Back To The Source Of Human Strength (Part 2)

source river

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read part 1, click here 

Hypertrophy

When I started to train, I thought I can increase the amount of muscle fibers with strength training program. The truth is we have a specific number of muscle fibers. We can only increase the size of our muscles fibers, this is hypertrophy.

I discovered that there were several hypertrophies. Usually when people talk about hypertrophy, it’s sarcoplasmic hypertophy.

  • Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

    This hypertrophy allows you to increase the amount of sarcoplasmic fluid in your muscles. This can increase the size of one of your muscles by 30 %.

  • Myofibril hypertrophy

    This hypertrophy allows you to strengthen your myofibril, the part of the muscle that contracts. This increase the strength of your muscle fibers, build strong muscles and super dense.

  • Transient hypertrophy

    This hypertrophy allows you to increase temporary the size of one of your muscles during and immediately after an exercice due to an accumulation of fluid (I still don’t know if it’s the sarcoplasmic fluid or glycogen) in the intercellular space. This is what gives the effect « the pump ».

To summarize to buid a muscle super dense and strong, it’s myofibril hypertrophy. To have bigger muscle, it’s sarcoplasimic hypertrophy. Transient hypertrophy is temporary and appears in the other 2 hypertrophies during the training.

During a strength training, here is what happens :

  • During an exercice you’ll break muscle tissue. Your body will repair this muscle and it will become stronger. Whenever you break muscle tissue, your body will do this process.
  • When you increase the number of repetitions, you increase the storage of glycogen in your muscle. This is where you muscle gets bigger.

For the training program

Strength training isn’t just lift weights. It’s more interesting and more complex than that.

Here are details :

chart hypertophy starting strength rep 1rm

A little help for this Excel’s table

  • Repetition (Rep) => An exercice is composed of a starting position and an arrival position. A repetition is when you make the movement from the starting position to the arrival position and you return to the starting position. All that make a repetition. For exemple when you squat, the starting position is standing. The arrival position is when your thighs are parallel to the floor and you return to the starting position, standing.

  • X Rep Max => This is the number of repetitions with the heaviest weight you are able to control. By exemple, 1 Rep Max (1RM), is that the weight is so heavy that you can do only one repetition. 10RM, is that you can control the weight successfully to do 10 repetitions. In the 11st, it’s the failure.

With this Excel table, you can have an idea to how you can do to gain stength (myofribril hypertophy) : A low number of repetition and heavy weight. To increase the size of your muscles (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy) : A high number of repetition and light weight.

ATTENTION : This Excel table give us an idea of how to do to reach our goal. It’s not something specific. When you do a high number of repetition to increase the size of your muscle, you gain also a little strength. Our body is smarter than us.

It’s for this reason I never understand girls or women who don’t want to « get bulk », so they do 3 sets of 16 repetitions or 5 sets of 1000 repetitions with a dumbbell of 2kg (4.4lbs).

It’s hard for a girl to bulk, no matter the weight or the number of repetitions, if they want to increase the size of muscles, that’s exactly what they have to do because it would make sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

Recovery

recovery sleep

I’m sure you’ve already heard that muscles are built in the kitchen, not in the gym.

It’s because when you’re in the gym, you break your muscle fibers. When you’re outside of the gym, your body heals and your muscles become bigger and stronger. So it’s important to take a recovery’s day in your strength training program.

The general rule is to wait 40 hours before to work the same muscle group again.

Remember that your muscles works in team, which means that when you work your chest, you also work shoulders muscles and arms muscles.

Everyone at his own pace to recover, it depends on diet, sleep’s quality, age workout and other items like stretching or massage.

The basis of strength training is 4 days of training per week and one recovery’s day.

Sore muscles or DOMS

DOMS is the acronym for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Sore means that your muscles haven’t recovered to 100 % (hence the « delayed onset »). This can last 1-2 days after your workout and this is normal. The process for your body to rebuild your muscles takes several days after a workout.

