Gym-Timidation: Just Say No!
The world’s population is growing at an alarming rate. With each passing year, the number of people living in cities grows exponentially. There are many reasons why people choose to live in urban areas, but one of them is that it provides a sense of security. People feel safe because they have access to public transportation and other amenities such as grocery stores and banks located within close proximity.
However, there are certain factors which cause people to become complacent. One of these is the lack of physical activity.
Physical Activity Is Necessary For Health And Happiness
People need to get their bodies moving if they want to stay healthy and happy. A person’s health depends upon how much energy he or she expends on activities like eating right, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and so forth. Physical activity helps keep our minds sharp as well as keeps us fit physically. If we don’t do any sort of physical activity, then our bodies may begin to deteriorate.
Exercise Can Help You Live Longer
If you’re not doing anything strenuous with your life, then you could potentially die younger than someone who does. When we don’t engage in regular exercise, our immune systems weaken and eventually succumb to diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Exercise is essential for maintaining good health and longevity.
Working Out Makes Us Feel Good About Our Bodies
When we exercise, it feels good to see and feel ourselves getting stronger and fitter. It’s a great feeling when you can see your endurance and stamina improving. It also helps improve our self-confidence when we look in the mirror and like what we see! Also, regular exercise helps us to sleep better at night which is necessary for good health!
We need to keep our endorphins flowing to maintain a positive attitude.
Exercise Is Necessary For Maintaining A Healthy Weight
Keeping our weight in check is very important for our overall health. We don’t want to be overweight because this puts a strain on our internal organs and increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It also affects our mental well-being because people tend to tease and make fun of the overweight. It’s hard to have positive thoughts when you don’t like how you look.
It’s all related!
It’s Never Too Late To Start An Exercise Program
Even if we haven’t been active all our lives, it’s never too late to start an exercise program. As long as we don’t have any major health problems, then we should be able to reach our fitness goals if we stay motivated. It is important that everyone tries to live a healthy and balanced life.
Why You Should Boycott All Gyms Nationwide
People have been debating over whether or not gyms are obsolete. One side of the debate says that machines can do everything that one could do at the gym. This side argues that with the right machine set on high intensity, you can work your muscles to the point where you would normally become fatigued. The other side of the debate argues that there is no substitute for free weights.
Free weights are said to be more effective because they require a person to use stabilizer muscles in order to maintain proper form.
The Case For Free Weights
Some say that free weights are superior to any type of machine since they force a person to balance the load themselves. These people believe that in order to lift free weights properly, you have to engage a lot of supporting muscles. There’s no way to cheat or use momentum since the free weights will fall down if you don’t keep them balanced.
The Case For Machines
There are those who believe that all one really needs in order to get in shape is a good machine such as an elliptical trainer, a treadmill or even a simple bench press machine. These machine supporters claim that you don’t need a lot of space to use them and they are always consistent. There’s no way to cheat on a machine since it won’t let you lift anything that you aren’t capable of lifting.
Yes, machines can do everything that free weights can do without the risk of injury. But, free weights are ultimately more effective since a person can always find an excuse for not using them. For instance, a person can convince himself that the machine is good enough and won’t have to set up his weights every week. Also, if one decides to use a bench press machine on one day, there’s a good chance that he’ll just go back to using that.
But, if one uses free weights, then he’ll be forced to find ways of continuing his routine since it will take more time to set up the weights and it won’t be as convenient as pressing buttons.
So what do you think? Do machines have an advantage over free weights or is it just a matter of opinion?
Hitting The Right Nodes
There is a right way and a wrong way to build muscle. Some people think that all they have to do is lift heavy things and they will get bigger. While this may be true to a certain extent, how one uses those weights is just as important.
Let’s investigate the different ways of using weights in order to build a muscular body.
This is the traditional way of building muscle for generations. If you are going to use free weights, you need to learn proper form first. Obviously, you don’t want to injure yourself. Once you learn how to lift properly with free weights, then you can start adding more weight to your lifts over time.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to add too much weight or you’ll most likely end up injuring yourself. If you’re able to lift more than three quarters of your body weight, then it’s probably too much.
Machines are great when you are just starting out. They help you learn the proper form and how to control the weights. You can even use more weight when using a machine since most of the work is being done for you. The only downside is that when using a machine, you are only working out one group of muscles at a time.
For instance, if you were to use the pec dec (pec deck machine), then you are only working out your pectorial muscles. You wouldn’t get the same results from working your chest with that machine as you would if you did a free weight bench press since you would also be working out your triceps and shoulders to a lesser degree. This is why experienced lifters don’t use machines.
Super sets are performed by doing two exercises in a row for the same body part without resting. For example, if you were to perform a set of barbell bench presses and then go straight into a set of bent over dumbbell rows, that would be considered a super set.
Why would one do this?
Well, first of all it saves time. Second of all, it’s proven to provide greater muscle stimulation and growth than if one were to rest in between sets. Remember, growth doesn’t just happen during the time you are lifting weights. It happens during the time in which your body is recovering from lifting weights. By super setting, you are allowing your muscles to recover while you work out another part of your body.
For example, if you were to do barbell bench presses for a set of 8, then rest and do a set of 8 with bent over dumbbell rows, your muscles wouldn’t have enough time to fully recover from the bench press. Then when you went to do bent over dumbbell rows, you wouldn’t be working your muscles at their fullest ability and would end up using more weight than necessary.
However, if you were to do barbell bench presses for a set of 8, then immediately go into a set of bent over dumbbell rows without resting, your muscles would be fully recovered from the bench press and you’d be able to use the same weight for your second set of rows. Plus, your body would still have to work to recover during your set of rows, which would lead to greater muscle stimulation and growth.
