Canada has a Fitness Czar

According to the Globe and Mail, Canada now has a fitness czar.

Merriam-Webster, defines a czar as follows:

czar

Main Entry:
czar
Variant(s):
also tsar or tzar \ˈzär, ˈ(t)sär\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
New Latin czar, from Russian tsar’, from Old Russian tsĭsarĭ, from Gothic kaisar, from Greek or Latin; Greek, from Latin Caesar — more at caesar
Date:
1555
1: emperor; specifically : the ruler of Russia until the 1917 revolution
2: one having great power or authority <a banking czar>

Now, I am making the assumption that we, as a nation haven’t exhumed the ashes of Russia’s last czar, Nicholas 2 and put him on the government payroll.
Oh wait, my mistake.
Canada’s new fitness czar is Kelly Murumets, President and CEO of ParticipAction. That’s her, banging out push-ups under the watchful eye of her trainer, Nicholas.

Formerly the President of Acceris Communications, Ms. Murumets has taken over the reins of a newly revived ParticipAction. On February 19, 2007, the federal government pledged $5 million to renew the fitness-awareness campaign.

So what is the mandate of ParticipAction.

ABOUT PARTICIPACTION

Our Mission
ParticipACTION’s mission is to provide leadership in collaboration and communications to foster the “movement” that inspires and supports Canadians to move more.

Our Vision

ParticipACTION’s vision is to work with its partners to ensure a Canadian society where people are the most physically active on Earth.

Strategic Goals

  • To animate the movement that inspires and supports Canadians to become more active.
  • To have “physically active” be a part of who we are as Canadians and how we want to be seen by the world.
  • To develop a legacy of collaboration and partnerships to realize the movement.
  • To set the stage for long-term sustainability of the movement.

ParticipACTION’s Role

ParticipACTION will not be involved in direct programming or program delivery. Rather, we will act as a catalyst for communications and action in this sector.

ParticipACTION will take leadership and become the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in/for Canada. We will collaborate with our partners/stakeholders and marshal resources to support the cause and make a difference in the lives of Canadians. Through a national communications program, ParticipACTION will create the dynamic that inspires Canadians to increase their physical activity and inspires society to make it easier to become more physically active. We will work with our partners in advocacy and bring about action through government policies that lead to long-term sustainable change. And, we will gather data, inform the issue and transfer knowledge across the sector and to all Canadians.

So, from what I can see; ParticipAction’s mandate is to crank out some new tv commercials; telling me to stop watching tv.

For my Canadian readers, I bet you remember the old commercials. Here’s a trip down memory lane:

Notice: I will not be held liable if these jingles proceed to ‘ear worm‘ their way into your head and stay there for the foreseeable future.

Here’s one ,and another, and another, and check out this spoof. Classic fromage.

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Exercise is Effective for Fibromyalgia Pain Relief

A few years ago, I had the pleasure to work with a very nice lady who was trying desperately to reduce the painful effects of fibromyalgia. She had been suffering for years as a result of this painful and debilitating condition.

Like most chronic pain conditions, the worst thing may not even be the pain itself. It is the effect that the pain has on the rest of your life. In my client’s case, she spent the first year of her daughter’s life in bed. Every day. Unable to care for her newborn child.

When I met her, she was in better shape. Her daughter was older. She participated in her daughter’s life. She had a challenging career. She was happy. But she was still in constant pain.

She came to me after having quite a few bad experiences with different forms of physical and exercise therapy. At the time, I was working at a fitness club. She was initially assigned to work with a young, female trainer. Her choice.

It didn’t go well. The female trainer, who was a good trainer, knew little about fibromyalgia. During their first workout, she treated her client like a normal, PAIN FREE person. Bad move.

A week later, our fibromyalgia lady returned and demanded her money back. She had spent the last week in bed, popping pills and regretting ever coming into our gym.

I don’t know how, but the owner of the club managed to calm her down and have her agree to sit down and talk with me.

