Muscular strength training fundamentals
The Fitness Trail
An integral part of all exercise programs is the muscular strength training component. Designing a well-balanced, safe and effective program is essential to ensuring the body is strong through all three planes (sagittal, transverse and frontal) and functions optimally throughout each day and lifetime. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
•On two or three, non-consecutive days per week, perform a full body muscular strength training program. Include all major muscle groups of the body and address all three planes.
•If training for specific muscle groups, for example, upper body or lower body only, you may train several days per week. However, train the same body parts on non-consecutive days. The body needs rest and recovery in order to grow, repair and strengthen.
•When emphasizing muscular strength training, work all major muscle groups to a point of momentary muscle failure. This is the point at which you could not perform another repetition without breaking form. If you feel you could perform another repetition, you may need to increase the intensity. Either increase external resistance (a 2.5 percent increase in weight), or change position if training with body weight alone, placing a greater gravitational force on the body.
•The exercises for each muscle group should be varied periodically to continue stressing the body safely, followed by adaptation and then the stress/adaptation process once again.
•Exercise selection should include varied positions. For instance, perform standing rows at the multi-gym, or inverted rows from the floor with a TRX Suspension System, and perhaps an inverted row utilizing the bar on a Smith machine. There are dozens of exercises which effectively train each muscle group. Utilizing variety may prevent overuse injuries, ad continues challenging the mind and body to prevent plateaus, boredom and burnout.
•Striving for excellent form and technique on all exercises to avoid injury and promote great strength is essential. In all exercises, if it hurts, do not do it! Seek out the guidance of a qualified fitness professional to create a positive fitness journey.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC which will be in Granby late spring 2014, and Never Summer Fitness, LLC in Grand Lake. She may be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com.
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