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Weight Training – Build Muscle And Change The Shape Of Your Body

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There is a difference between losing weight and changing the way your body is shaped. Weight training is by far the best way to actually change the “shape” of your body.

If you want to lose weight and get in better shape you can go for a run a few times a week. You can burn fat by getting on a treadmill a few days each week.

Weight training however, (also known as resistance training), will do more to change the shape of your body than any amount of cardio exercise ever will. It causes you to increase muscle size which will make your shape more attractive and help burn fat faster by increasing your metabolic rate.

Personally speaking, I was shaped like a pear at 46 years old. That’s when I decided to take the challenge and dive into a workout program called the “Body For Life”. It changed my life. It changed the shape of my body and it changed my attitude about fitness forever.

There are many ingredients to the program mentioned above. You are instructed on how to eat right. How much fat intake you should have each day was stressed as was the total calories you should consume.

There was a high-intensity cardio regimen to follow on alternating days of the week. A very helpful diet plan is given and an eating schedule of 5 to 6 smaller meals a day to help increase your metabolism.

Just the things mentioned above would cause just about any weight challenged individual to lose weight and increase cardio health in just a few short weeks.

But the most important part of the program for me was the weight training. I was shaped like a pear. You know what I mean? I had narrow shoulders and wider hips and for a man that is not the ideal look. Resisistance (weight) training is the only thing that could change that for me and it did.

You see if you do nothing but aerobic exercise and diet, your results will not be the best. You will of course lose weight but your shape will not change. A treadmill could not change my shape. Eating less could not change my shape. I was shaped like a pear. If all I had done was aerobic exercise and diet I would have just become a smaller pear-shaped guy than I was before.

With weight training you not only build muscle but it increases your metabolism and helps you burn fat at a higher rate. But the greatest thing about the weights for me was that I was able to make my shoulders wider which made my waist look smaller.

Do you really want to look different and have a more attractive body? The most effective way to do it is through weight training.

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You Have To Tear Muscle To Build It

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Okay, we all know that the quickest way to build muscle is to use progressive weight training.

Progressive means that as soon as you get used to lifting a certain amount of weight, you add a little more. Over time, you’ll get stronger because your muscles adapt by getting larger to handle the added weight.

Our bodies adapt to whatever stress we regularly put it through. When you lift weights, what you’re doing is actually tearing the muscle tissue in a healthy way. When you eat the proper nutrition, mostly protein, they’ll actually repair themselves. In fact, they get stronger and bigger without lifting more weight.

As you continue to lift more weight, your muscles will keep adapting to this increased overload. So they get bigger.

But one thing you may not know, is, lifting weights actually causes muscle fiber damage. And this microscopic damage needs to heal properly if you’re going to gain any muscle.

There are type A and type B fibers in your muscles.

Let’s say the higher repetitions might tear the type B so heavier weights will tear them and bring them back stronger. Some people are fast switch and some people are slow switch.

Fast switch responds to high reps, mostly between 8-12 repetitions. Slow switch will respond to slower reps between 4 and 6.

Every body has a different buildup. Let’s say, for example, my bicep is 90% fast switch and 10% slow switch. I would need to do mainly high repetitions for my bicep.

You, on the other hand, might be 90% slow switch and 10% fast switch so the approach you would want to take is lower reps.

So, in order to build muscle mass, you first have to tear it slightly.

The degree of tearing is directly related to how hard and how long you exercise and what type of exercise you do. Movements in which muscles forcefully contract while they are lengthening will cause the most muscle growth.

These are called “eccentric” contractions, and they provide the resisting action of the muscle such as lowering weights and performing the downward movements in exercises.

When you get the proper nutrition, your body repairs this muscle tissue damage and makes it stronger, for the next time you have to handle this weight.

That’s why you have to first cause slight muscle damage, for new muscle mass to be built.… Read More

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Weight Training For Women Over 50

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It is commonly seen that most women don’t include weight training for women in their workout schedule because of the myths associated with it. But remember weight training for women is quite beneficial and must not be ignored. But to get only the positive results and no injury in the process, doing it right is a must. Therefore, written below are some of the good weight training exercises for women along with the precautions:

  • Dumbbells: Dumbbells are the most popular and common type of weight training exercise for both females and males. These little iron pieces tone up shoulder and arm muscles and if you do dumbbells with squats your leg muscles are sure to strengthen. If you are just beginning with weight training, don’t rush for the heaviest looking dumbbell. You know your strength therefore pick the dumbbell that you think you can comfortably pick. Gradually increase the dumbbell weights until you feel is your limit.

