7 Benefits of Resistance Training

This article on the 7 benefits of heavy resistance training was written by the experts at the American Council on Exercise.  As an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, it helps to be able to pass along the science of weight training on my blog, especially when we have so much to cover in our one on one and group training sessions.

Here is the article:

For years only a finite number of dedicated fitness enthusiasts practiced a sure-fire method of achieving results from exercise: weightlifting with the heaviest loads possible. Most common gym routines are derived from the bodybuilding world and focus on moderate-to-high repetition ranges, usually eight to 15 reps, to increase the size of a muscle. Serious strength-training enthusiasts know that lifting heavy for five repetitions or less, while extremely challenging, is the quickest way to increase muscle strength.

There is a distinctive difference between training for muscle size—technically called hypertrophy—and training for strength and increasing a muscle’s ability to generate force. While lifting heavy can improve the force output of a muscle without significantly increasing its size, training for size can increase muscle volume without necessarily improving strength. Lifting with high repetitions can increase the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy of a muscle by increasing the amount of fluid in the sarcoplasm of muscle cells. However, using a heavy weight for fewer repetitions results in myofibrillar hypertrophy by increasing the thickness of individual muscle fibers. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increases the size of a muscle, while myofibrillar hypertrophy results in thicker muscle fibers capable of generating higher levels of force.

If you are looking for a way to supercharge your clients’ workouts or help move past them past a plateau, consider using a weight heavy enough to limit them to five repetitions or less.* Here are seven benefits of how using heavy resistance can maximize the results from your fitness program.

  1. Training for muscle strength is different than training for muscle size. A six- to 10-week strength-focused mesocycle of heavy resistance and low reps followed by a six- to 10-week hypertrophy (bodybuilder) mesocycle of moderate weight for higher rep ranges can produce significant gains in both size and strength.
  2. Using heavy weights increases intramuscular coordination, the number of type II motor units and the amount of muscle fibers engaged within a specific muscle. Have you ever felt your muscles shaking while lifting heavy weights? This is because you are recruiting and activating the larger type II muscle fibers, which are only stimulated to work when a muscle is challenged with heavy resistance or working to fatigue.
  3. Using maximal loads for compound (multi-joint) movements like the deadlift, squat-to-shoulder press, bent-over row or chest press can improve intermuscular coordination, which is the ability of many muscles to work together to generate and control high levels of force through multiple joints.
  4. Lifting heavy weights elevates levels of anabolic hormones—specifically testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)—which are used to repair muscle fibers damaged during exercise. This helps the muscle fibers to become thicker and capable of generating higher levels of force.
  5. Lifting heavy weights increases production of the hormone IGF-1. This hormone is related to the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a neurotransmitter responsible for stimulating the growth of new neural pathways in the brain along with enhancing communication between existing pathways. In short, lifting heavy could make you smarter by enhancing cognitive function.
  6. Training with heavy weights helps you to improve your self-confidence. Knowing that you can lift heavy stuff gives you the confidence that you can handle common challenges, such as a putting a bag in the overhead bin on an airplane or carrying a heavy piece of furniture while reorganizing a room or helping a friend move.
  7. Strength training with heavy weights improves muscle definition. Muscle definition occurs as the result of muscles remaining in a state of semi-contraction and heavy strength training recruits the larger type II muscle fibers responsible for a muscle’s appearance.

*WARNING: Using heavier weights requires using machines or a spotter to maximize safety. In addition, when lifting with maximal loads, it’s important to include longer rest periods of at least two to three minutes to allow muscles to properly recover before going back to work.

All exercise provides general health benefits, but resistance training with heavy weights is one of the quickest ways to achieve the benefits identified above. Keep in mind that according to the general adaptation syndrome, the body adapts to an exercise stimulus after a period of 12 to 14 weeks. Once your client starts training with maximal weights, he or she will experience serious gains. After three or four months, however, you will need to change your client’s training routine to provide a new stimulus to his or her body.

Catherine again.  Did you notice in example #1 that higher reps with moderate weight causes hypertrophy?  That’s another way of saying that doing higher reps with moderate weight increases size.  When you train with me, I promise to adjust your weight and rep ranges to suit your goals.  It’s your training session, so you get to decide.  Of course, if you’re going to lift you must use proper form.  Come to class at the Dome or request an appointment with me by e-mailing:

Catherine@sugarfreedom.com  One on one training can be costly, but I can design a program that will allow you to train at your gym, or at home, with form checks from me.  I’m ready to help you get the benefits of lifting. (Check the class schedule if you are near Sonora, CA.)

