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Building muscle and strength training

Reggie Grovey
Contributing writer
Athletes practicing dumbbell pushup rows.

Adequate muscular strength and endurance is extremely beneficial for everyone. One way to achieve this important goal is by overloading the muscular system, or in fitness terms through resistance or “weight training.”

Resistance training not only develops your muscle strength and endurance, but it can also improve the ability of muscles to recover from the daily stresses of your life. As you know, physical fitness declines with age. However, many of the physical challenges faced as we age, come from decreased activity. The good news is that the negative age-related changes can be minimized with proper exercise, and especially resistance training!

During resistance training I encourage you to include activities for both fast twitch and slow- twitch fibers. This will allow you to excel through numerous physical challenges faced throughout your day. Fast twitch fiber training will help you through high-intensity, short duration activities, like moving or lifting heavy objects briefly around the house, or completing a one-rep max lift at the gym. A 40-yard sprint would also fall into this category. During weight training, typically short sets of 2-10 repetitions to muscle fatigue will incorporate the use of these fast twitch fibers.

Slow twitch fiber training is good for the performance of low-intensity, long-duration (endurance) activities. This includes long-distance running, swimming, walking and long sets of low-intensity resistance training exercise (about 15-20 repetitions or more).

Here are a few health benefits associated with resistance training.

. Fat loss, weight control

. Increased metabolism

. Reduced resting blood pressure

· Decreased risk for diabetes

· Decreased risk for osteoporosis

· Improved structural and functional integrity of tendons and ligaments

· Personal physical independence

· Improved posture

· Enhanced physical activity experiences

Again, muscular fitness is developed by placing a demand on the muscle in a manner in which it is not accustomed. If this overload is applied progressively, your system will adapt positively to the demand. As a result, you will become stronger and more able to sustain muscular activity that requires muscle endurance and or strength.

General guidelines for change occur when exercise uses a progressive increase in resistance over time that causes the targeted muscle to fatigue in about 30-90 seconds, and results in challenges for all major muscle groups of the body.

These gradual increases will definitely decrease your chances for injury and keep your program moving forward as planned toward your fitness goals.

Add resistance training to your program for numerous health benefits and noticeable physical improvements. Remember to mix it up.

Use moderate to high intensity activities for maximum results. At minimum for beginners one set done twice a week is a safe way to start.

For average fitness levels 2 sets, done twice a week can help you realize some strength gains. Eight to 10 exercises performed in a range of 8-20 repetitions, to fatigue generally fits within strength improvement protocols.

Good luck with your muscle building and resistance training!

Until next week please go out and make it a healthy and nutritious day!  To get started on healthy weight loss and nutrition products call Reggie’s Personal Training & Nutrition, 104 E. Main, Downtown Shawnee, (405) 613-0237, or message Reggie on Face book at Reggie’s Personal Training and Nutrition page.  Ask about the 24-day challenge products that jumpstart your weight loss, improves your health, and gives you more active energy!

Reggie Grovey is a 21-year fitness professional, nationally Certified Personal Trainer, and Independent Advocare Nutrition Distributor.