Tag: Strength

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There has always been a debate for decades over whether cardio training or strength training is better for you. The reality is you need both. Your body will not depend on just a single branch of exercise to work. Cardio and strength workouts come with their own set of benefits, and each supports the other and enhances your overall fitness performance. It is suggested that adults perform at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily, and engage in strength training at least twice per week. These recommendations from the American Heart Association suffice for 30 minutes per day, or 150 minutes per week, of physical related activity which can be easy as going for a run around the block and hitting the gym with some weights.

Benefits of strength training
Weight training builds big muscle and helps to strengthen the connective tissues in your body, and that goes far towards injury prevention. Not only will it help with everyday chores and aging bodies but you'll also improve your posture, balance, and stability. Weight training helps shape your body and metabolizes fat faster. Following strength training, your metabolism remains higher for an elongated period of time (unlike cardio which halts as soon as your heart rate drops), in return burning more calories after your workout. Furthermore muscle expends more energy to maintain than fat does, so in return you'll burn more calories while at rest by adding some muscle to your frame.

Benefits of cardio training
Cardio training improves your body's ability to process and use a higher content of oxygen, increases your lungs capacity, and improves your overall fitness level to help you live longer and have a healthier heart. Even when the top body builders started to train they began to recognize the high level of importance of adding cardiovascular training into their workouts aiding them in increased blood-flow to the muscles as well as speeding the muscle breakdown healing process and recovery through workouts. Cardio training elevates your heart rate in the short term, with benefits like lower blood pressure and a decreased resting heart rate, which results in less effort for the heart and any future diseases.

A properly designed and rounded workout routine comes with an abundance of mental and physical benefits. Exercise releases endorphin's under stress, which helps aid stress, tension and anxiety, as well as increasing blood flow to the brain, to help you function at higher levels. Risks of illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer can be decreased by performing healthy related activities. Exercise helps maintain muscle mass and strengthen bone density, both of which decline as we age. Staying active will not only give us a better way of life but a longer and healthier one.

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Source by Albert Quintana

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Early records of strength training date back to 3600 BC when Chinese emperors made their subjects exercise daily (Webster 1976). During the Chou Dynasty subjects were required to pass weight- lifting tests before entering the military. There is large amount of evidence that indicates weight training was part of life in ancient Greece and India. In fact, the Greeks built numerous sculptures of people lifting stone weights.

Numerous systems of training have been proposed over the years. The accumulation of experience and different philosophies has led us to the current training methods utilized today. Keep in mind; many authorities have varied greatly from the original purpose of strength and conditioning. Hard work and dedication formed the foundation of earlier training methods. Today the opposite has occurred in numerous settings as easy work and quick fixes form the foundation of most people’s regimens.

During the 16th century in Europe books on weight training began to surface. Sir Thomas Elyot’s book on the topic was published in England in 1531. Joachim Camerius, a lecturer at Leipzig University, wrote several books in 1544 recommending that weight training should be a key activity offered in the model school. John Paugh published a book in 1728 titled A Physiological, Theoretic and Practical Treatise on the Utility of Muscular Exercise for Restoring the Power to the limbs, which pointed out the benefits offered by weight training for rehab purposes. In the 1860’s, Archibald Maclaren, devised the first formal system of physical training with dumbbells and barbells for the British Army.

The showmen and strongman entertainers of the 19th Century heavily contributed to methods used today in the fitness and Sports Conditioning industry. From extensive research iron game historian David Webster credits Italian circus and fairground performer, Felice Napoli as the one who popularized strongman performances on an international scale. Disciples of Napoli include Professor Attila (Louis Durlacher) and Eugen Sandow (Frederick Muller). Attila became well known and he attracted some of the world’s most well known physical culturists and many rulers of Europe. His list of students included King George of Greece, King Edward of England, Crown Prince Frederick who became King Haakon of Norway, the six children of King Christian of Denmark, the Queen Mother Alexandra of England, Princess Dagmar (Empress of Russia and mother of Tsar Nicholas), and the Duchess of Cumberland.

At the time training the wealthy was a much respected occupation. We have what we call personal trainers today. The current protocols used by the majority of today’s trainers are a far cry from the original teachings and benefits provided by trainers. The fame and notoriety of trainers of those days was a result of the public displays of extraordinary physical feats. These events were often attended by royalty and were highly acclaimed for their promotion of physical well-being.

