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Strength training tips

Elizabeth Sherman, a health educator in Austin, came to our Weigh 2 Go! meeting yesterday and shared some really valuable information about strength training.  Here is a summary of some of the points she made:

  • Muscle will atrophy if you don’t use it.  As you get older, balance becomes an issue.  Building muscle now will help prevent balance issues and falls in the future.
  • When trying to lose weight, if you diet without any kind of exercise, 1/2 of the weight you lose will come from MUSCLE (and half from fat).  If you diet and do cardiovascular exercise, 1/4 of the weight you lose will come from muscle (and 3/4 from fat).  If you incorporate strength training and cardiovascular exercise into your weight loss program, then ALL of the weight you lose will come from fat (and 0% from muscle).
  • Calorie burn can be elevated for 24-48 hours after a strength training workout.
  • “Spot reduction” is a myth. In other words, you can’t do specific movements to reduce fat or cellulite in certain spots on your body.  The only way to reduce cellulite is to reduce your overall body fat.
  • Strength training is a great way to emphasize or de-emphasize parts of your body.  You can sculpt your body in a way that you can’t with diet alone.
  • People should target doing 3 sets of 8-12 repititions when doing strength training.  Focusing on your large muscle groups is best – like your chest, back, and legs.  Doing a zillion bicep curls and/or sit-ups is not overly effective in building muscle, since your biceps and stomach muscles are fairly small.
  • It is especially important for kids to stay healthy and lean, as the body can create substantial amounts of new fat cells during adolescence.  That is a good reminder for those of us with kids!

Elizabeth Sherman has a variety of services that she provides her clients – from personal training to “pantry makeovers”.  Visit her website at http://www.elizabethsherman.com.  Thanks so much for coming to speak with us, Elizabeth!

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