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.

At Our Limits We Have Growth

growth

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

We all searching inspirations and sometimes we found them with videos or in biographies.

Our limits

limits

The world’s chess champion Josh Waitzkin says in his book « The Art of Learning »  :

« Growth comes at the point of resistance. We learn by pushing ourselves and finding what really lies at the outer reaches of our abilities ».

Training shouln’t be boring

boring

The moste of people do training by constraint, somthing boring :

  • Run on treadmill ou sit down at a weight machine

  • Suffering by doing exercices during 20-60 minutes

  • Repeat it again

Everybody had this experience. Day after day, do same exercices, because we believe that with this way we will have results.

Training shouldn’t be a constraint. We shouln’t see it like a constraint but rather like a way to challenge our limits.

Each training should be exciting

You must exploit this excitation in you training to reach results you want.

Step forward

step forward

Step forward to get out of your comfort zone, get out of securitiy zone, out of your known limits of your life for an unknown adventure maybe dangerous. In all movies you watch, the hero get out of his comfort zone to become better and that’s what makes the movie exciting. You can have the same scenario in your life.

Where are the gate keepers of your life ?

  • Is it the weights that you have never lifted for a deadlift ?

  • Is it the mountain hike you would like to do but you have never tried ?

  • Is it travel outside of your country or continent and test your preconceived notions about other cultures ?

  • Is it to learn a new instrument or make new friends or attending an event ?

Security and the « know » transform us in zombies !

Take the control of your life and avoid the « good enough » syndrome. To do the bare minimum has never evolved anything.

It’s true, stay in your comfort zone means be safe but your growth depend on what you do outside of the line.

Celebrate each victories and appreciates the feeling of joy that you have each time that you have succeeded in a challenge.

It’s not to cross the finish line. We haven’t yet found the finish line then profit of the life’s journey and love the life’s game.

Growth happens at our limits, wherever they may lie. It’s how much we can become comfortable with being uncomfortable that will determine just how much we can grow.

To paraphrases Professor Barnhardt in the movie « The Day The Earth Stood Still » : At the precipice we change !

Which thing did you do to get out of your comfort zone ?

-Steph

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

Lost In Getting Healthy

lost

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

You already heard this : « Life, isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon ». Do you think is right ? Me, I think life is a special labyrinth.

Life, a labyrinth

maze

A blog talk about this, click this article « Life is a Maze, not a Marathon » . This concept can be use to be healthy.

In the game of life, we must find a way to be have a better life and to find a way to use all our potential.

When we try to change a lot of things, it’s hard to adapt it all. Change take time and think about a marathon reassurring us.

But, a marathon means with each step, we go forward. We will finish the marathon with this process, it’s certain.

In life and in the quest to have a better lifestyle, there is a lot of unexpected events. Intead to think your journey is like a marathon where you know all the difficulties in advance, think life is a labyrinth that change all the time.

If your quest to have a better lifestyle was like a marathon, it would be like that :

  • I tried to lose weight and I failed. I’m a loser and I will never reach my goals.

  • I can’t eat healthy foods. Something is wrong with me

  • I tried a training one time and I didn’t like it. Training isn’t for me.

  • I applied for this job I wanted and I didn’t have it. I’m condemned to have a miserable life.

Instead of this, you’re in a labyrinth with your goals in center. You will find deadlocks and this doesn’t means you’re an incompetent person. They’re simply paths that don’t work.

  • I tried to lose weights and I failed – I will try again with a new tactic. I will do it again with a different way. The last time, I tried to count calories. This time, I will only focus to eat a better foods.

  • I tried a training one time and I didn’t like it – I will do a different type of training that seems to please me.

  • I applied for this job I wanted and I didn’t have it – Well, I need to change my tactic and stand out differently for the next job.

Fight your stubbornness

stubbornness

I thank video games to push us to make challenges and we don’t have any problems to dedicate thousands of hours to push « continue » to win.

However, this stubbornness and this devotion can be a blessing,but they can be a curse about be healthy.

Sometimes you will be guide to a bad path. When you continue in a deadlock you waste your time and you get away from your goals.

Often our obstinacy force us to lose our path because we have already started a wrong path. Let’s see :

  • We force ourselves to count our calories and to run more often when this don’t give us results. And we give up quickly this strategy every time. Change the strategy with a strenght training and eat only clean foods.

  • We stay in a deadlock with the job because we got our degree and we think we should do. This is the « good enough » syndrome and this is very very dangerous. Change it, we’re better than this.

  • We stay in a unhealty relationship because we’re together so long and we accepted to have a miserable relationship. We need to realize we deserve to be happy and we need to take care of ourselves.

Sometmes take a new direction is the better thing than you can do. Not because you give up what you do, but instead you give up a bad thing and this allow you to focus all your efforts to the good path.

Lost in the labyrinth

lost labyrinth

In labyrinths, there is always a moment where you must choose between three paths and you don’t know which one choose.

In life, there are times where you don’t know which paths choose and it’s stressing.

The worst thing you can do is to sit and complain because you don’t know what to do. Information can help you to choose. Educate yourself to choose the good direction.

« May be I must do this training or this type of training or this style of training ? »

« May be I must do this diet or this nutritional plan or this one ? »

Instead of remaining paralyzed, here how to do :

  • Do research to determine which path is better than others. Each path have its own characteristics and there certain that you would like to avoid.

  • Choose a path for a reason. With a litte research, you see which path you like most. Whatever the reason, choose a path and start as soon as possible.

  • Give yourself a chance to have a little result to test a path. When you’re lost, you leave mark on walls to leaves traces to don’t do the same mistake. If the path don’t work, you need to know. Test for 2 weeks a training and look if you have results. Test for 2 weeks a diet and look if you have results. If this don’t work, do again this process with a different training and a different type of diet.

You can’t save the world and you can’t finish the labyrinth while sitting. Do research and take a logical decision can help the processus but sometimes you have to act.

  • The life is a labyrinth very very difficult to solve. People who say they understood everything in life are liars.

  • When you have several choices, educate yourself the more you can and choose a path.

  • When you find a deadlock, mark it in your list and try a different path.

  • Courage and determination are important to have victory. With enough perseverance to test different paths to find the good path, you continue and find your goals in the center of the labyrinth.

Start. Don’t feel guilty when you’re in a deadlock, try new paths.

You will find the end, my friend.

-Steph