When discussing the multitude of benefits that resistance training has on the human body, it’s not hard to realize that this style of exercise really is the magic solution to a vast number of different ailments. We’re all very aware that strength training can work miracles for accelerating weight loss, improving sport performance, or simply just a way to look and feel better. But what if you are struggling with a more serious issue, like controlling or even preventing disease-would resistance training be able to help in any way with something like that? We’re glad you asked.
Take diabetes for example. In one way or another, we all know someone with this disease-some of us have to look no further than within our own family tree. And yet, for as common as diabetes is to us, must people don’t always understand just how incendiary it is, mainly because it takes a back seat to cancer in the headlines. Nevertheless, here are a few quick facts about diabetes that illustrate just how grave a problem this disease is in America (Source: American Diabetes Association):
In addition to the dozens of benefits that resistance training has on the body, lifting weights also is a miracle cure for someone with diabetes too. When a person has diabetes (whether it’s type I or II), their hormone insulin, which acts in essence as the “key” that “unlocks” our cells to allow glucose molecules in the blood stream after meals to enter and be used as energy for the cells, isn’t working properly. This problem can be caused by a genetic disorder where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin (Type I diabetes), or it can be caused by a lifetime of eating bad foods to the point where the body becomes desensitized to having glucose in the blood stream, and therefore does not activate insulin as it should (Type II diabetes). Exercise, and specifically resistance training, helps correct this issue by creating what is called “an insulin-like effect” in the cells. Basically, after a bout of training, the cells are starved for glucose because it was all used up during the workout. As a result, the glucose receptors on the cell membranes are opened up and ready to receive any molecules that should float by. This phenomenon does wonders for controlling and stabilizing blood glucose levels in those who chronically strength train.
Furthermore, not only does strength training control blood glucose levels in healthy individuals, numerous studies have even shown that weight training can even reverse high blood glucose levels in those people who might already have diabetes, especially if they have Type II.
Once again, it seems there’s nothing strength training can’t overcome! Even one of the country’s top ten killers isn’t safe when regular strength training is employed. If you or someone you know and love is currently having to deal with this, sometimes shockingly terrible disease, we strongly urge you to get on a program immediately. Life, being too short as it is already, shouldn't have to be impaired in any way, especially when the solution is something as easy as picking up a weight and putting it down J.
Everyone knows there are a million and one reasons to not go workout as much as we should. We are all guilty of it. Whether we try to use “not enough time,” “the gym is too far away,” or “I have too much work to do” as our excuse, the reason is still the same for all of us: working out takes a lot of effort, discipline and desire to maintain. That’s why it is so important that when you do find the motivation (http://www.sentinelperformancellc.com/blog/lets-get-motivated) to work out, you need to make sure you are avoiding any and all road blocks that can prohibit you from gaining the most results possible. In other words, we need to avoid things that we, most of the time unknowingly, do to sabotage our workout progress, and inhibit our fitness goals. These are four of the most common mistakes people make when trying to take on a workout program, and what you can do to avoid them for yourself!
You aren’t eating enough. This has to be one of the biggest struggles an exercise specialist faces with his or her clients, especially when weight loss is their main priority. The logic is relatively simple: if unwanted fat comes from unused calories, then eating less calories means no more unwanted fat…it’s so simple! Unfortunately, this isn’t how the body operates. When you reduce the amount of calories the body is taking in, your brain senses this, and activates protective measures in order to prevent total system failure; you enter “starvation mode.” Basically, your body’s metabolism slows down in order to conserve energy, causing you to become sluggish and chronically fatigued. Additionally, in order to meet the necessary calorie demands to keep the human machine going, your body will actually start wasting away its own muscle to derive calories out of the protein. Not very helpful, especially when you are trying to use those muscles during your workouts! Therefore, the solution to effective weight loss is to create the required calorie deficit through increasing the energy out (ie. exercising) instead of decreasing the energy in (ie. calorie restriction). If you aren’t sure how many calories per day you are supposed to eat, shoot us an email (email@example.com) and we can help you figure it out!
