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Even the smallest of refinements to a resistance training program can provide for significant differences in adaptation over time. A good example of this is the employment of varying gripping methods during applicable lifts. Utilizing the proper grip for a given exercise will keep joint angles aligned in a manner that will not cause undue stress to major joints such as the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. The primary types of hand positions or grips used in weightlifting include:
Social networking websites have grown into a dominant cultural phenomenon. In addition to providing a modern social structure that caters to the tech-savvy, instant gratification pursuits of today’s consumers sites such as Facebook and Twitter now extend their reach of influence into the business, professional, and political sectors. There has been a great deal of statistical analysis on the potential ramifications of these social networking sites (and other ‘quick-hit’ forms of socialization such as texting) on professional reputation. Numerous articles have been written to address the negative impact of social networks on interpersonal communications, productivity in the workplace, and the risk of developing ‘social-site addiction’ that can affect the ability to fulfill daily tasks and even function properly in non-leisure environments.
Nowadays, many personal training businesses are capitalizing on the emergent popularity of small group-based training programs that commonly incorporate a variety of lactate circuits to promote weight loss through high-volume, high-intensity weightlifting. The selection of modalities and training methods implemented in these circuits seem to have no boundaries. Unfortunately, the appropriate metabolic pathway associated with certain exercises is not consistent with the metabolic pathway initiated in a lactate circuit (the glycolytic pathway) and therefore leads to an increased risk for injury. One significant example of this is the use of the Olympic lifts for high repetition schemes as part of a circuit. This methodology can be counterproductive as the Olympic lifts, being heavy ballistic movements, are fundamentally driven by the phosphagen system, explaining why the 3-6 repetition range is used in athletic conditioning.
Numerous diet plans designed to aid in managing a healthy weight have been investigated in modern research. Equivocal results from studies have driven investigators to identify the proposed physiological superiority of any of an assortment of recent diets. Some examples include high or low-fat diets, high or low-carbohydrate diets, high-protein diets, diets that emphasize specific food selections or supplementation(isolation diets), or diets that simply accentuate caloric restriction. Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas States University recently took an interesting weight loss approach to test his theory on the subject. That being, when an individual has a primary goal of weight loss, counting total calories is the determining factor of success; not necessarily the nutritional content of the calories consumed.
Repetitive movement patterns with or without loading completed during work, recreational activity, and exercise programming can cause negative compensation due to the development of muscular imbalance and biomechanical adjustments in the kinetic chain. Many exercise enthusiasts, often lacking guidance from a qualified personal trainer, engage in resistance training programs that are not conducive to promoting a functional skeleton due to emphasis on particular prime movers without consideration for the functional chain. This eventually causes biomechanical adjustments that can limit range of motion, reduce functional capacity, and induce pain.
For most personal trainers the business side of the profession is a far less desirable environment to spend time on than the actual training side. When personal trainers are working with clients the intrapersonal interactions are generally supportive and functions much like a team approach, where client and trainer collectively work together for a better outcome. Whereas when the business aspects of personal training occur, the selling process and money exchange activities place the client and trainer on opposite sides of the cash register. Pricing and selling personal training do not have to be complicated tasks, but they do require thoughtful planning. Many trainers undersell their services because they are uncomfortable with the situation or do not fully recognize their worth. The reality is, it is tough to put a price on one’s health but certainly value needs to be assigned based on some objective metric.
New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine compared bodyweight and metabolic outcomes when utilizing either a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet. A similar comparison of diets has been evaluated in previous clinical studies, but during this work, led by Gary D. Foster, PhD, the research team also tracked additional outcomes such as cardiovascular risk factors, bone mineral density (BMD), and general symptoms. Over the two-year study period, 307 clinically obese participants were placed on either a calorie and dietary fat controlled diet or a low carbohydrate diet. Subjects in the study presented with a mean age of 45 years, mean body mass index (BMI) of 36, and a mean weight of 103 kg (227 lbs); two thirds of the participants were women. Researchers excluded any individuals with dyslipidemia or diabetes.
Lifting techniques are defined by very specific joint actions for safe and effective performance. Therefore proper biomechanics is one of the most important factors to take into account when selecting strength exercises. One classical example is the use of traditional free weight squats (TBS) and Smith machine squats (SMS) as interchangeable lower body exercises. Several research studies have shown that the kinematics differences between both exercises promote specific muscle activation patterns and consequently, different training adaptations. The basic understanding of how the load are applied on the body or more specifically, how the moments are applied about the knee and hip joints, may provide the explanation to the differences found between these two exercises. As a basic reminder, the further the resistance is held from the body, the longer the resistance arm (distance between the lifted weight and the joint) consequentially increasing in the resultant torque of the joint.
Using logical methodology in all the components of a personal training session provides for efficient and effective services. When included as part of a comprehensive and integrated plan, this will often provide the greatest level of benefit and adaptive response in a client. Training sessions, regardless of length, should always begin with a warm-up. A proper warm-up, or progressive preparation, is the crucial component of a personal training session. Upward linear preparation or bodily acclimation is certainly necessary for intense work levels. Similar to a car running “cold” kinetic machines need time to warm up to improve the internal environment; cold bodily tissues resist movement, are less pliable, have reduced cellular enzyme activity, lower capillary activation and allow for less rapid neural conduction rates. For the body to function optimally, it must be pre-activated and warmed up.
The new look of America is an expanding one, as yearly weight gain continues to rise, averaging 0.65 lbs per year. As a result, the reduction of body fat is one of the most common goals of clients who begin a structured exercise program with a personal trainer. Oftentimes, clients have developed the perception that weight loss is an on-demand physiological function. Likely due to the misleading infomercials, fitness myths and general ignorance surrounding weight loss and fat reduction people have high expectations and lofty goals. Add in the unrealistic success of the “Biggest Loser” participants in the real world and personal trainers have a large hill to climb. One of these misconceptions revolves around the concept of spot reduction of adipose tissue. Many consumers believe spot reduction is a viable exercise adaptation following a large number of repetitions emphasizing muscular contractions of a certain area. Females performing 30 sets of triceps kickback and extension exercises or 300 abdominal crunches hoping to melt fat away are common in most fitness settings. Unfortunately, this is not how the body works – it does not comply with selective lypolysis.