Strength Training: 10 Tips
By Gary Matthews, http://www.maximumfitness.com
Everybody knows that strength training builds muscle, but did you know that it does more much more for you in the health stakes? Let's have a look at these strength training tips one by one and you will see what a difference this valuable tool will make to your general health:
Weights Improve Immunity. Immune strength depends on the availability of the amino acid glutamine, and your muscles have to supply the glutamine to your immune system for it to work. The more muscle you have, the more abundant the glutamine supply. Other things being equal, this means your immune system works better.
Weights Grow Bone. A study at Stanford University showed clearly that about 20% of bone mineral density is dependent on maintaining muscle. A study reported in February 2000 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that even in elderly women, a one-year weight-training program increased their strength by 20-30%--with a significant increase in bone density.
Weights Combat Diabetes. New studies published between 1995 and 2000 show that weight training has an unexpected benefit: it improves glucose tolerance in patients with Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes. In one of these studies, post-menopausal women with diabetes followed a weight-training program for four months. Their glucose sensitivity to a challenge improved by an average of 29%.
Weights Wack Arthritis.- At Tufts University in the USA, researches gave patients with rheumatoid arthritis 10 weeks of high-intensity weight training. Results showed significant reductions in joint pain and fatigue and a big gain in strength. Results showed that the weight work caused a significant decline in arthritis activity.
Weights Raise Testosterone. Did you know that strength training is one of the best exercises to raise testosterone levels in men and women? With strength training, the levels of both testosterone and growth hormone rise dramatically.
Since loss of strength and muscle mass are the prime causes of most age-related diseases, a lifelong strength training program is one of the best insurance polices for a better quality of life for both men and women.
Avoid Muscle Loss. Although endurance exercise improves our cardiovascular fitness, it does not prevent the loss of muscle tissue. Only strength training maintains our muscle mass and strength throughout our mid-life years. After the age of 20 up to 1/2 pound of muscle tissue is lost per year in both males and females, owing to the "normal" aging process.
Avoid Metabolic Rate Reduction. Because muscle is very active tissue, muscle loss is accompanied by a reduction in our resting metabolism. Research indicates that an average adult experiences a 5% reduction in metabolic rate every decade of life. Only high intensity strength training with prescribed rest periods can avoid this.
Increase Muscle Mass. Because most adults do not perform strength exercise, they need to first replace the tissue that has been lost through inactivity. Fortunately, research shows that a standard strength training program can increase muscle mass by about 4 kg or 10 lbs over a ten-week period.
Increase Metabolic Rate. Research reveals that adding 10 lbs of muscle increases our resting metabolism by 7% and our daily calorie requirements by 15%. At rest, 2 lbs of muscle requires 77 calories per day for tissue maintenance. During exercise, muscle energy utilization increases dramatically. Adults who replace muscle through sensible strength exercise use more calories all day long, thereby reducing the likelihood of fat accumulation.
Reduce Body Fat. In a 1994 study, strength exercise produced 10 lbs of fat loss after two months of training, even though the subjects were eating 155 more calories per day. That is, a basic strength-training program resulted in 8 lbs more muscle, 10 lbs less fat, and more calories per day food intake.
Increase Bone Mineral Density. The effects of progressive resistance exercise are similar for muscle tissue and bone tissue. The same training stimulus that increases muscle strength also increases bone density and mineral content. A 1993 study demonstrated significant increases in the bone mineral density of the upper femur after four months of strength training.
So, now you can go ahead with your strength training endeavors knowing that you will be experiencing all these benefits found in the above tips.
Gary Matthews is the author of the popular fitness eBooks Maximum Weight Loss and Maximum Weight Gain. Please visit http://www.maximumfitness.com right now for your free weight loss e-course
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Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.
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