You are drinking too much. After a long day’s work at the office, who doesn’t love to unwind with a well-deserved beer or glass of wine? Although it might seem like a nice reward in the moment, you might be paying a penalty in the end when it comes to your fitness goals. Alcohol contains what we call “empty calories,” meaning your body doesn’t use the energy that’s in those drinks for any productive physiological process like building muscle; it simply goes straight into fat storage. And, although a caloric intake of 95 (1 can of light beer) to 125 (5oz of red wine) may seem relatively innocuous, when added together over the course of one evening, and multiplied over the course of one week, you could find yourself with a caloric surplus that you are then forced to have to work harder to get rid of whenever you do make it into the gym. And who wants to worker harder in the gym?! Now, don’t get us wrong: we certainly are not telling you that you have to give up all of the fun, parties, and great times that revolve around socially drinking with friends and loved ones-of course not! All we want you to keep in mind is try to make life easier for yourself in the gym by knocking off the weeknight drinks that will chip away at your workout progress, and save the alcohol for times when you can really make it count like when you’re on a date with your wife, out with your close friends, or during the holidays with your family!
You don’t have a plan. Much like going on a road trip to a place that you’ve never been to without a map, getting your body into the shape you want to be in without a personal workout program is just as pointless. In order for resistance training, and exercise in general, to be most effective, the stimulus you place on the body needs to be consistent and progressive. Meaning, you can’t just do the same exercises over and over again and expect positive change. On the flip side, it is equally unbeneficial to do a different routine each day and never let the body master a particular skill or a certain weight because you’re always changing things up. Therefore, having a properly designed program that contains the exercises that are specific to your needs, and is progressively challenging, step by step, over time is imperative. That way you will be ensured that every minute you spend in the gym is well-invested in helping you get where you want to be!
You aren’t doing the right exercises. This might be one of the easiest missteps to make for the general exerciser who isn’t seeing the progress they were hoping to see in their workouts. All of us are bombarded on a regular basis by “advice from the experts” on what exercises we all should be doing. You see magazines at the grocery store saying “do these 5 exercises every day for a flat belly;” or perhaps you follow a fitness model on Instagram or Facebook who is videoing themselves doing some heinous exercise just to gain followers; or worst yet, you try to copy a movement that you saw someone else, or even a misguided trainer, do at your gym last week. The problem lies in the simple reality that the one-size-fits-all mentality does not at all apply to exercise. Every one of us moves in a different way, adapts in a different way, and recovers in a different way, and so we need our exercise selection to reflect that. In order for you to be the best version of yourself through exercise, your lifts have to be chosen based solely on what you as an individual can do, and unfortunately, no magazine, tv personality or social media queen can decide that for you. Proper exercise selection requires knowledge of biomechanics, physiology and periodization (along with many other sciences and skills) in order to create the perfect workout plan. Don’t have the time for a 4yr degree in exercise? Then it’s a good thing you know some people who do!
At the end of the day there are many factors that play against the well-intentioned exerciser who wants to make a serious healthy change in their lifestyle. Just like your parents always told you “Life isn’t easy,” we’re here to tell you the same thing about the “gym life.” But there is hope. First of all knowing and understanding pitfalls like the ones discussed here and many others is extremely beneficial; you can’t stop doing the wrong thing if you never knew it was wrong to begin with! And secondly, partnering with a professional, or better yet a team of professionals, who are invested in your success in the gym as much as you are is a full-proof way to get on the fast track to a better you. Though it is difficult, exercise doesn’t have to be, nor should it ever be, hopeless. Never be afraid to seek out the answers you need to excel in the gym-you may be surprised in the end of what you are capable of!
One of the healthiest activities in which millions of people participate every day is running. Whether recreational through jogging, competing in marathons or cross country running, people like to do it as it keeps them healthy.
There are many benefits that the human body can experience from conducting this kind of sports activity. Doing it on a regular basis can help you strengthen your muscles, build strong bones, improve the cardiovascular system, burn calories, maintain an ideal weight, etc.
Best of all, running is an activity that requires no special equipment. A nice pair of running shoes, comfy clothes and not too harsh a weather are all the things necessary for a jog. The shoes are probably the most important aspect here, so don’t be afraid to spend a little more and get the <a href=”https://www.16best.net/best-nike-running-shoes/”>best Nike running shoes</a> you can afford. It might not seem important right now, but believe me that is the best way to make sure you’re preventing any unnecessary injury.
