Replace 10 pounds of body fat with 10 pounds of lean muscle mass and you will burn an additional 25 to 50 calories a day.  Strength Training is crucial for successfully losing weight and keeping it off.  Muscle accounts for about a third of the average women’s weight, so adding Strength Training to your Cardio Workouts 2 to 3 times a week, will help you maintain your total amount of lean muscle mass, creating a permanent increase in your metabolism.   That being said, because muscle is denser than fat, its slimming effect will not always be apparent on the scale.  Jumping on a treadmill and performing a vigorous cardiovascular workout every evening will definitely show up as a weight decrease on the scale, but as far as a “Tighter” look to your physique, not so much.  You will still have the same look even with a 10 to 20 pound difference because your comparison of lean muscle mass to body fat is still the same.  Continue these vigorous cardiovascular workouts without adding Strength Training, you will only force yourself to have to consume less calories due to eventual lean muscle mass weight loss.  With this continuous decrease in calories you are not going to recover from your workout as you used too, and will quickly see your performance levels drop.  Sounds like a vicious cycle that does not turn out with the results you want!  By adding just 2 to 3 thirty  minute Strength Training sessions at the end of your cardiovascular workout will not only increase your optimal performance, but will leave you looking and feeling leaner.  

I understand that when attempting to lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories in a 24-hour period than you exert.  While that is true, if you are going to a level of almost starving your body in order to see results on the scale, you are losing valuable lean muscle mass and therefore decreasing your metabolism.  If you can manage to keep the lean muscle mass your body already has, or even increase the mass through Strength Training while you are losing body fat, then you can maintain and even increase your metabolism.  You will want to start a Strength Training program as soon as possible after reading this article.  If you decide to starve yourself while attempting to “Lose Weight,” and then afterwards engage in Strength Training, you are going to find that it is much more difficult to gain lean muscle mass than it was to slim away what you began with.  With all of this being said, it is crucial to fuel your workouts properly.  (Connect to Refresh and Refuel article in Body Works).  Sports nutritionist Cassandra Forsythe, Ph.D., recommends that you eat one gram of protein for every pound of your body weight that does not come from fat, every possible day to assist in lean muscle mass building.  Add this much needed protein to a bit of fibrous carbohydrates and a touch of fat several times a day, and WALLA!  You are going to squeeze your body into the look you want and deserve.

Strength Training will greatly increase the speed of your weight loss effort and probably double the effectiveness of any Weight Loss Program you have ever been on.  But, as with all forms of exercise, be sure to start out with a qualified health professional before attempting these 30 minute Strength Training Workout suggestions, especially some of the more high energy exercises.  Always make sure to check with your doctor before beginning any workout or weight loss program. Remember, this workout is designed to be preformed 2 to 3 x a week, and is not recommended for every person attempting to regain their health and happiness through a stronger overall body. You will need to assist your personal trainer in finding the appropriate amount of weight for each exercise, where by the last repetition of each exercise, you have hit fatigue.

  1. SEATED LEG EXTENSIONS – 2 SETS @ 12-15 REPETITIONS
  2. SEATED LEG CURLS – 2 SETS @ 10-12 REPETITIONS
  3. SEATED CABLE ROWS – 2 SETS @ 12-15 REPETITIONS
  4. PECTORAL FLY – 2 SETS @ 12-15 REPETITIONS
  5. SEATED MILITARY PRESS – 2 SETS @ 12-15 REPETITIONS
  6. PRONE INCLINE BENCH ALTERNATE DUMBBELL BICEP CURLS – 2 SETS @ 12-15 REPETITIONS
  7. STANDING CABLE TRICEP CURLS (STRAIGHT BAR) – 2 SETS @ 12-15 REPETITIONS
  8. START WITH LOWER ABDOMINALS, MOVE TO UPPER ABDOMINAL REGION, THEN TO OBLIQUES – REFER TO MY MAD ABS ARTICLE “BACK TO BASICS”

***START WITH THE LARGER MUSCLE GROUPS AND WORK TO THE SMALLER MUSCLE GROUPS…I RECOMMEND COMPLETING THE ABDOMINAL PORTION OF THIS WORKOUT AT THE END, AS IT IS NOT BENEFICIAL TO “BURN OUT” THE IMMEDIATE CORE MUSCLES WHEN YOU WILL NEED TO BE USING THEM THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE WORKOUT***
 

Fire Up That Booty

12/31/2012

 
The glutes (AKA - Booty, Bottom, Gluteus Maximus or Minimus), are really not worked during exercises that do not involve hip movement, such as leg extensions or hamstring curls.  So, here is a 30 minute leg workout, that will not only increase your hamstring and hip strength, but will help you "Beef Up" that booty and prepare you for those long runs where the front of the leg muscles seem to take over and leave the posterior muscles (this includes the hamstrings) behind.  Remember, you will need to actively contract your glutes and abdominals, at the same time, lengthening the thighs.  

