Monthly Archives: March 2016

Studies Show Weight Training Can Lengthen Lives

rusted barbellThere has been some statistics that point to a big reason for weight lifting, your life! It has been shown that strength training is a big factor to living a longer life. Granted, those who were tested were already of old age but the results showed those who spent their spare time lifting were much less likely to pass away. Something to remember is that habits are best when they are started early. What better reason do you have to start changing your life now, than being able to live for a longer time? This should be something that puts every single excuse you have for being lazy to rest. I can attest to just how true these findings are due to how well my grandfather has aged. He took to fitness, at a later stage in his life, and now loves going to his local recreational center. My grandfather had to deal with a big tragedy in his life, I honestly think that his commitment to staying active has helped him immensely.

I find that the elderly can also form special bonds with those of the same age, who are also doing what they can to prolong their own life. Finding friendships as people age, can become harder to do. I sometimes go to that same rec center in the mornings, it is amazing to see so many of the elderly still finding that will to go out and exercise. It really speaks volumes to my own motivation when I am walking a track, alongside someone well into their sixties. I have bad days, just like everyone else, where I don’t feel like getting out of bed, let alone start up an intense workout. Try this, the next time that you aren’t feeling like doing anything, visit a gym and see men and women who are decades older than you putting in the work.

The first time that I saw this, it was a real eye-opener. As you create muscle tissue, this helps you to maintain a better BMI. Unknown to many, as muscles develop, it takes more calories to keep those muscles sticking around. One of the biggest causes for health issues is always an excess of fat. This fat slows you down, leads to depression, and is just not good for you. If you are one of the older people who are hitting the gym, you probably have less fat which drastically lowers a bunch of potential health problems down the line. If you reading this and picturing old men trying to lift like a bodybuilder, this isn’t quite what they mean by strength training. Of course, muscle mass and the potential to build it decreases with age. Seniors who are starting any kind of exercise program should get a qualified opinion, to find out what works best for them. Regardless of what methods are chosen for the senior citizens to utilize, they will have to start small and make gradual improvements from there. What is crucial to remember is that there are actually patterns being formed that almost ensure that the elderly are able to live longer and happier lives. Since the older generations could have developed any number of specific bone issues, most will need a program that is customized to them. This is one drawback of starting training later on in life, having a weaker body leads to a life of previous nagging injuries. These injuries go from being light but can really be maximized under a heavy set of weights.

Rory Mcllroy Shows Golfing and Lifting Can Mix

When we think of some of our sports stars now, you can already see a towering figure. I mean, someone that is lifting weights has to be a football player, right? No, this man doesn’t toss a pigskin, although he does play his sport of choice outside. The man’s name is Rory Mcllory and he is a professional golfer. I have to say that not since Tiger Woods has a golfer put so much work into his physique. Drawing a bit of jabbing, some have jokingly stated that all of those muscles were causing some holes in his game. Far be it from me to criticize anyone at golf, I am terrible at the sport, but these ribs were all in a good nature.

mcllroy on fairwaySo, why does Mcllroy break the mold by lifting like he does, in a sport that doesn’t really require it? Some have speculated the most obvious reasons: he wanted to look better, he did it to hit the ball harder, etc but none of them match the reason why. Since Rory was a young boy, he had always had some nagging back issues. As he grew older and found his calling playing golf, something had to fix his back. The back issues that he was having would surely hold him back from being great, let alone one of the best players in the world. To help control how his back would behave on him, he began weightlifting. This just goes to show that not every person who lifts weights regularly is a dumb jock. Many people do lift strictly for their own vanity and that is fine.

However, there will be people, perhaps someone lifting right by you, that does it for other reasons. For a better quality of life, some must train regularly which helps their muscles stay strong enough to support them. The support that he has had is causing heads to turn at tournaments across the nation. Mcllroy is well on his way to becoming a future legend and it is hard to argue that his discipline that comes with lifting weights hasn’t had something to do with it. When I was younger, I struggled with a hernia, something that I had ended up inheriting from my father. As I would go my yearly checkups, I was warned that this condition could get worse over time.

Even though it was said to be a small operation, I was still worried about this news. In what I thought would be a completely unrelated incident, I began doing sit-ups every night. It wasn’t anything obsessive, so I thought, I would try to get in twenty a night, no exceptions. A few trips later and the doctor was no longer making any kind of plans for any major operations. I’ll never know if the decision to do some core work made a difference but I like to think that it did. My family was amazed that I had been able to skip something that had happened to every past generation member on my father’s side. I wouldn’t make any claims that this was the perfect remedy to a hernia, by any means. Most likely a byproduct of luck, over anything else, I was still relieved to know that I wouldn’t have to worry about having a little pooch sticking out of my belly.