It is important to know that proper warm up is a must as 65% of runners may suffer an injury in the first year of running. Stretch well and don’t overdo it, especially the first weeks when your body gets adjusted to regular physical stress.
Professional runners have set a lot of records and the following are just several of them.
Written by Karthik Reddy
Community Manager at Webmastersjury
In our experience, we often come across people looking for one quick and simple answer to a question they have always had about exercise, and one of the most popular of these questions we seem to always get asked is “what is the one version of the squat I should do when I am at the gym?” Typically their confusion arises from the fact that they know that squats are good for them, but, 1) they’ve never been taught how to do a proper squat in the first place, and 2) they see a multitude of variations of the traditional squat done by others in their gym, but don’t know what the benefit of those variations are, and wonder if they are missing out on something.
The answer to the question “what squat should I do?” unfortunately doesn’t have a simple answer, because the three main variations (back squat, front squat, and overhead squat) all have different benefits that will help an individual in different ways based off of the muscles that they each activate and the additional flexibility and stability challenges that they offer. Therefore, the best thing to do is to break down each movement, understand their individual benefits, and then decide for yourself which one you should implement based off of your given needs and wants.
The traditional version of the squat, the back squat, is one of the most intuitive movements that you will do in the gym because of its relatively basic movement pattern, and its functional transferability to many other athletic movements. Starting by walking your body under the center of the bar inside the rack, rest the bar on the meaty part of the top of your shoulders just under your neck-your trapezius muscle. Then, keeping your abdominals tight, and back straight, push your hips back and down toward the floor, staying on your heels, until your thighs reach just below parallel to the floor. Finally stand back up by driving through your heels. This exercise is perfect for building strength and size in the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps muscles, as well as engaging the core and spinal erectors.
The next most popular squat type is the front squat. This movement is rapidly becoming more visible in gyms due to the fact that it is an imperative teaching tool when practicing for the Olympic lift the power clean. To set up for the front squat, you approach the bar, position the center of the bar underneath the front of your neck, separate the hands slightly wider than armpit-width, swing your elbows under the bar to the point where they are facing directly forward, and allow the bar to rest on the anterior deltoid portion of your shoulder muscles. Your hands will be in an open-palm position, with your fingertips in contact with the bar to disallow it from rolling forward off your shoulders as you go through the range of motion. From here, follow the same movement pattern of the regular squat by pushing your hips down and back until the thighs are below parallel, and then drive back up through the heels to standing. The benefit of having the bar in front of the shoulders, puts more emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings, and also requires more core and back strength to stabilize the torso.
The third classic squat variation is the overhead squat. As was the case with the front squat, this version has also gained popularity concurrently with the other Olympic style lift, the power snatch. For this exercise, start with the bar behind your neck as in the back squat start position, and separate your hands into your snatch-grip position (wider than shoulder-width). Press the bar overhead so that the elbows are locked out, and your arms are in direct line with your torso. Maintaining the bar overhead the entire time by stabilizing your shoulders, and keeping your shoulder blades (scapulae) squeezed together, complete the squat movement, again, by pushing the hips down and back, and then driving through the heels to stand back up. This movement is very advanced and should be supervised by a professional (preferably a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist if possible) until you feel comfortable to do the movement on your own. Once mastered, however, the overhead squat is the perfect exercise to train upper back and hip mobility, in addition to core strength and general total body muscle control.
After taking a look at three of the classic versions of the squat movement (and if you’re interested in a fourth, learn about the Zercher squat HERE [link to Frank’s article]), it’s easy to see that there is no “one ring to rule them all” when it comes to training the lower body. Even if you spend all your time getting one of these variations perfect, you would still be missing out on a multitude of benefits that the others have to offer. Our advice? Try them all! The body is not a one-dimensional machine, therefore, you shouldn’t train it with a one-dimensional workout! So, take a long hard look at what you need to work on, figure out what movements best fit those needs (never be afraid to ask for help firstname.lastname@example.org), and get squatting! Your dream body is counting on you.
Joe Gernetzke CSCS