  • Deadlifts: It is quite an effective technique of weight training for women. Draglifts include bench press, squats and lifting of weights. Deadlifts mean lifting the weights direct from the ground in the bent over position. It is not a child’s play and thus professional guidance and some experience is needed. Being a total test of strength, doing it all of a sudden can jerk your neck and back and cause damage.

  • Bent over barbell rows: This exercise is a true test of strength and must be included in the weight training for women program. The equipment used in this exercise is a barbell and mainly tones your middle back. Barbell is almost like an enlarged form of a dumbbell and lifting them may appear daunting at first. This difficult exercise can be made simple if done under able guidance of the experts and careful weight selection. Also, lifting any kind of weight should be done slowly and gradually. Don’t rush through it as one mistake can result in long term troubles.

  • Lunges: Lunges is a strength training exercise and not weight training exercise. When combined with dumbbells it becomes both strength and weight building exercise. All you have to do is grab an appropriate dumbbell, put your one foot forward and bend, keeping the other leg in its position. Change your leg simultaneously and keep repeating this for a few rounds. This is an easy exercise and also a really good one for weight training for women. This exercise is great for lower back, legs and butts. Dumbbells tone up the arms beautifully.

Here are few things you must keep in mind before starting the weight training for women:

  • Before you start with the weight training program make it sure you do adequate warm-up exercises. This is because the muscles get heated up and prepared for lifting weights and thus prevents injuries.

  • Change your weight training exercises in every couple of weeks. This is to prevent your body get conditioned to few exercises only and so that all parts

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Personal Trainer Toronto

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Personal training is the skill of teaching a person how to use their body appropriately and resourcefully in every action they perform. It’s not just limited to weight training but also includes muscular and cardiovascular exercises. Due to hasty routines, people usually ignore their health, which costs them dearly and also reduce their competence for work. So it’s very important for all to have a personal trainer who perks up their health.

Personal trainer has a clear understanding of what suits best for the client. Different people have different needs; some need only a session to be briefed while some choose to work with an instructor over a period of time to get in the routine of work out and see concrete results. Others who can afford it choose to work with a trainer forever because clients feel that they will get better and consistent results.

Nowadays personal training is stirring away from the illustration of having your trainer standing next to you shouting, to work fast without considering the endurance and capability of the person. All the trainers now offer clients a wide range of postural exercises and workouts to help them with habitual behavioral changes.

All reputable personal trainers do initial health check to ensure the person is fit for exercising. If needed, a doctor’s approval is obtained. Tests include an intake assessment, to recognize concerns and goals. This test follows physical fitness measuring indicators which include strength tests, flexibility tests and abnormalities of posture.
Then the trainer makes a schedule which usually includes warm up, cardiovascular and strength exercises, inert stretching and relaxing time.

Personal trainers train clients a system, with emphasize on proper form, position for injury prevention. Clients are shown by Personal trainers, exercises which are useful and that are risky or a time waste. Some trainers also use machines that are suitable for treatment or supplementary purposes.

Personal trainers generally emphasize upon functional exercises. Few specific functional exercises are basic and important in day to day life. These simple exercises include squats, posing and pulling with your arms, push ups and common and small exercises.

A good trainer adds movements in case of postural issues, for shoulders, rotator cuffs, etc. These exercises are basically to correct present abnormalities. Exercises for a better posture include:
• External rotation targeting rotator cuff muscles
• Abduction for supraspinatus
• Cap push-ups for subscapularis
• Exercises for Gluteal activation
• Pelvic stabilization
• Exercises for Lower trapezius
• Posterior deltoid
Personal trainers also add ancillary exercises to increase the compoundand functional exercises including:
• Straight knee lift and bent knee Calf exercises.
• Exercises for Anterior deltoid
• Exercises for Biceps or triceps
• Glutes Exercises
• Exercises for Grip / Forearm
It is better to check with your Toronto personal trainer prior to finalizing a personal training Toronto routine. There are a few complex aspects of these exercises to consider.
Also not every personal trainer matches completely with every client, they all have different styles, … Read More

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Do Strength Training Without Weights In Your Workouts!