At this point, I knew very little about fibromyalgia. I did, however, know how to talk, or rather listen to justifiably angry women. Yes, I am married.

We discussed her condition. I gave her my opinion and told her that I would spend the next few days researching the subject. A few days later, we met and talked again. I discussed my findings and outlined what my plan for her fitness training would include. After about half an hour, we began our workout.

It was very slow at the beginning, but after about 3 months, everything began to change. Her body changed. She was catching up and blowing by some of my pain-free clients. More importantly, her day to day life improved drastically.

For those of you out there who know someone like my former client, please show them the following research paper, along with my story and do what you have to do to get them moving. They will thank you for it. Not right away…right away they might not be too pleased…but eventually..they will thank you.

Group Exercise, Education, and Combination Self-management in Women With Fibromyalgia

A Randomized Trial

Daniel S. Rooks, ScD; Shiva Gautam, PhD; Matthew Romeling, BS; Martha L. Cross, BS; Diana Stratigakis, BA; Brittany Evans, BS; Don L. Goldenberg, MD; Maura D. Iversen, DPT, SD, MPH; Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MS

Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(20):2192-2200.

Background Self-management has increasingly been recommended as part of standard care for fibromyalgia, a common, poorly understood condition with limited treatment options. Data that assess popular self-management recommendations are scarce. We evaluated and compared the effectiveness of 4 common self-management treatments on function, symptoms, and self-efficacy in women with fibromyalgia.

Methods A total of 207 women with confirmed fibromyalgia were recruited from September 16, 2002, through November 30, 2004, and randomly assigned to 16 weeks of (1) aerobic and flexibility exercise (AE); (2) strength training, aerobic, and flexibility exercise (ST); (3) the Fibromyalgia Self-Help Course (FSHC); or (4) a combination of ST and FSHC (ST-FSHC). The primary outcome was change in physical function from baseline to completion of the intervention. Secondary outcomes included social and emotional function, symptoms, and self-efficacy.

Results Improvements in the mean Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire score in the 4 groups were –12.7 for the ST-FSHC group, –8.2 for the AE group, –6.6 for the ST group, and –0.3 for the FSHC group. The ST-FSHC group demonstrated greater improvement than the FSHC group (mean difference, –12.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], –23.1 to –1.7). The ST-FSHC (mean difference, 13.6; 95% CI, 2.3 to 24.9) and AE (mean difference, 13.1; 95% CI, 1.6 to 25.6) groups had similar improvements in physical function scores on the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey. Bodily pain scores on the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey improved in the ST-FSHC (14.8), AE (13.2), and ST (5.7) groups. Social function, mental health, fatigue, depression, and self-efficacy also improved. The beneficial effect on physical function of exercise alone and in combination with education persisted at 6 months.

Conclusions Progressive walking, simple strength training movements, and stretching activities improve functional status, key symptoms, and self-efficacy in women with fibromyalgia actively being treated with medication. The benefits of exercise are enhanced when combined with targeted self-management education. Our findings suggest that appropriate exercise and patient education be included in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

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Power Training

This Post has been added to my new site, Health habits. You may want to take a look there as I have been busy adding new posts.

In my post, Muscular Strength made simple, I introduced you to some of the theory behind the different types of muscular strength.

But, enough of theory, today I will show you how to maximize your muscular power.

By the end of this post, you will know the ‘whys’ and ‘how-tos’ about getting brutally strong and powerful.

To get you started, I will also give you a ‘tried and true’ program designed to turn you into the strongest, fastest, most powerful version of yourself that you could ever imagine.

I can’t guarantee to turn you into the Incredible Hulk.



But I can sure as heck guarantee that you will be bigger and stronger than the ‘before’ picture.

What is Power?

Simply put, power is the ability to move heavy loads, fast.

To do that, we need to do two things. Build your maximum strength as high as possible and teach your muscles to contract as fast as possible. Simple.