It’s normal that you have sore muscle for several days after your first training or after a long break. With each exercice, your muscle gets used to a movement and adapts to the stress caused by this movement so that you have less sore muscles. Stretching helps you to decrease sore muscles.

I think you motivated now, to start a strength training. Don’t worry, there is a lot of stength training program great for beginners on internet. The book « Starting Strength » is excellent for beginners, the Excel’s table of this article comes from this book.

 

 

I also put free strength training program at your disposal. Click on the links below.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Back To The Source Of Human Strength (Part 1)

source

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

When I’m in gym, people tell me why they started to train. There are several reasons, lose weight, gain muscles or to be in shape for a special event. There is a golden rule to have result in strength training, it’s eat clean and lift heavy.

Everybody says it, eat clean and lift heavy but what does that means ? I think it’s time to go back to the source.

Why

why

The life is easier when we’re stronger, did you notice it ? By exemple, to carry bags from supermarket, to carry a piece of furniture, to run to be in time, etc. Everything is easier.

Strength training is extremely efficient to build muscle and burn fat. Whether to lose 6kg (15lbs) or 45kg (100lbs), it’s the same thing.

Strength training help to build muscle and lose fat but it also help to stop or even reverse sarcopenia (it’s skeletal muscle reduction with aging). Train our skeletal muscle allow us to be independant (therefore avoid nursing homes) and live longer.

The profits list isn’t finished yet.

A nice athletic body

Strength training help you keep your muscles while you’re in calories deficience and losing weight.

Strength training allows you to have a better oxygen consumption than aerobic exercices. After training your body needs to make a lot of efforts to recover and return to the normal state so the state you had before the training. Scientific studies have shown that your metabolism‘s level increase for 38 hours after your training.

Strength training increase your metabolism, increase your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) because your body needs more calories to keep your muscls than to keep your fat. It’s estimated that for each 4.45kg (1lbs) of muscle, your RMR increase of 30-35 calories.

Improve your health

Strength training help you to improve your balance and coordination, improve cholesterol’s rate, help to control blood sugar, stop muscle loss, improve blood flow, reduces your resting blood pressure, build a stronger heart and increase bone density.

Feel better

It’s clear with strength training you have more self-confidence, your have more energy, a better mood, less anxiety and less stress . It also improves the quality of your thoughts, a scientific study has shown that this increases the cognitive function .

It’s not advisable to do a strength training 1 hour before sleeping. On the other hand to train early in the day helps to prevent sleep apnea  and insomnia.

Prevents diseases and degenerative diseases

You notices that many men and women die because of cardiac disease. Stength training helps to solve problems that are factors of heart disease such as inactivity, diabets, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Cardiologists begin to advise strength training to people who have heart attack.

Strength training helps to manage and improve the lifestyle of people with clinical depression , cancer survivors , have had a spinal cord injury ,who have recently had a stroke , fibromyalgia , Lymphedema , Down Syndrome , Parkinson’s Disease , Osteoporosis  and Arthritis.

It’s fun

Strenght training helps to reach your goals whether an effective training of 20 minutes to have a good naked body or to do a sports competition. It’s fun to see our progress because it’s like increase level in a video game. If you want to be better in a sport like badminton or rock climbing, strength training is a good choice.

People who shouldn’t train

The only people I’ve found who shouldn’t train are people who have an injury and it’s a break that doesn’t last long. We’re human being and it’s natural to carry things and move. Strength training is recommended for pregnant women , children and teenagers  and even paraplegics .

Obviously, it recommanded to see his/her doctor before beginning a strength training program to adjust the training program.

Basic objections

objection

But I’m too old, it’s not reasonable

When people between 30 and 60 years old tell me that they’re too old, I laugh because it’s a lie. It’s like say : « I don’t have time » and later I see a messsage on Facebook like : « Yestersay, Game of the thrones was epic ! ». Scientific studies have shown that people between 70 and 90 years old had impressive results in 10 weeks .

Other scientific studies have shown that this helps to avoid dementia  and to delay Alzheimer’s .