  1. Warm-up by taking the CoreRippic with a side of Hams Indoor Cycling class...(click here for details and playlist)

  2. Moving onto the strength training, you will want to start your 30 minute workout with a compound exercise for the legs such as Squats.  Although there are several variations of squats, Plie Squats are definitely my favorite.  Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out.  When squatting, keep your knees over your ankles at all times, and lengthen out of the torso by contracting the abdomen and pulling back the shoulder blades.  Press through both feet, equally distributing your body weight through the entire foot, with some emphasis on the heels, and squeeze your glutes as you come up to standing.  You can increase your squat strength by up to 25% just by developing your hamstrings…

  3. Contrary to what I just said, we will start with 3 sets of Leg Extensions, with a maximum of 15 repetitions.  You should feel as if you cannot physically complete even 1 more of these quadricep strengthening exercises by repetition number 15.  These Leg Extensions will fatigue the quadriceps, forcing you to actively use the posterior leg muscles during the following exercises.  Remember that sitting up straight in the seat of the Leg Extension machine forces you to contract more abdominal muscles and helps you to focus on the postural muscles while completing each repetition.  Also, make sure to flex the feet through each repetition as this forces the quadriceps to work even harder.

  4. Always start hamstring training with a compound exercise.  Stiff-Leg Deadlifts are one of the best mass building exercises for the hamstrings.  To perform Stiff-Legged Deadlifts, grab a barbell and place a moderate or light weight on it.  Be sure to begin this exercise using light weight until you learn the proper form.  Place the weighted barbell on the ground grabbing the bar with both hands.  Lift the barbell up and down, making sure that you keep your legs straight and tense.  Be sure to move the hips back and out of the way as you lower the bar.  Lower the bar down as far as you comfortably can, as to not force yourself to go lower than you naturally can.  Your focus should also be on contracting the abdomen, bringing the navel up and into the spine.  Do not worry about using a lot of weight with these exercises.  8 repetitions are just fine with Deadlifts, as using too much weight or too many repetitions can sometimes irritate the lower back muscle.  Be especially careful of Deadlifts if you have any lower back issues.  Unless done with an extreme cautious form, these can add strain to that specific area of the body.

  5. Leg Curls are the main strength training exercise weight lifters use for their hamstrings.  Leg Curls put more emphasis on the lower portion of your hamstring, and can be done lying, standing, or in a seated position.  Same positioning applies here as with the leg extensions.  While seated, sit up straight with abdominals contracted with postural muscles defined.  Rather you are performing lying, seated or kneeling curls, always keep the feet flexed throughout each repetition as to keep the primary muscle the quadriceps contracted and therefore supporting the hamstrings throughout the movement.  Again, 3 sets of 15 repetitions with a weight that maximizes the 15th repetition, is required for optimal conditioning.

  6. Walking Lunges are a great final exercise to finish off the energy in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.  Simply place a lightly weighted bar behind your head and across your shoulder blades.  Lunge forward with the right foot, planting the foot completely before lowering into the lunge.  Repeat with the left leg and alternate legs as you walk around the gym or outside track.  I have even been known to perform Walking Lunges up and down the sidewalks of my neighborhood.  I recommend no more than 100 lunges starting off.  Increase your repetitions but not necessarily your weight as you progress.  This specific part of your workout is focusing on warming up those leg muscles.  So again, not too much weight is recommended.  In my opinion, walking lunges are the best exercise for the booty.  Try them…You too will feel the effects immediately.  Also, instead of the weighted bar on the shoulders, try grabbing a weighted medicine ball and reaching both arms down toward the floor outside the front foot, as this motion really assists in targeting the glutes specifically….