Before We Begin

This program is designed for trainees who:

Make regular visits to their doctor and have been cleared for resistance training. That means you have no medical conditions that could be aggravated by moving large weights very quickly. Serious.

Have established a basic level of physical fitness. This is not a beginner program. I will be writing an article on establishing a basic level of physical fitness in the near future.

Do not have serious muscular imbalances. While this program is designed not to cause muscle imbalances; it is not a rehab program. I will also be writing an article on that topic in the near future.

Are serious about transforming their body. Don’t waste your time if you are not willing to commit yourself fully to this program.

Power = Maximum Strength + Maximum Speed

To develop Power, you need to combine maximum strength with maximum speed.

In a linear periodization model of resistance training, strength and speed training are never performed concurrently. However, my review of the current literature as well as my first hand experience has led me to believe that training both strength and speed at the same time is not just possible; but essential.

With this method, we avoid the de-training effect of switching from one program emphasis to another.

In the linear model, hard fought strength gains begin to dissipate soon after strength training is abandoned for speed training. The same holds true for losses in speed. You are always playing a game of two steps forward and one step back.

Another benefit of concurrent strength/speed training is that since gains in strength/speed are happening incrementally and simultaneously, your increasing speed is not effected by your increasing strength, and vice-versa.

In a linear program, you might focus of 4-8 weeks on your maximum strength. During that time, you might increase your max strength by 10% (X + 10%). Due to lack of stimulation, your speed my drop by 3% (Y-3%). After completing the strength portion of your program, you shift your focus to speed training.

However, not only are your muscles slower, but you are asking them to lift weights 10% heavier than they have lifted.

Now you are two steps forward and two to three steps back.

Train both strength and speed together and they both increase together. Your strength may only increase by 8%, but your speed will also increase by 8%.

Strength + Speed = Power

Maximum Strength Training

In my program, maximum strength is trained twice per week.

During each workout, you will focus on 1 major movement. That movement will be performed in consecutive sets of 3 repetitions until you can no longer perform 3 repetitions. You will continue adding weight to consecutive sets until you reach your 1 Rep Maximum.

After your major movement is completed, you will perform a series of complementary exercises in sets consisting of 5 to 10 repetitions.

Each of the two maximum strength workouts will focus on a different movement.

As well, since this workout is very intense, you WILL perform a thorough warm-up before hitting the serious weights. Not just cardio. Calisthenics, dynamic stretching, overhead squats, snatches, or light weight training is required.

Maximum Speed Training

Like maximum strength training, maximum speed is trained twice per week.

Like max strength day, you will focus on 1 major movement. While it doesn’t have to be the exact same movement as max strength day, it must be in the same family of movements.

Like max strength day, you will be performing sets of 3 reps. However, the number of sets will be predetermined and the weight will be between 50 and 60% of your 1 Rep Maximum on that lift.

For simplicity’s sake, you may want to keep your movements consistent between max strength and max speed day.

Like max strength day, you will be performing a series of complementary exercises after finishing the main movement.

Off Days

Off days should focus on rest and repair of your body. This program will test both your musculature and your nervous system. Stretching, chiropractic, massage, light cardio, restorative yoga, hydrotherapy, etc. is recommended.

Movements

While this program was originally designed for strength athletes, by replacing the traditional power moves with more athletic moves, this program can be modified to suit any sporting or general fitness requirements.

For the purpose of this article, I will provide a wide variety of exercise options; grouped into movement families. I am listing the families and some selected exercises below.