People who think they’re too old to train are exactly people who should train.

But I just want to be better for a sport and I want to stay fit

Strength training improve your muscle’s endurance, scientific studies have shown it. Resistance exercices help to increases overall muscles endurance , fix nervous system problems and increase activation of motor units within your muscles.

I don’t want to bulk too much

It’s a great strength training’s myth, it’s not in 1 year than you’ll have the bodybuilder’s body no matter wheteher you’re a man or a woman.

For women, here 2 exemples of moms who have become strong and fit without having a bodybuilder body. This is the story of Veronica  and Bronwyn .

Have a the body of a famous bodybuilder doesn’t happen in one night. Naturally we don’t have the amount of homones to have the body of a famous bodybuilder. We need to eat a huge amount of food (8 000 – 10 000 calories per day) and a huge amont of drugs (no, no, it’s another type of pharmacy, it’s true).

I’m fat, I want only lose weight

I’m fat, I want only lose weight

It’s a good reason to start strenght training. By losing weight, you surely want to keep your muscles. I mean, yout want to keep your muscles while you lose fat. With strength training you lose quickly centimeters (inches) in different body’s parts. It’s true that the overall weight loss may seem slow, that’s why is important to track your measurements. With strenght training when you eat with a caloric deficit, it’s increase your metabolism so you lose fat.

It’s boring

What I like with strength training, it’s we can see our progress quickly. It’s like increase level in a video game. I think people get bored when they expect nothing to do between 2 sets. This is why I advise people to have headphones to listen to their own music selection or an audio book to increase motivation.

Muscles and strength training

muscle fiber

Don’t be fancy, it’s interesting to understand how our muscles work to avoid failling into the Matrix’s trap. What I mean is that the only person you gave to impress is yourself and not the others.

It’s our muscle fibers that are small muscle cells that build up our muscles. Our muscle fibers are long, cylindrical and have the size of a strand of hair. Our muscle fibers are composed of myofibrils surrounded by sarcoplasm. I really summarized that but if you want to see it in detail, click here .

We have around 642 skeletal muscles that work together to make move our body. Imagine, when you bend your arm, your biceps contracts and your triceps does the opposite (elongates) to let the elbow bend. Every muscle of your body work as a team to make you move.

We have different type of muscle fibers :

Slow twitch (Type 1 fibers)

Slow twitch fibers are used to convert oxygen into energy for a long period of time. They don’t move quickly to be resistant to fatigue. These are the fibers we use most for marathons.

Fast twitch (Type 2 fibers)

Fast twitch move quickly so they’re not resistant to fatigue. Our body has 2 categories of fast fibers. The type 2A fiber has an endurence characterisitc used for long sprints. The type 2X fiber has « super fast » characterisitc used to short sprints or lift weights. I really summarized that but if you want to see it in detail, click here .

Each individual has a different percentage of slow and fast fibers. It’s for this reason that people are naturally better to run long distances or sprints. It’s funny because we can see it in strength training with people who are better to do sets with high or low repetitions.

It’s the end of the first part and the second part is event more interessting.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. To read Part 2, click here.

From Exercise Machines To Free Weights

machine free weights

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

Very often in gym’s advertisements, we watch a lot of high-tech machines to do exercises and the free weight zone is a small hidden room.

What I see in my gym, it’s people start their training with a little bit cardio and they use machines. They do this because it’s easier and this look more secure. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. The Matrix trap us with these machines.

Attention : If you have a medical prescription or you need to use machines for a special reason, continue to follow your training program prescribed by your doctor or physiotherapist.

Why

why

The truth is that machines force muscles and joints to make movements that aren’t natural.

Machines force your body to move weights in a single pattern (up – down or left – right). Our bodies naturally don’t move like it, this is the problem. Movements or our bodies aren’t straight lines, it’s rather « S ». The result is that machines develop our muscles in a way that isn’t balanced and they endanger our joints and spine.

