Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Women should lift!

Women and weights!
A friend sent me an article the other day titled “How weight training can help woman stay strong” from npr.org.  The title made me chuckle a little, I didn’t know weight training only helps woman to stay strong.  This title could have rose out of the audience on npr.org and their possible need to attempt to educate people to do more than just “do their time” on cardio equipment.  Before everyone thinks I am just picking this article apart, it does have some good points; like the government recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity and seventy five of vigorous.  Women between the ages of 25 and 64 were asked about their activity level, and forty-nine percent reported they performed the recommended cardio and only eighteen percent were doing the recommended weights and cardio.  Cardio and weights have been shown to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.  Lifting weights has been shown to help increase muscle mass and this side effect of weights might keep us more active and prevent injuries as we age.   
Strength coaches and trainers have been saying this for years! 
Here are some other reasons woman should weight train:
•Weight training is more effective for fat loss than cardio, weights burn more calories, and there is increased fat burn during and after. 
•More muscle will increase caloric expenditure, as strength is increased, lean muscle mass will increase, muscle burns calories (stored body fat does not).  Weight training will not make you look masculine or bulky; everybody (men and women) builds muscle at different rates.  Look at all the shapes and sizes at the Olympics, they all weight train!
•Weight training increases heart health, a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that those who lift have less risk factors for heart disease; like increased waist circumference, high triglycerides and elevated blood pressure and glucose levels.
•Improved Sleep, those who weight train report the ability to fall asleep faster and have improved sleep quality. 
•Weight training increases bone health in woman, postmenopausal women have increased risk of osteoporosis, resistance training can combat bone loss.
Heavy weight with low reps or lighter weight with higher reps is a question that’s asked a lot.  I feel the answer is both.  Some studies I read compared the training styles and each had positive outcomes.   Best results occurred in the groups that rated their exertion at 7, 8, or 9 on a ten point scale, not the amount of weight lifted or reps performed.  So, it’s not the amount of weight lifted or the number of reps performed, it’s how hard you work!

Go lift some weight, and work hard!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Some truths about 6-pack abs!

Someone recently asked me about 6-pack abs, I don’t know if I gave the desired answer.  So, here I go attempting to answer.  The biggest truth about having visible abdominal muscles is you need to have a lower body fat percentage.  On average men need to be under 10% and women under 18%.  You can’t spot reduce or crunch away fat from the area.  
Body fat reduction occurs over the body as a whole and is done through intense cardio, resistance training and diet.  The best movements for fat burning are compound movements like barbell squats, deadlifts, rows and kettlebell swings.  These are great since more muscle will be worked during each lift, major calories are burned and the muscles of the core are trained.  I feel performing compound movements is the best way to train the core.  The job of this muscle group is to protect the lumbar spine, not just generating a crunching movement.  The core does not require daily direct training (like crunches), it should be trained like other muscle groupings with proper rest and progressive resistance. 

The ability to see your 6-pack (which we all have) will require a lifestyle change and discipline.  There is no quick fix to 6-pack abs.  Abdominal fat is usually the last fat to shed and the first to come back.  Do the work and get the results!