Upper Body

Vertical Push

Major Movement – Military Press, Push Press, Side Press – standing, seated, 1 hand, 2 hand

Supplementary – see corrective exercises

Vertical Pull

Major Movement – Chin-Ups, Pull-Ups

Supplementary – Straight Arm Pulldowns, Pullovers

Horizontal Push

Major Movement – Chest Press – flat bench, incline bench, decline bench, standing cable/bands

Supplementary – Tricep Extensions (Skullcrushers/Tate Press, Close Grip Bench Press, Dips)

Horizontal Pull

Major Movement – Row – Cable, Bent-Over, Standing, Seated, Barbell, Dumbbell, 1 hand, 2 hand

Supplementary – see corrective exercises

Lower Body

Walk / Lunge

Major Movement – Bulgarian Lunge, Step Ups, Static Lunges

Supplementary – Walking Lunges

Squat

Major Movement – Squat – Olympic or Power, Front Squat, Overhead Squat, Box Squat, Deadlift

Supplementary – Hip Thrust – 1 leg or 2, 1 Leg Deadlift, Pull Through, Glute-Ham Raise or here.

Core

Supplementary – Ab Wheel, Ab Flexion – Crunches (various), Leg Raises, etc…, Woodchops, Side Bends, etc…

Corrective / Postural

Corrective exercises depend on your structural imbalances. I plan on doing an article on this topic, but in the mean time, Eric Cressey is a great source of postural / corrective exercises. Here is an article. His site. Mike Robertson is another good source of info. Gray Cook is another.

Equipment

Your body doesn’t know what type of equipment you are working with. All it knows is that you are putting them to work. Equipment is up to you: Bodyweight, rubber bands, bow flex, cast iron weight, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, bodybars, sandbags, hydraulic machines, cables, etc…

Setting Up Your Workout

Decide where you want to get Superhero Strong.

You need to pick one lower body movement and one upper body movement as your two main movements. I suggest that you look to address your weak points first. If your bench press is strong, but you can only perform 5 chin-ups…get ready to hang from that bar.

Another suggestion I will make concerns muscular balance and the most effective churning of your training program. If your goal for this program is to become the bench press king, then you should stick with the bench press as your focus upper body exercise. If, however, you are looking for a more overall athleticism, think about switching up your focus every 4-6 weeks.

Upper Body – Weeks 1-4 Bench Press, Weeks 5-8 Standing Cable Row, Weeks 9-12 Push Press, Weeks 13-16 Chin-Ups.

Lower Body – Weeks 1-4 Box Squat, Weeks 5-8 Rack Deadlifts, Weeks 9-12 Bulgarian Lunge, Weeks 13-16 Good Mornings.

I hope that I have made this approach to developing maximum strength / maximum speed understandable to everyone out there. Sometimes it is hard when you know that you are speaking to both beginner and experienced athletes.

Sample Program

This program will be designed to maximize muscular balance and promote Superhero Strength in a balanced way. If you have any questions, please comment at the end of this post.

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Day 2 – Off

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Day 4 – Off

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Day 6 – Off

Day 7 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Week 1

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 50% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 8-12 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Week 2

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 3 sets of 15-25 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 53% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 8-12 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Week 3

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 3 sets of 15-25 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 55% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 8-12 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Week 4

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Incline Bench Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise #2 – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 50% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 6-8 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 6-8 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Week 5

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Incline Bench Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise #2 – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 53% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 6-8 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 6-8 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Week 6

Day 1 – Maximum Strength – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Supplemental Walking/Lunging exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps, perform the negative slowly

Ab Wheel – 5 sets of 10-20 reps

Supplemental Core Exercise – 3 sets of 15-25 reps

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Maximum Strength – Upper Body

Warm-up

Incline Bench Chest Press – Starting with a light weight, begin performing sets of 3 repetitions, increasing the weight with each successive set. Perform the triples until you can’t. Drop down to sets of single repetitions and continue increasing the weight until you have hit your 1 rep maximum.

Supplemental Horizontal Push Exercise #2 – 6 sets of 10 reps

Corrective Exercise – Face Pulls – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Corrective Exercise – Push-Up Plus or Chest Press Plus – 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps

Day 4 – OFF

Day 5 – Maximum Speed – Lower Body

Warm-up

Squats – 10 sets of 3 reps with 55% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Squat Exercise – 3 sets of 6-8 reps

Supplemental Lunge/Walk Exercise – 5 sets of 6-8 reps

Corrective Exercise – Hip Thrust, – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Corrective Exercise – X-Band Walk – 3 sets of 2 min. each

Day 6 – Maximum Speed – Upper Body

Warm-up

Standing Cable Chest Press – 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM – short rest periods – 1 min max.