Like you can see, machines don’t put your body in safety and in addition, they don’t work your stabilizing muscles. Don’t work stabilizing muscles is very bad for everyday activities.

When you bent forward to take something on the floor, you body use a dozen and a dozen muscles at the same time. But since you no longer work your stabilizing muscles because of machines, your muscles don’t know how to work together so your body uses a muscle.

Study case

« Smith Machine » is famous to do squat in safety so it protects your back. Lie ! This machine is perfect to destroy your back and compressed your spine because this machine force your body to move only up and down. The real squat allow to do the fundamental movement and when you do it, you notice that your body doesn’t do a straight line from up to down. With the real squat you do a natural movement.

Do exercise with weight or with bodyweight is more efficient to burn calories than machines.

Full body

full body

All exercises classified in 2 categories : pull and push

I remember, I did a full body training program for 1 year before lift weight. This is what my Taekwondo’s teacher advised me and he was right (wow, Korean wisdom). A full body training program, 3 times per week is more efficient than a machines training program, 5-6 times per week for beginners. If you want to train more, you can do Tai-Chi or walking during rest days.

Full body is important

With full body, you learn to each body’s muscle to work together, you synchronize you body. This is allow you to be healthy, avoid using too much a muscle and avoid injury due to a weak stabilizing muscle. To maximize your body, eat healthy and you’ll burn more fat, build muscle and build a body of which you’re proud.

What is great with a full body training program, it’s when you skip a training day, it doesn’t matter. You’ll not have certain muscle more developed than any others because each training session work all body’s muscles

Bodyweight (full body)

bodyweight training

Mastering basics movements with bodyweight is perfect to prepare you for a training with weights.

It’s primitive movements therefore natural that allow you to become stronger without material.

The best example are gymnasts. Look gymnasts body, it’s amazing, impressive and the majority of their training are with bodyweight exercises.

Basic exercises

  • Push = push up, dips, handstands

  • Pull = pull up, body rows

  • Legs = bodyweight squat, pistols squats, lunges, box jumps

For each exercise, you do 2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

No it’s too simple  ! => Do this training program and if it’s too easy, increase the difficulty. You can do push up with one hand or pull up with one hand (like my friend Inti). You can also add more set ou repetition.

No it’s too difficult => Do this training program and if it’s too difficult, decrease the difficulty. You can do sets of 3 repetitions. The principle is you progress to do 4 sets of 10 repetitions. Take your time but be regular.

No I want abs => When you do squat, push up and pull up, you keep your core tight and by this way you work your abs. But if you want to do an exercise specially for abs, you can to plank and side plank.

Strength training (full body)

strength training

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, dumbbells and barbells are your friends.

Basic exercise

  • Push = Bench press, Overhead Press

  • Pull = Deadlift, Bent Over Row

  • Legs = Squat, Deadlift

For each exercise, you do 2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

No I don’t like squat => Do you think squat is an useless exercise ? I advise you to read the book of Mark Rippetoe. If you seriously want to train, this book is for you !

No I afraid of weights => Don’t panic. Most people in free weights section are too busy to look at themselves in the mirror, they will not look at you. You can use a barbell or dumbbells for each exercise to improve your pure strength. I advise you dumbbells.

No I’m afraid of being ridiculous => Everybody don’t care if you life a dumbbell of 4kg (8.8lbs) or you squat 181kg (400lbs) because everybody struggle to do their training program. Forget people, stay focus and do you training program until the end.

But if I do bad => At the beginning use light weight to do movements with the good form, the good technique. When you’ll stronger, you’ll can add weight slowly each week to reach your limit. You can hire a personal trainer for 1-2 sessions to learn and improve basic exercises techniques or form.

No I want only lose weight => It’s simple, you do basic exercises and you eat less. The training is the same for lose weight or gain muscle. It’s diet that make the difference ! It’s a science :

  • Eat more calories than you burn = gain weight

  • Eat less calories than you burn = lose weight

Your physical condition, it’s 80 % diet and 20 % training. If you want bulk, you need to have a specific diet to do this.