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Is strength training without weights really effective? And will those exercises really benefit you to strengthen your body? The answer to both of those questions is YES, and I will show you why. Body weight exercises can be some of the most beneficial ways to build muscle without any weight training equipment. One example is you can use the resistance of your own body weight performing pull ups. This is a wonderful exercise for building muscle in your back, shoulders, triceps, and chest.

There are many strength training exercises without weights using your own body weight that you can do, they are:

Pull-ups (chin-ups) A Pull-up will build muscle and strength in the back, shoulders, triceps, and chest. You will even seem some growth in the biceps. Pull ups are considered one of the best muscle building and strength training exercises. If you don not have your own pull up bar available at home, you can visit your own local playground to be able to make it happen. You don not need a whole lot of space to build some incredible strength. Do pull ups for about five minutes and then rest for about two. Repeat this for roughly three to five times or sets. I promise that as you do this you will witness tremendous strength increases over the next few weeks.

Push Ups The push up works the chest, the front part of the shoulder, and the triceps. Often times athletes and body builders will use this exercise to warm up before a workout and for cooling down after a high intensity workout. As you do this exercise consistently, you can really build muscle and develop a higher level of physical strength without having to use weights.

Abdominal Exercises Obviously these are great exercises to work the Abs. When you are working your abs or any muscle group for that matter, you don not need to be in a hurry, take your time and really feel your muscles working. Abs are meant to be done in a controlled movement, while making sure that you are able to rest in between sets. Some of the best abdominal exercises are: bicycle crunches, side-to-side, frontal and side-body stabilization, leg-raises, and of course sit-ups. While following a proper diet and cardiovascular schedule, you will begin to see the abs appear and gain that six-pack you have been working towards.

Squats This exercise is excellent for the lower back, calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Squats are easily the best and quickest way to gain muscle mass without the use of any weights. If you are just getting back into your workout routine, start out slowly with about 10-15 squats a day while slowly working up to 20-30 a day. As you do this you will quickly work up to being able to do at least 50 repetitions a day.

It is very important to do these exercises right to avoid injury.

As you do these exercises you will begin to build muscle mass. These … Read More

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How to Regain Muscle Fitness As We Age

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Baby Boomers often ask:

What can I do to re-gain the muscle fitness of my youth that I am now losing as I grow older?

There is a popular common day belief: “Regular aerobic exercise is all that you need to stay young.”  In reality an on-going effort in your exercise routine to build and maintain muscle tone is necessary to maintain a youthful body.   Weight training combined with aerobic exercise on a regular basis, along with a healthy diet will help you speed up your metabolism as you build more youthful muscle.   The end result is that you will maintain a healthy weight and achieve optimum health. 

The American College of Sports Medicine now recommends weight training for every adult.  The earlier you start weight training the more muscles you’ll keep as you grow older!  Building a home gym and choosing the right home fitness products for weight training will help you stay on track in achieving your fitness goals.  The key is to start at first with lighter weights and more repetitions to burn fat and tone up problem areas.  You can always work your way up to heavier weights to build more muscle mass, as you increase your work out time and this will help reduce the risk of injuries. 

For home use try lighter weights such as dumbbells, barbells and doorway chin-up bars which vary in price but are very affordable.  You can also add some additional fitness products to your home gym such as a weight bench, an incline board for weight training and an elliptical machine for your aerobic portion of your workout routine which will be non-stressful to your joints but heart healthy.

If your workout becomes too laborious or routine, I would encourage you to work-out a different set of muscles each day by setting up different stations in your home gym by using various fitness products and exercise equipment to give you more variety in your work-out routine.  Also working out with a friend or partner and playing some high energy music helps motivate and keeps you working out at longer intervals.

Your muscles are your primary calorie burners!   Keeping  your muscles active over the years by using effective weight training fitness products will not only reduce excess pounds but will help you regain that youthful muscular toned appearance as you grow older.… Read More

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Weight Training – The 5 Stages of Power Development

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Whether you want to lift more weight or get stronger, Knowing how power is developed in your body is key to getting stronger and more powerful in your sport, activity or weight training itself.

There are 5 key components to developing mega power:

1. Starting Acceleration
2. Progressive Acceleration
3. Power Output
4. Stability
5. Re-coordination

The First stage to power development is:

1. Starting Acceleration:

This is the initial burst of power in a movement, when you start from a dead stop and explode with power, the first few inches is where the starting Acceleration is developed. It will help your mind and body to learn to contract your muscles and release explosive power instantly.

