Train Smarter, Not Just Heavier

Train Smarter, Not Just Heavier

by Dr. David Ryan

There is a great deal of confusion in fitness relative to weight. Many people think that the heavier you lift the bigger you get. Nothing could be farther from the truth and taking a look at some of the smaller class power and weight lifters proves it. Many lighter class lifters are very strong, but they can often lack the round muscle belly look that is so popular in fitness.

Lack of Patience Leads to Nowhere
Millions of people join a gym or start a fitness program every year. Many have an obvious interest in setting goals and improving their look. If you have a good program and specifically a good personal trainer, then you hopefully have some guidance. The usual thing that happens is that people want to rush results and often try to lift too much weight or take supplements or starve themselves into an injury.

Getting Injured Leads to Nowhere Real Fast
The common injuries come from two guys challenging each other in the “pissing contest” or a male who sees a pretty girl and tries to lift the gym in one rep. A quick “pop” and your knee, back or some other issue is yours. Women often will starve themselves and thus recovery is slowed, then odd injuries start to occur. Plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, bursitis, common strains, and other slow onset injuries are commonly linked to poor diets.

Once you are injured that whole process comes to an immediate halt. Now is that accomplishing anything? Gaining muscle mass or losing body fat can’t be done effectively if you are sitting on ice. There are some simple smart common sense approaches to apply to all fitness programs.

Simple Trick for Massive Muscle Stimulation
Genetics are often the given factor associated with strength and muscle look. The truth is many times people often can improve their look with the right format of exercise. One of the first things to learn to do is flex the muscle while you are lifting. This provides a massive increased stimulation to the muscle and at the same time, doesn’t overload the joint. You will actually get toned faster and stimulate more muscle.

To learn this process, take a simple 10 pound dumbbell in your non-writing hand. Curl the weight several times (10-15) reps. Now move the dumbbell to your writing hand and as you curl the weight, flex/squeeze your bicep. Learn to flex the muscle on the way up and on the way down with the weight. Slow down and squeeze harder and harder, really focusing on squeezing the muscle as you lower the weight (the eccentric movement).

After you do 10 or more reps you can set the dumbbell down and relax. Feel the arm and notice it feels “tighter” on your writing hand side. That is a pump and your body has just poured more blood into that muscle since it is doing more work. Learn to apply this technique to all of your movements and stop worrying about how heavy you lift. Concentrate more about how hard you are flexing while you are moving the weight.

How To Diet Correctly
Dieting is honestly the best way to get yourself in shape, but restriction of foods without appropriate guidance will leave your body undernourished. This can cause short and long term problems with your body reactions to exercise. Imagine that improper restriction of food is similar to someone choking the air out of you. It takes a while before you finally turn blue and then pass out.

Use common sense when dieting and eat well balanced meals, but try eating amounts smaller than the size of your fist. The two palm method is one palm of protein and the other palm is carbohydrates and fats. Spread your meals out over the day trying to eat every two or three hours. This will eventually result in your metabolism speeding up.

When you go without eating or try eating one meal per day, your body’s metabolism slows down. The food you eat is mostly converted to fats since your body is pulling a “camel” routine. Your cortisol (fat thermostat hormone) will continue to climb and you will also hold more and more water.

Know It Takes time
Don’t try to cheat the system; you have to realize that if you haven’t exercised for years, it takes years to get back into shape. A great trainer will often do body fat and take various measurements, to help prove your progress. Simply stepping on a scale will drive you nuts since your body fluctuates so much.

Get The Proper Rest
Getting the appropriate rest is another important piece of the fitness puzzle. Trying to gain muscle mass or just lose weight requires 6-9 hours of sleep. Various medications and drugs affect the quality of your sleep. Common things such as alcohol reduce your normal production of growth hormones so keep them to a minimum or out of your diet totally.

Dr. David Ryan
Columbus Chiropractic Center Director

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