Track and adjust slowly your training program and your diet to see your progress.

No matter what you do, don’t be afraid of the free weight zone. Remember than 90 % of people inside are focus to do their exercises by looking in the mirror therefore don’t worry. Do your exercices, become better and become stronger.

What do you feel when you train with free weights ?

-Steph

Beginners Errors

beginners

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

Chasing the illusion

illusion

« This training shocks muscle », « it’s a training from army » or « this diet work without change what you usually eat ». You have already heard these slogans several times I think.

This type of advertising always encourages us to look for the last training program, last supplement, DVD,etc.

We’re happpy, we can have an athletic body in 3 weeks with a training program. We believe it but after 3 weeks, we have little result, we stop and we depress. It was an illusion.

All the year, be consistent and patient, this is the solution. 2 elements are enough to be healty : diet and exercices. Matrix’s companies sell us illusions like « this training program target the belly’s fat ». These illusions have as objectives to incite us to buy them and not to help us to be healthy.

Select a simple training program and use it all the year. I offer simple and free training programs for all body muscles. Test it.

Remember, the body need a maximum of 12 weeks to be accustommed to a new diet and a training program. Once your body is used to it, you have to wait several years to have an athletic body (3 years). Day after day your body improves but it’s first inside and after outside. Your internal organs have priority.

Emotion

emotion

Our emotions prevent us from being in good health. Do you don’t believe me ? Here some exemples :

  • I did my training session today, I can eat cookies
  • I eat a cookie just one time. It’s good, another one
  • It was hard today at work, I need to eat it

We need to learn to control our minds by associating positive emotions with exercices and healthy diet. It’s important because we can have some cases where we eat 1000 calories of cookies and we burn only 300 calories during a training session. These emotions These emotions make us make exceptions and if we do them more often, we risk doing no training and healthy meals in the week.

Do meditation and follow a personal development’s program are great to reprogram our minds.

Tips to start

  • Use calendar’s alert in your smartphone for your training session

  • Cook your healthy meals of the day ahead

  • When you’re hungry between meals, drink water

  • If you want watch TV, do bodyweight exercices before

Pleasure

pleasure

Often people think that do physical exercices isn’t fun. They imagine that to be in good health, it’s eat salad and run for hours or be on a bench surrounded by athletic people. This image is enough to discourage a lot of people.

I’m healthy and I don’t eat salad, I have my portion of vegetables. I run once a week and there is others way to do exercices like strenght training, gymnastics, frisbee, hike, etc. Find the physical activity you like. If you do a physical activity you don’t like, choose another. You need to have pleasure doing this physical activity. If you don’t have any idea, do a search on internet.

Bulk

bulk

Women say often « I don’t want lift weight because I don’t want bulk ». Then women avoid dumbbells and run for hours and do crunchs. And if they use dumbbells, they choose the lightest possible.

Women have this behavior because in a women’s magazine, they read that to have a « toned » body, it’s necessary to make high reps with lightweight.

A « toned » body is a word or term create by marketing specially for women. Women can’t bulk up by lifting weight. To bulk up, it’s necessary to eat more calories than the body burn them. The truth to have a « toned » body is that you have to use heavy strength training with low repetitions

The most articles write in magazines, it’s the Matrix to ruin your life. It’s lies and the proof is that women are still looking for an effective training progam. Look, my sister still doesn’t listen to my advice and 4 times a year, she changes her workout.

A strenght training is great to build compact (or « toned ») muscles. Test a strenght training for a month, do a picture before/after and I sure that your pant’s size will change. Test it one time with a healthy diet.

Action

I know a lot of people that read a hundred of documents about fitness/bodybuilding and they don’t do a sport activity. Theory without practice is useless except to show off in front of friends. Einstein to validate his theories had to test them on the field. I don’t know, may be they’re afraid to choose a bad training program and diet ?

