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Introduction

The popularity of weight training has sky rocketed over the past few years and has proved to be beneficial for our bodies. Since this is not physiology, I won't go into detail on how weight training effects our bodies specifically, but I will review some of the important benefits. When our muscles are exercised against adequate amounts of resistance, they become more efficient as well as stronger. They develop better tone and increased blood flow, and are less liable to suffer aches, pains and injuries. Moreover, exercising the muscles tends to counteract the process of muscular atrophy that inevitably happens as one ages. Muscles strengthen our bones and exercising them helps prevent Osteoporosis. This is a condition that occurs mostly in women in which their bones become less dense and more brittle. Lastly, the increase of lean muscle mass has been documented to increase our metabolism. This leads to the increase of caloric expenditure. If the amount of calories taken in is less then the energy output (exercise), the extra lean muscle mass would supplement our weight loss goals. As the interest of weight training increases, the more confusion there seems to be as to what to actually do. Basic training principles are debated - heavy training versus light training; whether to use free weights or machines; what kind of training yields the best results; how to gain muscle mass; how to get ripped up or how to bring up a slow responding muscle group. The following fitness notes will give you the foundation to start a weight training program and eliminate most of the confusion. There are twelve different weight training routines shown in this page that range from the basics to bodybuilding. I hope you are convinced that weight training is not only for looking good on the beach. Weight training is an activity that can be done for a life time that offers many benefits. There are a lot of crazy concepts about weight lifting that you will hear, but the most important thing to remember is to keep it simple and have fun.


The Training Effect

Day in and day out, I see people exercising with weights and they are not seeing any results. These people are using the same amount of weight every time they work out. Once they count that last repetition, they put the weight down and never try to increase the resistance. Therefore, they are not challenging themselves and not getting the training effect. Any kind of exercise program depends on the training effect for results. This merely means that, when the body is subjected to unusual stress (lifting weights) over a period of time, it adapts itself so that it can deal more effectively with that stress. For example, if you have a 10 - horsepower motor and you subject it to a 12 - horsepower load, it will burn out. But when you have a human body that is equivalent to a 10 - horsepower motor and subject it to a 12- horsepower load, it will eventually become a 12 - horsepower motor. In weight lifting terms it simply means that you have to push yourself and not to be afraid of acute pain. For example, after completing a set of bench presses for 12 reps, you have to ask yourself if you could have completed a few more. If so, then the current weight is to light and you should increase the weight so that the 12th repetition will be the last and the most difficult to complete.


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