Supplemental Horizontal Press Exercise – 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Vertical Push Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Vertical Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 7 – OFF

Well, I hope I covered everything. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

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Disease Prevention with an Exercise Prescription

In the U.K., doctors are writing exercise prescriptions for their patients.

While it is not an entirely new practice over there, it would be revolutionary on this side of the pond.

Imagine this; instead of billions upon billions of dollars being spent on treating disease, we spent a fraction of that money on preventing disease.

In 2000, the total cost of obesity in the United States was estimated to be $117 billion. About $61 billion was for direct medical costs, and $56 billion was for indirect costs.

That number is likely to increase as the Percentage of Adults Who Report Being Obese, increases year after year.

A study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US has recently estimated that each physically-active person saves the health care system over $300 annually relative to an inactive person.

With the current U.S. population at 303,980,933, that would work out to a potential savings of $91,194,279,900

In Canada:

  • A study done in 1995 for the Ontario Government called The Relationship between Physical Fitness and the Cost of Health Care, estimated that OHIP medical claim costs could be reduced by $31 million a year if all Ontario adults (aged 20-69) had at least an average level of fitness.
  • Based on CDC study mentioned above, the 63% of Canadians who are still inactive cost the health system $5.7B more than if they were active.
  • In the Economic Burden of Illness in Canada, Health Canada reports that the total direct cost (drugs, physicians, hospitals, research) of illness in 1993 was $44 billion out of an overall cost for health care in Canada of $70 billion.Moreover, the indirect costs such as time lost due to long-term and short-term disabilities, and the present value of future productivity lost due to premature mortality and illness in Canada represents an estimated economic value of $129 billion — nearly 21% of the GDP. Reducing the number of inactive Canadians by a further 10% would result in an additional saving of $5 billion.

So what do we do?

In a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Physical Activity Using Bike/Pedestrian Trails, it was found that every $1 investment (construction, maintenance, equipment and travel) in exercise trails led to $2.94 in direct medical benefit.

A 2004 paper, published the in American Journal of Preventive Medicine has a variety of intervention strategies.

But at the end of the day, all government can do is try to coax us, bribe us or threaten us into adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual to make the conscious decision. Is the benefit of living an active and healthy life worth the cost?

Is it?

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Muscular Strength made simple

In my post, The Components of Physical Fitness, I divided physical fitness into it’s component parts and provided a brief introduction of each part.

Since then, I have written in more detail about Structural Balance and Energy System Fitness.

Today I will try to explain the concept of Muscular Strength and how it applies to overall physical fitness.

Intro to Muscular Strength

This component of physical fitness deals specifically with the performance of the body’s skeletal muscles.

Your skeletal muscles contract and stretch in order to produce movement. Simple.

How they produce that movement is less simple.

Your body’s muscles are highly adaptable. They will react to the stresses that you place upon them.

Sit on the couch and they will atrophy. Try and run fast and they adapt to produce faster contractions. Lift heavy objects and they will increase their ability to produce maximum strength.

Muscular Strength can and has been categorized in a variety of different ways.

I am choosing to divide Muscular Strength into four categories, based primarily on Newton’s Second Law.

\vec F = m \vec a (force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration.)

Mass relates to how much weight/mass a muscle or muscle group can move.

Acceleration relates to how fast that weight/mass is moved.

4 Categories of Muscular Strength

  • Maximum Muscular Strength
  • Maximum Muscular Power
  • Maximum Muscular Speed
  • Maximum Muscular Endurance

Each of these categories has different characteristics with regard to mass and acceleration

Maximum muscular strength

Maximum Muscular Strength is an extreme form of muscular strength.