Eugen Sandow, born in Koningsberg in East Russia in 1867, was recruited for his teachings by presidents and rulers from around the world. Nine kings and queens and many princes of Europe, as well as US presidents William Taft and Woodrow Wilson endorsed Sandow’s book Life is Movement. Sandow was a successful strongman as well as a promoter of formal fitness and health management. He emphasized that physical education and sport should be an integral part of the school system. He also toured the world lecturing and promoting physical culture as a means of improving the quality of life.

Most authorities recognize Sandow, as one of the most important figures in the history of fitness, with the history of his work revealing that the modern phenomenon of science based fitness training is not a novel invention. Sandow promoted the importance of strength and skill as being the cornerstone of fitness. A half a century later Dr Kenneth Cooper proposed that being fit was primarily dependent on aerobic conditioning. Approximately 25 years later the important role of strength training has once again been recognized by the academia.

In Russia during the same period Vladislav Krayevsky founded the St Petersburg Amateur Weightlifting Society (1885). Many respected scientists, athletes; artists became his students, including famous strongman George Hackenschmidt, who credited Krayevsky for teaching him all he knew. Hackenschmidt mentioned in his book The Way To …

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I recently was given the opportunity to interview Rob Schwartz, a Team USA Strength & Conditioning Coach for Acrobat & Combat Sports. Rob currently works with Olympic athletes competing in gymnastics, boxing, tae kwon do, judo, fencing, wrestling, synchronized swimming and diving. I wanted to pick his brain and gain some insight into how sports fitness technologies (heart rate, calorie intake, calories burned, sleep monitoring, distance and time tracking, VO2 recording, total vertical gained, etc.) are being utilized in Olympic athlete training and how Mr. Schwartz foresees consumer adoption of similar technologies in the future.

Q. Living in Denver and have previously toured the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, I remember the amount of gadgets and devices monitoring and tracking athlete progression in training. Could you explain the type of fitness technologies that are currently being utilized by your athlete's and how big of a role they play in your daily workout preparation?

A. For daily training activities we mostly utilize video feedback, both in the weightroom and the practice setting. In Strength and Conditioning we are always trying to gauge our athlete's state of preparedness, so we measure power outputs using Tendo units and force plates; this gives us feedback on how intensely we can train each athlete on a given day. At pre-determined times of the year the Sports Dietician tests athletes blood lactate levels during "live" practices to evaluate the physiological demands they face in competition. We've even had some Wrestler's get their blood lactate tested immediately following actual matches. We are currently developing an app for athlete's phones to monitor nutritional, psychological, training and recovery status. This is a short list; we have many other modes of technology we use as well.

Q. It seems as if Olympians have been using technology in their training programs long before the recent consumer craze, would you say that many of today's fitness gadgets are a result from what has been tested and proven in the Olympic arena?

A. Not that I am aware of, when training world class athletes for Olympic competition we simply don't have the time to field test technologies that have not been tested and proven in the field. We will receive some emerging technology from companies such as Nike and Samsung, but are confident when they hit our desk they have been proven effective.

Q. Do you believe emerging fitness and health applications and gadgets will improve our nation's health outcomes and help citizens become more informed and active participants in their personal health?

A. I hope so; it mainly depends on the person and their goals. If the consumer is serious about getting in shape, I suggest they do their research and ensure they are purchasing equipment from reputable companies that are proven in the market.

Q. One last question, any basic tips for those looking to begin personal strength and conditioning training?

A. I would start by joining your local 24 hour fitness and getting some personal training sessions. There is nothing better than an experienced trainer to provide feedback and steps for improvement. It is not suggested to surf the Internet for training advice or tips as there is no professional feedback and the information you are receiving may not be credible or suitable for your personal goals.

I am also a firm believer in video feedback for athletes, as with a current world champion boxer that I train when the fight is over the first thing we do on our plane flight home is review video on our smart phone and begin preparation for the next fight.

To learn more about the United States Olympic Training Center or to plan a tour visit them at TeamUSA.org and possibly rub elbows with America's premier Olympic athletes and coaches.

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Source by Chris M Roussy

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