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o-rah motivators. It's the extreme motivator here at Semper Fitness. Last issue we talked about aerobic activity. Well now it's time to get down to my favorite part, anaerobics. To the layman like myself, that means the beautiful muscle building resistance training. Even more simply put, lifting weights. Resistance training gives the body shape tone and definition. In order to give you a better perspective on the anaerobic portion of physical fitness, we have to define some things and clear up a few myths. That's what I intend to do this issue. Let's get started.
Strength (anaerobic) training is the process of exercising with progressively heavier resistance for the purpose of strengthening the musculoskeletal system. Why do we lift heavier and heavier resistances to gain strength? Well, let me shed a little light on the subject. The human body is awesome. It will do anything you tell it to do. That's why we have to be so careful with it. Whatever you tell your body to do, it will learn (adapt) to do it. The human body tries to adapt to any type of situation. For example, if you try to lift some weight that you've never been able to lift and you struggle your hardest but can make the weight move more than a few inches, your body will try to adapt. First, when you push against the heavy weight your muscles start to tear. Very small tears. Your brain will tell your muscles that you need to learn (adapt) to lift that specific weight in order to survive. So what will happen is your muscles will start to repair themselves and will build a little bit stronger to try and adapt to the workload. This is why people get stronger and bigger. The constant pressure and routine of lifting weights causes your body to continue adapting to workloads placed on it. The result is bigger, stronger muscles. Strength training affects many areas. Take a look at the following:
Physical appearance. Our skeletal muscles have a lot to do with our overall physique. Consequently, strength training can play a major role in enhancing our body composition and physical appearance. Consider a 114-pound woman who is 24 percent fat. If she loses 4 pounds of fat and adds 4 pounds of muscle, she will still weigh 114 pounds, but will be only 20 percent fat. Although her body weight remains the same, she has less fat and more muscle for a leaner, firmer and fitter appearance.
Metabolic function. Muscle is very active tissue with very high energy requirements. Even while we sleep, our skeletal muscles are responsible for more than 25 percent of our calorie use. An increase in muscle tissue causes a corresponding increase in our metabolic rate; likewise, a decrease in muscle tissue causes a decrease in our metabolic rate. We all know that the worse thing we can do when trying to get into shape is slow down that metabolism.
Anaerobic training not only makes you look good, but it makes you feel stronger and healthier. There are so many misconceptions about resistance training. I've heard them all. Some people think that they are going to get huge overnight. I've heard a lot of women state "I don't want muscles, I just want to be toned". Most people don't understand that it takes quite a long time to get huge. I mean, unless you're using some type of illegal performance enhancing drugs like anabolic steroids, your muscles will grow and tone up at a very steady easy rate. Of course, there are some natural and legal sports supplements that can assist you. Look back in the Semper Fitness archive for a list. The bottom line is that no good fitness program will be complete without resistance training. The rest of this issue will cover some of my key principles when it comes to resistance training.
Please pay attention to the previous principles. They will help you get the best out of your lifts. This issue gives a little advise before you start your resistance program and while your conducting it. Next issue we will talk about many different exercises and the correct form to go along with them. Following that, we'll go into several different workouts to include the five day, three day and two day workout plans. That's the scoop this week. Stay pumped, stay motivated and OO-RAH!