In relation to newton’s Second Law it completely favors mass over acceleration.

It is a measure of the maximum mass that a muscle, or muscle group can move, regardless of time.

Think immovable object v.s irresistible force. Pushing your ‘out of gas’ car up a hill to the gas station at the crest of the hill. Your maximum squat at the gym.

Maximum Mass moved with little Acceleration. Got it?

The importance of maximum muscular strength?

While this is a point of debate amongst both academics, coaches and athletes, I believe that maximum muscular strength is the most important component of overall muscular strength.

Looking at the force-velocity curve, we see a relationship between force/mass and velocity / acceleration.

Maximum Muscular Strength would be represented by the point on the curve in the upper left corner.

Muscular Speed would be represented by the point on the lower right.

Power is the combination of strength and speed.

So, if you were to increase your maximum strength, you would shift the force-velocity curve and your muscular power upwards.

Conversely, if you could increase your speed of movement, you would shift the curve to the right, also increasing your power.

Increasing both strength and speed would push the curve both up and to the right, resulting in even greater increases in power.

For most athletes, that is a welcome goal.

How do you develop maximum muscular strength?

Maximum Muscular Strength is developed using different forms and methods of resistance training. Generally speaking, heavy weights for low repetitions are used to develop max strength.

As this is a very complicated subject, I will be discussing this topic in detail in future posts.

Maximum muscular speed

As mentioned above, Maximum muscular speed is the ability to produce a low force muscular movement very quickly.

As seen in the force-velocity curve, muscular speed is both a relative and absolute term.

Relative, because your mass (along with a bunch of other reasons) impacts the speed that you can achieve. To illustrate this point, let’s look at the animal kingdom.

A cheetah, while incredibly fast – 60+ miles per hour is no match for the peregrine falcon, which can dive at speeds up to 200 miles per hour.

In the world of athletics, speed is also relative. Imagine a footrace between the current men’s Olympic 100m champion and the ‘fastest’ sumo wrestler in the world.

On the other hand, speed is absolute. When we are comparing apples to apples, Maximum Muscular Speed is often the determining factor in an athletic competition.

Superior hand speed often makes the difference in a boxing match between two men in the same weight category.

How do you develop maximum muscular speed?

Like Maximum Muscular Strength, speed can be developed using resistance training techniques. However, Max Speed training most often involves body weight training that attempt to maximize both the condition of the muscles and the performance of the neuro-muscular system as a whole.

I will also be covering this topic in more detail in future posts.

Maximum muscular endurance

Maximum muscular endurance is the ability to produce a smaller amount of force, but do it for a long time. A marathon runner is a great example of muscular endurance. His body weight requires less force to move than your car, in neutral, going uphill; but he is able to move that weight for 2+ hours non-stop.

Why do you need maximum muscular endurance?

Maximum muscular endurance is the least sexy of the 4 categories of Muscular Strength. However, it is the most vital when it comes to general health and longevity. While not being taken to extremes, the training to improve muscular endurance has a beneficial effect on your cardio-vascular health.

How do you develop maximum muscular endurance?

Maximum Muscular Endurance is generally trained with body-weight exercises. While there may be a need for injury prevention resistance training exercises, most endurance athletes focus their training on their sport of choice.

I will also cover the training methodologies of endurance athletes in a future post.

Maximum Muscular power

Muscular power is the combination of maximum strength and speed.

An Olympic weightlifter is a great example of power.

So are high jumpers and sprinters.

How do you develop Maximum Muscular Power?

As Maximum Muscular Power is a combination of Max Strength and Max Speed, the development of power involves a combination of training methodologies.

I look to cover this topic in my next post.

Muscular Strength

I hope this introductory post was helpful in helping you understand Muscular strength training and how it impacts athletic performance and general physical fitness.

In future posts, I will go into a more detailed explanation of each of the 4 categories. I will also provide same training programs for each category of Muscular Strength.