Staggered sets work very similarly to super sets except staggered sets have you working your muscles from multiple angles. For example, if you were to bench press and then go into bent over dumbbell rows, that would be considered a staggered set.
Since your muscles are already handling a weight at a certain angle, it would make more sense to work them at different angles rather than the same. For example, let’s say you can bench press 300 pounds for a set of 6. If you were to go right into a set of bent over rows, you wouldn’t be able to use as much weight since you would be working your muscles at the same angle that they are already trained at. This would defeat the purpose of staggered sets.
So what you would do instead is stagger the sets. You would use 225 pounds for a set of 10 for your first staggered set. Then you would go into another staggered set using a lighter weight; let’s say 85 pounds for 12 reps. This would work your muscles at a different angle and provide them with an extra growth stimulus.
Reps refers to the number of times you perform an exercise. For example, if you were doing a barbell curl and bicep curls for 5 reps on each set, then you would be performing 5 reps for each set. Reps are usually described in sets.
So for our example, if you were to perform barbell curls for 5 sets of 5 reps, then that would equal 25 reps.
During a single set, you may find that you can only do less than 5 reps. For example, you may be able to do 4 reps with 225 pounds. In this case, you would still only count it as one rep even though you did 4 of them.
If you were to increase the weight the next time you trained and were able to do 5 reps, then you would count this as a new rep max. You should only count your final reps (in our case 5) when determining your maximum.
For example, let’s say you get 225 pounds up for 5 reps and then you go down to 205 pounds and can only manage 4 reps. This would indicate that your true maximum weight is 225, not the 205 you thought it was.
Rest intervals refer to the amount of time you rest before starting the next set. There are a few different options; however, most people use the 2-2-2 system.
For this system you rest 2 minutes before your first set, 2 minutes before your second, and 2 minutes before your third.
This allows you enough time to fully recover in-between sets, but not so much that you lose your pump or get too much rest.
The Golden Ratio
The golden ratio is a weight training concept that can help you make constant progress. Developed by golden age bodybuilder and writer Mike Mentzer, the concept is very simple.
You take your one rep max (1RM) and use this as the basis for all your workouts. Each time you train, you try to reach at least one new rep maximum. If you get 2 more reps than the time before, you add 5 pounds to that exercise the next time you do it.
This is a great way to ensure steady, consistent gains and will prevent your body from adapting to a specific routine.
Rest and Hydration
As with any exercise, rest and hydration are very important when weight training.
If you fail to rest enough between your sets, you can’t push yourself hard enough in your workouts to see any gains. On the other hand, too much rest can lead to over-training and imbalances in strength and endurance.
Proper hydration is just as important. Muscles require water to function properly, so if you aren’t hydrated your performance will suffer. You can also become dehydrated quicker during exercise leading to light-headedness and fatigue.
Proper hydration not only helps your training, but it also helps your whole body function properly.
You should aim to drink at least 3 liters of water a day. If you are physically active or live in a hot or humid area, you may need to drink more. You can also increase your water intake by drinking more fruit juices and milk as these contain lots of water.
While diet is important, you don’t want to cut out any food groups unless you have a very good reason for doing so (such as an allergy). By eating a healthy, well-balanced diet you ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs to build and repair muscle tissue.
So what should you eat?
There are 3 main types of food: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. While it is true that some diets work better for building muscle than others, no diet will be effective if your goal is to gain weight if you don’t eat enough food.
You need to consume more calories than your body expends if you want to put on muscle.
How much you need to eat depends on many different factors such as your metabolism, how active you are, and your appetite. There is no set amount that will be perfect for you as everyone is different.
A good way to tell if you’re eating enough, is to monitor the fat content of your meals. If you find that most of your meals are high in fat, then you are not eating enough healthy foods. You should be getting most of your calories from carbohydrates and protein with only small amounts of fats.
If you are not used to eating larger amounts, start slowly. Increase your calories by a small amount every few days until you find the amount your body likes best. If you feel sick after eating, or feel like you’ve gained weight instantly, reduce your intake slightly.
One of the best things you can do for your training is to ensure you get a good nights sleep. Your body builds most of it’s muscle while you’re asleep, so not getting enough rest can slow down your progress.
Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
In addition to exercise and eating right, supplementation can be an important part of your routine as well.
Creatine is a supplement which has been proven to increase physical performance in successive bursts of short-term, high-intensity exercise. It works by increasing the amount of ATP in your muscles, which allows you to train harder and longer.
While creatine is perfectly safe for most people, it is recommended that you don’t take it if you are mentally unstable or have a heart condition as it may have adverse affects on these conditions.
Another popular supplement is protein powder, which as the name suggests is a powdered form of protein. Protein is a nutrient that is crucial to building muscle and protein powder is an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough in your diet.
Protein powder can also substitute for food when you are on the go or just don’t have time to eat. It’s a good idea to keep a shaker bottle of protein powder with you so you can have a quick breakfast before work or a meal replacement when you’re on the go.
Most people find that eating several small meals throughout the day helps them stay focused and motivated and also helps prevent hunger pangs which often lead to poor food choices.
Making sure you eat every 3-4 hours will help your body stay in an anabolic state, helping your muscles recover and grow.
When preparing your meals, make sure you take the time to prepare healthy food. Most convenience foods are relatively high in fat and low in other essential nutrients which can have a negative effect on your muscle growth and recovery.
However, there is nothing wrong with indulging in an item such as a candy bar from time to time.
Sources & references used in this article:
Health, Fitness, Neoliberalism and Niche Markets: Does Planet Fitness Deliver? by L Malley – 2014 – qspace.library.queensu.ca