Take the Time to Learn Your Rep Percentages

Have you ever been reading all about a new set of exercises that you want to try out? I mean, everything is going well until you start seeing more percentages than in an algebra textbook. This will be the point where I will click over to somewhere else, that can explain their plan in an easier way. I have only just started to take the time (not much, by the way) to figure out what my lifting percentages are. By doing this, not only am I being able to more closely customize my what I lift but I also get to know my limits a bit better. In a sport, or hobby, in which you are constantly pushing yourself to new limits, wouldn’t it be nice to know what the ones that you have already are? As time moves forward and you are looking into moving into an intermediate or advanced level, knowing specific numbers over guesswork will be important.

You don’t need some long and drawn out guide, or a twenty minute video to really find out your rep numbers, just start by grabbing a dumbbell. To get started, pick a specific exercise, like a curl, and get a weight to see how many reps you can do with it. This is not the safest way and I don’t recommend starting off with this but I will find out what my max is, before anything else. To do this, I grab a dumbbell and use some good old fashioned trial and error, until I find a weight that I can only bring up one time. After writing down the number of weights on the dumbbell, I now know my max. As we move into the bigger weights and a bar is required, make sure you have someone spot you. It is an incredibly dangerous idea to find your maxes on heavier lifts by yourself.

You can also do the opposite, which would be to start with what you can do more reps of and work your way up from there. When it comes to specifics, you can get as technical and detailed as you would like, although, it will save you some time if you find two to three percentages. There is a wide difference, depending upon who you ask, about what percentages are the most important. When I need to know, I will figure out my 25%, 50%, and 100% rep range, the last one being what I max out at. By having these three base percentages, guesstimating becomes a lot easier as I progress. The beauty of this method is that you can be as detailed, or not, as you want to be. As long as finding out where your strength levels lie does not change the time that you are actually lifting, you have full freedom to learn whichever rep percentages that you want.

Even though it is often ignored, you have nothing to lose by scheduling some time to find out more about how you lift. Although it might seem like a time drain, learning, literally, what your strengths are will make you a smarter lifter. So, the next time that you go and grab some weights, take a pencil and paper with you and learn how to scientifically get bigger. This will require a small level of time and actual work, you owe it to yourself to do this because the end result will be a much smarter lifter when it is all done.

use this for percentages

How Muscle Memory Created A Comeback Story

Not the name of some new game, muscle memory is quite an amazing phenomenon. It’s the way that I was able to go from a twig, to a beefed up guy, back to being small, and finally hitting my stride! When we really start to look at just how muscle memory even happens, it can really wow you. This special type of memory happens the more that a muscle learns to do something. When said action is done repeatedly and over a long period of time, this sticks with us. To be more specific, it sticks with your muscles that get used to the habit of doing the same action over and over again. An older man that I would end up going to the gym with had first told me about this. He explained this memory as how he was able to end up taking home a local trophy in a show that he did. He had been working multiple jobs and just starting out with a family of his own. This was quite the change of scenery for someone who was used to spending most of his free time doing what he wanted to do. He wanted to appear at one more show and knew he would have to sit down with his wife to talk this over with her. At first, she was not on board with the idea but eventually decided it was best to let him do what he wanted to.

At this point, he was so excited to be able to train again that he dove in head first. I admired the courage that he had to start from scratch, so to speak, but felt like he was sprinting in a marathon. Seeing him in the mindset that he was in, day after day, I really wanted to believe that he could get anywhere close to the shape that he used to be in. As we approached out third trip to the gym, this was when muscle memory came to his aid. When I saw him pull his car into the gym parking lot and get out, it was like he never took time off at all! This blueprint that he had spent years, if not decades in creating had revived his muscles into going back to the way that they were. Like stepping out of a time machine, memories stored within his mind had transferred back the way that they had looked before.

how they remember

As magical as it may seem, you don’t want to make a habit of using muscle memory as an excuse to be lazy and neglect doing some work. This can lead to your internal organs going into a frenzy from a rollercoaster ride. Instead, look to applying muscle memory in extreme situations where you know that working out is just not going to be a priority. Isn’t it odd that someone will stop working out and not come back to starting it up again because they think it will take all of that time? If more people knew about muscle memory, I think that we would see higher percentages of them sticking with a less sedentary lifestyle. If you are reading this now and used to train but have since stopped, your muscles will still remember. It might take days, or weeks but this amazing memory that we have will kick in. When this occurs, expect everything to start coming back.