Energy System Fitness

My diet/nutrition blog

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An Affordable Home Gym

Hey everyone,

I have recently decided to transfer the content of my fitness site (https://fitnessmadesimple.wordpress.com) and my diet/nutrition site (http://dietsexplained.wordpress.com/) to my new blog:

http://healthhabits.wordpress.com/

I was getting a lot of questions on topics other than diet and fitness training. With a more general health blog, I can focus on topics not specifically exercise or diet.

This specific post can be found here.

During my almost 20 years as a personal trainer, I have been asked numerous times to help clients design & outfit their home gym. Taking into account their fitness goals, the available space and their budget, there are a number of ways to go.

When it comes to the strength training part of their gym, most people are usually looking for some form of multi-gym. They promise to give the most bang for the buck.

Along those lines, I was reading an article today about a new type of compact home gym called the Murphy Gym. Obviously, taking it’s inspiration from the original Murphy Bed, the Murphy Gym is a dual cable stack weight lifting station that folds away into it’s own custom made cabinet.

When it comes to multi-gyms, I have to agree, this one is a beauty.

There is a drawback. The price. The Murphy gym sells for $3,495, plus the cost of installation (about $200); That is for the base unit. In the picture immediately above, the cabinetry is all custom work, which costs extra. For those of you who have recently renovated their homes, you know that custom cabinetry doesn’t come cheap.

Now, for those of you that want Champagne quality fitness equipment for a Wine Cooler price, look no further.

Disclaimer: I have no connection whatsoever with any of the products that I will mention in this post.

This is simply equipment that my clients & I have found success with.

For the last 3 years, I have been using Jump Stretch fitness bands with all of my clients. As an in-home personal trainer, that satisfy almost all of my needs. They are portable, light weight, durable and effective.

For those of you that don’t have access to a personal trainer or even a workout partner, there will be some exercises where you will need to attach the band to an immovable object.

In this video, JS band rows are performed in a gym, with the band attached to a power rack.

How many of you have a power rack in your basement?

To recreate this exercise in your home, all you need to do is install a safety grab bar or a handrail (like a ballet barre) or purchase a pre-built Mini-Gym package.

I have also had a client build an outdoor gym by screwing eyebolts into the 4×4 post that he had used to mount a basketball net. That set-up is similar to the $2300 core-pole.

The cost of this DIY Home Gym: $50 for the handrail & hardware and $170 for a full set of bands.

Grand Total: $220

JumpStretch distributors here.

Hope this helps. In future posts, I will be providing band specific workouts.

My diet/nutrition blog

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Energy System training affects Heart Function & Structure

On April 17, I wrote an article about Energy System Fitness.

In that article, I explained how each of your body’s three energy system pathways provide energy for bodily functions.

I also explained how each energy system could be developed through exercise.

New research is showing that not only will exercise affect the function of your energy systems, it will affect the function and structure of your heart.

In a recent study (published in the Journal of Physiology) researchers have “concluded that participation in 90 days of competitive athletics produces significant training-specific changes in cardiac structure and function.”

Endurance Athletes (40 university rowers) expanded both the left and right ventricles of their hearts (bi-ventricular dilation). As well, they improved the relaxation of the heart muscle between beats (Diastolic relaxation).

In contrast, Strength Athletes (35 football players) thickened the heart muscle at the site of the left ventricle. Additionally, the football players experienced diminished diastolic relaxation.

What does this mean?

For athletes, this indicates that dramatic changes to the function of the heart’s function and structure can be achieved in a very short amount of time.

Future studies will be looking at how different exercise protocols affect both the function and structure of the heart.

For heart disease patients (and the health conscious public at-large), this study should indicate that as not all heart dysfunctions are the same, not all exercise prescriptions are the same.

Like different drugs are prescribed for different conditions, in the future unique exercise prescriptions may be dispensed based on the patient’s unique physical condition.

Take two pills and a half hour on the treadmill, and call me in the morning.

My diet/nutrition blog

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