age. Strength training really is anti-aging.

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 Importance Of Proper Nutrition For Athletes

One of the most important things that athletes need to know is what they need in regards to nutrition. There are things that are necessary for them to have regularly to maintain the level of competency that they have in regards to the sport that they choose to participate in. Let’s look into the proper nutrition that athletes should have a bit further.

Carbohydrates are very important for athletes to consume. It helps them by providing the energy that they need for their muscles. Starchy foods like potatoes, whole grain breads, rice or pasta are some of the foods that can help athletes get the carbohydrates that they need when they are involved in highly strenuous activities.

Making sure that you eat regularly throughout the day is another thing that is very important when it comes to proper nutrition for athletes. Don’t skip your breakfast. It is very important to have it each and every day. Having been asleep all night puts your body in a state that is similar to fasting as you have not taken any nutrients in during the time that you were asleep. By having a well rounded breakfast it will restore the energy that you need to get your day started off properly.

Make sure that you take in the recommended daily amounts regarding fruits and vegetables every day is another factor in proper nutrition for athletes. The fruits and vegetables that we eat contain antioxidants that are of extreme importance when it comes to protecting yourself from disease. Consuming a broad range of fruits and vegetables is an easy way to do this and is far more beneficial to the body then using supplements.

When it comes to what to eat at the time of the big game or event that you are participating in it is very important to make sure that you eat something that is high in protein and carbohydrates. By doing this it will help to avoid any possibility of muscle breakdown that can occur. Also drink lots of water. When you exercise you will be losing a lot of the water that is in your body through the sweating that you will be doing.

There are many ways to ensure that you are getting the proper nutrition that you need as an athlete. By using the guidelines that have been established throughout the years is an easy place to start. From there make the choices that you make smarter. Simple examples would be lean meat, skinless chicken, whole grain breads and other foods that are proven to be healthier for any person.

Proper nutrition for athletes does not need to be difficult. It is common sense more than anything else that is necessary. By following some of the tips that are above you will undoubtedly notice a difference in the way that you feel.