Muscle conditioning, often referred to as resistance training or strength training, is the
second of the three keys to building your optimal physique. By resistance training you are building muscle tissue (part of lean weight), and improving body composition. We help with efficient strength training programs.
More lean weight, less fat weight, it’s a good thing (pardon the Martha Stewart reference).
Increasing muscle mass improves your physical capacity to do daily activities, improves balance and strength of skeletal muscle, improves posture, decreases lower back pain, improves bone density, improves overall muscle strength and endurance and my absolute favorite reason, it contributes to increases in basal metabolic rate (BMR). With a higher BMR, your body burns more calories at rest and has the ability to stave off those extra pounds because muscle tissue is so active in comparison to its slug friend the fat tissue.
Simply put, more muscle gives you better physical function, improved ability to burn those calories off and the aesthetic beauty of a shapely limbs, torsos, butts, backs and the list goes on. Use these simple guidelines to put together your muscle conditioning workout.
· Mode- bodyweight, resistance equipment, dumbbells, body bars, bands, stability balls, medicine balls, or tubing
· Intensity- high; to the point of momentary muscle failure or 2-3 reps before it (should feel muscle working hard, then feeling total exhaustion and unable to do more at end of set)
· Repetitions- start with 8-12, but understand protocols ranging from 3-20 are common
· Sets- 1-3 per exercise, rest 30-60 second between sets
· Frequency- 2-3 sessions per week, on non-consecutive days (M/W/ F or T/Th/S)
· Number of Exercises- select 8-10, choose an exercise for each major muscle group in the body; a different exercise should be performed for a specific muscle group every 2-3 sessions
A few additional notes of importance when it comes to resistance training: to optimally benefit from muscle conditioning you must warm the muscles up with lower intensity movements before increasing to a more significant resistance; in other words doing your cardio first or a few sets with significantly lighter weight will do the trick.
Muscles do have a memory and workout programs need to be updated with changes to the Frequency, Intensity, and Mode every 4-6 weeks. Additionally, I always recommend that if possible, a Certified Personal Trainer be retained, at least for a couple of sessions, to perform assessment (very important), teach proper technique, and to set you up with a program geared to your own needs.
Is your resistance training program up to snuff?