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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Components of Fitness

Body composition

Body composition is the percent of body fat compared to your lean body mass (muscles, bones, tendons, ligament, organs etc.). High percentages of body fat can lead to coronary disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic disease, low energy and many more. It is directly relates to the overall fitness level. It consider the individual body type according to the height, frame size, weight and the ratio of the fat mass to lean muscle mass.

Cardiorespiratory endurance

Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen during sustained physical activity. It consists of exercise like walking, running, biking, rowing, treadmills, jogging etc. that forces functioning of your cardiovascular system i.e. lungs, heart, and blood vessels. It consists of aerobic physical activities lasting longer than 90 seconds. It is very important to be fit in your cardiovascular systems. To improve cardiovascular endurance, aerobic exercise should be performed at least 3 times per week, 15-20 minutes each day.

Muscular endurance

Muscular endurance is the ability to perform repeated muscular effort over a period of time without fatigue. A good muscular endurance can perform more number of repetitions of a particular strength training exercise such as running, jogging, cross-training on an elliptical machine, etc.

Muscular strength

Muscular strength is defined as the maximum amount of force produced by a muscle in a single effort. It is the ability of the muscle to exert strength during a workout or an activity. To increase your muscular strength, exercise using heavy weight for 3-6 times. It is measured by maximum amount of strength a muscle has while lifting or during an exertion. The best ways to improve the muscular strength is by performing anaerobic weightlifting exercises like the bench press, leg press, shoulder press, or bicep curls etc.

Flexibility

Flexibility is defined as the ability to bend and move the joints through full range of motion. It depends upon many variables like gender, age, body composition, behavioral activity etc. By the flexibility of your joints the fitness level is measured. If you have good flexibility, injuries related to joints could be prevented but poor flexibility increases your risk of injury. It helps in improving lower back health, reducing the appearance and effects of arthritis, and reducing muscle-tendon injuries. Exercises such as stretching, yoga, Pilates, swimming etc. are the way to improve the physical flexibility.

Stretch Before Working Out

What’s wrong with static stretching?. Studies have shown that, his type of stretching, before exercises or any athletic endeavor does not prevent injuries or is beneficial for improved performance. In fact, it has been shown that active dynamic warm-ups involving resistance machines (leg extensions) or free weights (squats), were better for subjects than static stretching. The participants who did static stretching had a lower 1 rep max, when squatting and less lower body stability, when performing the squat. It should be noted that subjects were tested in each protocol after a 48 hr break, so that they were sufficiently rested and hydrated. Stretching consisted of 3 sets of 10-second stretches for the quadriceps, hamstring, calf, abdominal, and lower-back musculature. A meta analysis of multiple studies failed to show a link between static stretching and exercise performance. The study found that short duration stretches had no detrimental effect on performance, but, stretching beyond 60s had detrimental effects on exercise performance. Performance was defined as, improvements or reductions in strength, power or speed. In general, the research does suggest that stretching after exercise or any other time is beneficial and increases range of motion (ROM).

I would still take this with a grain of salt. If you’re a ballerina, or some other performer where flexibility or ROM is important, before a performance might not be a bad thing. ROM is improved, and the decrease in strength might not necessarily be enough to hinder performance. In the case of an athletic event or competition, where you need maximum power, speed or strength, this approach might not be favorable. If I’m weight lifting, I won’t stretch before I work out. I will stretch after, and to be honest in my personal experience, I’ve found that not stretching, to be better. What most people do, myself included is perform a few warm-up sets with light weights, before the actual lift weight. This gets the blood flowing and helps warm-up the actual muscles that I need to perform the lift. I also get a chance to make sure I have good technique.

Now, here’s a type of stretching that seems to be beneficial at anytime, before, during, after exercise, it doesn’t seem to matter. Dynamic stretches, include lunges, arm swings/ rotations (forward and backward), leg swings (forward and backward) etc… Dynamic stretching, is gentle and generally takes you to the limit of your ROM in a progressive manner (gradually increase ROM). This is done in a very controlled manner. A study on benefits of dynamic vs static stretching, on vertical jump performance, at Wichita State University, has shown that dynamic stretching increases performance compared to static stretching. There were various theories put forward for why this was so. Static stretching causes a more compliant muscle tendon unit which prevents muscles from being able to store as much elastic energy in its eccentric phase which decreases the amount of force produced. Additionally, static stretching causes a decreased neural drive due to a decreased reflex sensitivity following the stretch. Movement in dynamic stretching is also rehearsed in a more specific pattern than static stretching. Dynamic stretching actually increases neural drive by increasing core temperature. Several other studies, have demonstrated the advantages of dynamic stretching over static on athletic performance. There are other types of stretching, which I prefer not to get into (ballistic stretching). I just taught I’d look at the major types and determine what are the benefits and which is safe to do and when.

Build Triceps Fast

This is a nice starting point particularly when dealing with the smaller muscles such as the triceps. When you train the triceps, twice in a week, this will provide a great stimulus for that greater growth as long as the training frequency isn’t increased for over 6 to 8 weeks. This is a group of muscles that will recover fast and therefore, you will only need 2 to 3 days between the workouts. With this already said, you can choose to train the chest on Monday, the triceps on Tuesday and the shoulders on Wednesday but this won’t qualify as 2 or 3 rest days as multi-joint presses for the shoulders and chest will involve the extension of the elbow. These involve elbow extensions and this means that the tris are being worked on the back-to-back days. It is important to remember this as you set up the split.

When you train tris around 2 times in a week, it means that you should not workout the chest and shoulders the day prior to or after you have trained the arms. You will not need to have extra knowledge to understand split but you will have to understand the limitations. It is also worth noting that in case you are doing triceps around twice in a week, you should ensure that these are quite different so that the muscle fibers can be stimulated in various ways. You should be able to make the routines a basic one for mass building.

You will definitely understand how fatigued your triceps will feel when you engage in chest and shoulder workout. Therefore, if you would like to enjoy those meatier triceps, you should focus on training the smaller group of muscles immediately after engaging in the larger workout days. Since the triceps don’t get pre-fatigued, it will be possible to provide them with more weight and more energy and this is a good combination for getting that maximum stimulus. For other ideas on how to build triceps, get in touch with Muscle Prodigy.

Booty Shaping Exercises

Stair Climbing: Instead of taking the elevator why not climb a few sets of stairs instead? Alternatively you can use a stair climber at the gym or in your home if you have one. The muscles in the backs of your legs and buttocks get an excellent workout when climbing stairs.

The Isometric Butt Squeeze: You can do this while watching T.V. Lie face down on the floor and squeeze your butt cheeks together for 30 seconds at a time. Alternatively, you can do this exercise while sitting in a chair or standing. Butt squeezes are exceptionally good for women; it tightens the pelvic floor area and tones the buttocks at the same time.

Step-ups: For this exercise you will need a step or bench. You start with one foot on the ground and the other on the stair. Push off with your foot that is on the ground until it reaches the same height as the one on the stair. Slowly lower back down until your foot is back on the floor. Change feet and repeat as many times as you can.

Deadlifts: You will need a barbell for this exercise. Pick the barbell up off the ground while keeping your back straight, knees slightly bent and your eyes focused in front of you. Repeat this exercise as many times as you can in a two-minute period. This exercise will shape your butt in no time.