If you want my opinion, start today. Select a training program and follow it. The truth is that there is no perfect training program. And the secret of a perfect training program is to use it and adjust it month after month. Here are the steps of the perfect training program :

  • Select a training programme

  • Follow this program for 8-12 weeks

  • Track your progress

  • Look how your body change

  • Make adjustments

  • Repeats all these steps to infinity

Which training program you had the least results with ?

-Steph

P.S. Do you want a free training program ? Click here 

Smartphone apps :

To track my calories, I use MyFitnessPal 

To track my training program, I use Jefit 

Supermarket Mission

supermarket

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

In a supermarket, the Matrix put a lot of traps to buy some junk foods. Here some tricks to avoid the Matrix’s traps.

The plan

You need a plan to succeed, it’s the basis. Create a list ! I use Evernote  to do my supermarket’s list but you can use a piece of paper or something else.

My list :

  • Rice

  • Pasta

  • Olive oil

  • Chicken

  • Tuna

  • Alaska pollock

  • Vegetables

  • Fruits

  • Green tea

  • Eggs

  • Legumes

  • Vitamines pills

May be it can help you to do your own list.

Don’t go to the supermarket with your stomack empty. It’s the best way to fall into all the Matrix’s traps to buy junk foods. Supermarkets put chemical odors intentionally to make you buy and with a full stomack, you avoid this trap like a champion.

Nutrition Label

nutrition label etiquette ingredients nutrition label

Now we learn ingredients, we need to have a good judgment about nutrition lable. Luckily the most of healthy foods don’t have nutrition label like meat, fruits and vegetables.

If you buy something in bags and boxes, take 30 seconds to read the nutrition label. It’s crazy what you can find in foods today.

Here somethings you need to know about nutrition label :

  • Don’t be scammed by the food’s name – « healthy food », « natural » shouldn’t blind you. Be sure it’s not a scam like Nestle’s Fitness or Kellogg’s Special K.

  • Scan ingredients list – The first ingredient in the list make up the most of the product. Usually, the fewer ingredients, the better. Don’t be scammed by ingredients name with the mention « all natural ».

  • This is not because it’s not written sugar that there aren’t inside – You know these cereals bars named « healthy » like Nestle Fitness cereal bars or Kellogg’s Special K cereals bars.

  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup – Take whole grain bread and in some whole grain bread you will see in the first five ingredients « high frutose corn syrup ». Shit.

Your body is the only one you have, so take care about the foods you put inside.

Vegetables and fruits

A challenge ? Everytimes you go to the supermarket buy a new vegetable or fruit and learn to prepare it. If you don’t know the vegetable or you don’t know how to prepare it, use Google or DuckDuckGo  or you can ask to an employee. There is a lot of choice of vegetables and fruits in the world and we should take advantage of it.

Fish and meat

chicken meat fish

Don’t be afraid about meat’s fatty curs to save money. The enemy isn’t fat.

Select meats based on your goals. Beef’s fatty cuts is excellent to try to increase calorie levels to gain weight,. chicken breast’s boneless and skinless cuts is excellent to try to keep calories down to be lean.

You can buy bacon.

Tricks

  • Frozen vegetables are excellent – If you hesitat between fresh vegetables and frozen vegetables, select frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are good because they’re not bad, they’re easy to prepare and they’re cheap.
  • Check weekly coupons – You can save some money on foods you usually buy because you can have a discount with another brand. It’s a exemple.
  • Don’t be scammed by the sale price – Even if it’s « 10 for 10.- » usually you don’t need to buy 10 so don’t be scammed by the Matrix. Often, you can bu 3 and have access to the sale price.
  • Have supermarket’s member card – It’s free and you can have huge discounts.
  • Go to the supermarket next to your house – Vegetables and fruits can spoil quickly if you do a big trip so go to the supermarket next to your house.
  • Buy in bulk – Very convenient to have a stock of fruits, vegetables, legumes, tuna can or peanut butter. All these things can be keep longtime, it’s cool.

 

Do you have some questions about supermarket ?

-Steph

P.S : Do you want a free training program ? Click here