For Example when doing heavier squats, or if you want to jump higher, you must practice starting acceleration.

Do this by sitting in a chair or on a box, in a position to explode back up, let your muscles relax, then spring up as fast as possible, for at least the first few inches.

After practicing without weight you can add about 35% of your max squat, and do the same thing with the weight.

NOTE: It’s a similar effect as the one-inch punch, start at a dead stop, and explode an inch with your fist, this is an example of what Bruce Lee did to help develop impressive strength, power and speed in his punch.

The Second Stage of Power Development is:

2. Progressive Acceleration:

This is where you train your body to be able to work at full power, speed and strength at various angles in a specific movement.

There are a couple ways to train for progressive acceleration, you can train for speed and strength. You should do both.

The purpose of Progressive Acceleration is to maintain or speed up as you rise in your movement (ex. squat), not decrease in speed. And you want to use full strength throughout the movement as well.

A great way to increase your progressive acceleration speed is by using a pool, for example when you are touching the bottom of the pool with you feet, squat down and spring back up off the bottom, you will notice that you are very light in the water, and you actually speed up as you rise, this teaching you mind and body to speed up the contraction of your muscles, even with little to no-resistance.

Another form of progressive acceleration performed by sprinters is running down a hill, this forces your legs to move faster than normal, and increase your contraction and limb speed.

When developing more progressive acceleration strength you can try pushing against an unmovable object with all your force, as various angles, so for a bench press you can lock out the bar right at chest level and push your hardest for at least 10 seconds, then rest a couple minutes and lock the bar at mid level and do the same, then lock the bar at peak level and finish. (Important Note: If … Read More

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Muscle Fitness – Can Yoga Make you Stronger?

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Many people wonder if yoga can improve their muscle fitness. They recognize that yoga can help reduce stress and increase flexibility, but when it comes to increasing muscle fitness, they think it might be a little too ‘weak’ to do the job. The fact is that yoga can definitely make you stronger.
A study was conducted at the University of California at Davis. Ten college ‘coach potatoes’ adopted a yoga routine for eight weeks. Each week, they attended from two to four classes during which they spent 10 minutes on breath control, 15 minutes of warm up exercises, 50 minutes doing yoga asanas, and then 10 minutes of relaxation/mediation. At the end of the eight-week period, the researchers measured the students’ fitness and discovered that their muscular strength had increased by up to 31%, their muscular endurance improved by 57%, their flexibility increased by 188%, and their cardio respiratory fitness improved by 7%. These results are pretty amazing when you consider that the study was only conducted for eight weeks.
How can something that seems so benign have such a major impact on muscle fitness?
Muscle Strength
Unlike traditional weight building exercises, in yoga your body provides the resistance. While you are not likely going to produce the bulked up muscles of some weight lifters, you will certainly increase your muscle strength.
Many poses in yoga are done very slowly or you stay in the posture for several breaths. It is much more challenging to your muscles to hold a pose or do it slowly than it is to allow momentum to move you through an action. I have been working out with weights for many years so my muscles are used to being strengthened. Yet, I have practiced certain yoga routines during which my muscles screamed for mercy and I actually had to get out of the pose and then resume it because my muscles were so challenged. I don’t often experience this during weight training sessions.
In addition, some balance postures such as Tree Pose and Shoulderstand require enormous muscle control in order to prevent you from falling over. This helps to build and strengthen your muscles.
Muscle Balance
In weight training, you isolate a specific muscle as you perform an exercise and this leads to a short, tightened muscle. The muscles you develop during yoga are more likely to be elongated, because while you are strengthening them, you are simultaneously lengthening them. You also do not focus on an isolated muscle, but actively recruit the smaller muscle groups as well. You truly work your entire body when you practice yoga.
Practicing yoga can help realign your muscles, so they are more balanced. Since you are not overworking any specific muscle group, you are less likely to get injured.
In addition to all its other benefits, yoga can help you improve muscle fitness. Whether you choose to use it as your primary means of strength training or you want it to supplement your other exercises, yoga can help … Read More

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Weight Training Equipment & Weight Training Programs

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A weight training program that implements weight training equipment offers numerous benefits. A weight training program will allow you to tone and build muscle and ultimately achieve a quality physique.