Learn to Lift for Life.

 

The Truth About Big Time- Long Term Weight Loss

I am a member of the .01 percent.  That means that I have achieved long term- big time weight loss. My top non-pregnancy weight was 185 pounds, and I have been maintaining my weight at within 5 pounds of 120 ever since 2009.

I became a Certified Personal Trainer in 2012, and I completed my Fitness Nutrition Certification from the American Council on Exercise in 2015, in order to deliver my solution to overweight and obesity on a professional level.

There have been many triumphs in my career, including being named certified Turbulence Trainer of the Year in 2013.  Hundreds of my clients and Sugar Freedom readers have achieved permanent fat loss with my programs, and many of them have gone on to become fitness professional themselves.

I still hope to start a movement in nutrition and fitness that acknowledges the power of simple eating and weight lifting for women.  I know from personal and professional experience that the most effective physical transformation programs can be simplified down to these elements: Nutrition, training, and recovery.  More specifically, the nutrition consists of the appropriate amounts of protein, fat, and vegetables. The training consists of the appropriate amounts of weight lifting, flexibility, and balance practice, done with the best possible form.

Supplements, shakes, pills, and odd equipment are simply not required.  What is required is the acceptance of the fact that powerful effort is needed to overcome overweight and obesity.  Some of the most entertaining and novel forms of exercise, which attract eager participants, may literally burn muscle and increase appetite in formerly obese individuals like me and many of my clients.

Simplicity and discipline are required in the kitchen, and excellent form with wise progression are required in the gym.  Many of the women I know look for fun and friendship in their fitness practice. If the classes they take get results I am happy for them, and a little bit envious to tell the truth.  As a working actor, dancer, and choreographer however, the condition of my body is an essential component of my ability to work.  I must lift weights with the best form I can achieve, practice dance technique with precision and dedication, and eat simple nutritious food in order to be able to work.

As I prepare my training and nutrition programs for 2018, I am re-dedicating myself to Ketogenic nutrition, weight lifting, and dance technique.  If you wish to train with me in 2018, now is the time to e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com with a description of your goals.

For now, I am off to the gym, and I will be creating a series of photos and videos that demonstrate my training techniques.

This is my truth when it comes to losing more than 60 pounds and keeping it off:

Eliminate sugar, grains, and processed oils from your food plan.

Lift weights with excellent form, and rest as soon as this level of form is lost.

Practice legitimate dance technique for grace, line, and to preserve femininity.

It really is this simple.  The question is, are you willing to trade variety in your food and fun in your fitness for the for the body you need to fulfill your potential?

All the Best,

Catherine Best Gordon.

My Latest You Tube Video Tips

The key to fat loss is 80% nutrition, 20% training.  I hope this helps you reach your goals.

The Sugar Freedom program is available here: sugarfreedom.com

 

Don’t forget to get to Train With Catherine at Dance at the Dome: 251 B. Baretta St. Sonora, CA for the training part of the solution!

 

 

 

How to Get to Cathy’s Fit Class

I was so delighted to see Rachel on Monday.  She mentioned that it was a challenge to find the dance studio at 251 B. Baretta Street so I made this slideshow to help.

Park on Baretta Street near the stairs.  (I must say these stairs could be fantastic for some free interval training.)  Walk up the stairs and turn left.  Go a few feet and walk down the next set of stairs to the TCAA building.  Turn left and walk in the first door on your right.  Walk through the art room to the dance studio.  There is a restroom, and drinking water is available.  There are cups, but it’s a good idea to remember your water bottle.  Cathy’s Fit Classes are at 5:30PM Mondays, and 9AM Wednesdays.

We use light weights and kettle bells in order to focus on form. For best results you should do the training routine I teach in class two more times during the week, either at home or the gym, and you can use heavier weights then.

The exercises can be modified for all levels. Single classes are $10 cash, or check made out to TCAA.  You can get your 6th class free if you buy a 6 class card for $50.

That’s Cathy’s Fit Class at KASA Dance at the Dome, brought to you by the Tuolumne County Arts Alliance.

Find your way here!  You’ll be glad you did.

E-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com for more details.