***Going back to hamstring versus quadriceps strength…If your hamstrings are inferior to your quadriceps, give them a training day of their own with 100% of your attention…When training your hamstrings, you should always do at least three exercises and do it at least once a week***
 
 
Strength Training has been shown to reduce the risk of falling by 40%...
 
It takes more energy (calories) for your body to use and maintain muscle cells than it does fat cells. So by simply Strength Training you can add more muscle mass, therefore boosting your metabolism and turning your body into a more efficient calorie-burning machine…
 
Strength Training, have been shown to release endorphins, which make you feel both mentally and physically good...
 
Muscle naturally decreases with age. After about age 30, adults can lose up to 2 percent muscle mass per year. Some studies have even shown that right after puberty, a person begins to lose 1 percent of their bone and muscle strength. Strength Training assists in not only adding muscle mass to your body, but helps replace the muscle lost that would have caused an increase in body fat…
 
“One of the best ways to stop, prevent, and even reverse bone and muscle loss is to add Strength Training to your workouts.” Troy Tuttle, MS
 
The American Heart Association recommends Strength Training as the top way to keep your heart healthy...
 
Research conducted in the College of Health Sciences’ Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science at Appalachian State University has shown that Strength Training can lower blood pressure by as much as 20%...
 
Strength Training has been shown to reduce the risk of Osteoporosis. Strength Training increases bone density and helps reduce the risk for osteoporosis…
 
 “Although aerobic workouts like walking or running are important, they can’t take the place of Strength Training when it comes to building and preserving muscle.” Edward Laskowski, M.D
 
Strength Training helps improve the way the body processes sugar…
 
Strength Training improves heart health by controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which play a role in diabetes management...
 
Strength Training helps maintain flexibility and balance, while additional muscle protects your joints from injury…

Strength Training adds muscle which in turn increases your metabolism… When you begin to focus on cutting calories through smaller portion sizes of food and start exercising at least 4 times a week, your body has to then pull energy from not only fat, but sometimes muscle…By  combining Strength Training you are helping to build and maintain muscle mass even though you are losing weight…This is one of the reasons why you may not see a significant change in your weight when stepping on that scale, but see the change in body fat reduction and your clothes beginning to feel a lot looser…Basically, keeping or adding muscle while decreasing body fat and weight, will assist your body by pulling more energy from your fat stores to keep you energized, therefore preserving much needed muscle stores…
 
Strength Training improves your posture by improving your range of motion, coordination, and muscle strength...I have worked with people that have actually got taller after a year of working with Strength and Flexibility Training...
 
Strength Training makes everyday chores easier due to the functional strength from increased stamina…

“Using runner-specific strength exercises will increase structural/fitness – the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to withstand the impact of running.” Jason Fitzgerald…So for marathoners, that means at least three Strength Training workouts every week…

A study from Penn State University found that, on average, people who Strength Train lose six more pounds of fat than those who don't...

Strength Training in younger people has been known to boost self-confidence and improve their body image…

Strength Training provides those nicely toned muscles that most really want to accomplish. But, the benefits of Strength Training go way beyond a beautiful body shape. Strength Training improves your balance and coordination, reducing your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent.  A crucial benefit especially as we get older…

Strength Training can help post-menopausal women increase their bone density and reduce the risk of bone fractures,,,

“Strength Training can help people with rheumatoid arthritis function better and reduce soreness, stiffness and pain.”Donna Rae Siegfrid. Benefits increase as muscle strength increases. 
 
 
1.  Grab a BARBELL that is an appropriate weight for Bicep Curls...Stand with the entire back of your body, including head and shoulders, against the wall or mirror at your gym...While maintaining the natural curvature of the lower back, pull your abdominal wall into the rib cage....

2.  Slide down the wall, holding the BARBELL about shoulder-width apart, until your hips and knees are in line with each other and you are in a complete isometric squatting position...

3.  Hold the squat while you perform Bicep Curls, keeping the momentum of the movement centered on a up for two counts, down for two counts rhythm...You should be able to complete at least 8 full range of motion Bicep Curls while maintaining the squat...

***Remember that even while you are holding the squat, the back, pelvic bone, shoulders, head, and most importantly the back of the upper arms and elbows, should be stable against the wall or mirror...You should focus on dominating just that Bicep as you preform the curls...Always, maintain a constant contraction of the core muscles and B R E A T H***