Training with weight training equipment is the only your body will realize that it needs to grow. Train heavy but train smart. You should lift the maximum amount of weight you can while maintaining near perfect form. You need to train your body in to thinking that it needs to grow if it is going to continue lifting heavy weights. This is the best way to maintain or build quality physique.

Focus on Compound Movements

A compound movement is an exercise, which involves the largest muscle groups and targets maximum muscle fibers. These exercises will lead to faster muscle gain than other isolated exercises. The three best exercises using weight training equipment are squats, dead lifts and bench press. These exercises should part of your weekly workout program.

Also train your major muscle groups first in your workouts, as they require more concentration and energy. Bigger moves implement smaller muscles for assistance so tiring these small muscles will affect your squat, dead lifts and bench press exercises.

Free Weights are Better than Machines

Although the body does not know what kind of resistance it is working against, whether it is free weight training equipment or a machine, you will see your biggest muscle gains by overcoming the pull of gravity and working in multiple planes. Weight training machines only work in one plane as a result they are not as effective as free weights. Free weights train the whole body whereas machines are designed to isolate muscle groups. Free weight exercises also simulate real movements.

Training Schedule

Individuals who are participating in a weight training equipment exercise program featuring weight training equipment should train for less than an hour a day and only train three to four days a week. There are two scientific reasons for this. The first reason is the fact that your testosterone production fails after 50 to 60 minutes of training. The second reason is the fact that your cortisol level rises after 45-60 minutes of training.

Training the Upper and Lower Body

There are three reasons you should train your upper and lower body using weight training equipment. The first reason is proportion. No one wants to be a muscular guy with a chiseled chest and chicken legs. The second reason is leg exercises are the biggest anabolic exercise there is. Finally, weak legs and hamstrings are almost guaranteed to cause injury when doing exercises such as the dead lift.

Cycle Your Workouts

Cycling your weight training equipment exercises prevents you from reaching a plateau and keeps you from repeating the same boring workout. All workouts work but none of them work forever. Constantly adding new workouts to your weight lifting equipment exercise program will keep your exercises exciting and allow you to avoid reaching a plateau.

Aerobic Exercises

It is important to perform aerobic … Read More

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Jack LaLanne – Physical Genius

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When we think of genius, for the most part we think in terms of mental or intellectual power. We think of brilliant human beings.

We think of mathematicians or inventors or writers. Painters and sculptors may be in a slightly different category — a little more physical and intuitive — but even here, we still don’t think of artistic gifts as a physical skill. It’s the quality of the mind and heart that manifests as paint on canvas.

In light of this, let’s look at the foundation of our topic for this session, which is physical genius– the genius that expresses itself through physical action, whether it’s running or swimming or hitting a ball or, perhaps, even hitting another person. By the time we’re done,

I think you’ll have an appreciation of what physical genius really is — how you can connect with it in your own life — and how the person I’ve chosen as our model in this session can help you do that.

He once did 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes — an average of 44 push-ups every 60 seconds.

He towed 70 boats at once, carrying 70 people each from the Queen’s Way Bridge in Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary ocean liner, which was anchored a mile and a half away — and he was handcuffed and shackled while he did it. This was to celebrate his 70th birthday.

He also has made the supposedly impossible swim from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf, in San Francisco. He not only made it, but once again he was handcuffed and shackled when he did it.

Just to make it more interesting, he was towing a 1,000 pound boat.

Jack LaLanne is over 87 years old, and there’s one more feat he intends to accomplish. It’s a swim from Catalina Island to Los Angeles — a distance of 26 miles – and he wants to do it underwater.

Jack LaLanne did not start out as a genius of physical fitness. Into his teenage years, he was a sugar addict and junk food junkie. In an interview, he explained what this meant. “It made me weak and it made me mean,” he said. “It also made me sick. I was nearsighted, and I had terrible skin problems.

He was 15 years old when he attended a talk by a nutritionist in his hometown of Oakland, California. This was a turning point in his life — and at that moment, he decided to totally recreate himself.

He began lifting weights at the local YMCA, and he made changes in what he ate and drank. He also read everything he could find on anatomy, nutrition, and health. Very

quickly, Jack developed the lean, muscular body of an athlete – and a thorough knowledge of physical fitness to go with it. But rather than keep all this to himself, he was determined to share it with the world.

He began to develop approaches to physical fitness and nutrition that were both … Read More