Posts Tagged ‘Strength Training


3 Examples of People Making Progress In Strength Training

I’m excited about the things happening with 3 people who are making great progress in their strength and fitness goals.

I’m seeing all kinds of great things going on.  From gaining bucket loads of strength to showing vast improvement in body composition and muscle tone.  People are making tremendous improvements in their training and getting healthier every day.

For instance George.  When he first started training could only bench press the bar, by itself, just a few reps.  Now George is benching 130 pounds at 6 reps.  And then on top of that super-setting with 6 reps of triceps bench dips.  The man is a monster now.  He’s on fire and getting stronger every day.  It’s just amazing to watch someone like George make the progress he’s made in such a short period of time.

Then there’s Jane.  Jane swore to me three weeks ago she could not do a single push up.  She started out doing the girlie type push up with her knees on the ground.  Then she quickly progressed to knees off the ground.  Jane went from not being able to do a single push up to doing 48 push ups in one training session.  Talk about someone who’s made a real metamorphosis in the strength of their body.  Jane is a real champion.

Darryl nearly passed out and had to stop his first training session early to go throw up.  I never try to work people so hard they pass out or throw up.  My point of view is that it’s counter productive to have to stop a training session because someone gets sick.  But, Darryl was so out of shape he could not get through his first training session.

This week Darryl completed one of the most challenging training session I could throw at him.  He did a whole hour of complexes.  Complexes will make you cry for mercy even when you have been strength training for years.

Darryl did great.  He went through the whole hour and at the end asked me if it was okay if he did some light cardio for 15  minutes.  What kind of person nearly passes out on his first training session and three weeks later is training like mad and asking for more?

All three share something in common.  They all told me they couldn’t do something and are now doing what they said they could not.

My mother had a saying when I was growing up that I never understood, but for some reason it stayed with me.  Whenever I would tell her that I couldn’t do something she would say “Can’t never could do anything.”  That made no sense to me when I was growing up.  Mom’s a little bit country, as we say here in the south.  But today I realize the wisdom of her simple statement.

If you continue to tell yourself you can’t do something, you will probably never do it.  You have to surround yourself with people who believe in you and you have to change your mindset.  Most important, you have to stop telling yourself you can’t do whatever it is you have told yourself you can’t do.

You are much stronger than you ever imagined.  You just have to believe that you can bench press that heavy weight, you can do push ups, you can do a rigorous workout.

But most of all, believe that as strong as you are physically, you are even stronger in your determination.

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Strength Training with Children

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, proper resistance training can enhance strength without affiliated muscle hypertrophy. Gains in strength in children can be attributed to neuromuscular learning, in which exercise increases the number of motor neurons that will fire when muscles are trained properly. The main argument against strength training for children is the possibility of growth plate fractures due to sheer force. The only website that I could locate any negative in this area was on hockeyusa. It seemed to me that hockeyusa would rather have a child playing hockey than lifting weights. For me the article seemed a little biased.

Research in a 2007 study by Avery D. Faigenbaum, EdD with the College of New Jersey Department of health and Exercise Science states resistance training for children can be a safe and effective form of exercise. He stresses the importance of appropriate training and supervision. A major benefit he states is resistance training could increase a young athlete’s resistance to sports related injuries.

Dr. Linda Kaufman and Dr. DL Schilling at the Cleveland Clinic researched the use of resistance training on a child with poor body awareness. This April 2007 study involved a five year old child. According to the study the child participated in a twelve week strength training program. At the end of the twelve week program improvements were noted in muscle strength and gross motor function. Their research indicated that muscles provide information about joint position. Other evidence suggests that muscle strength gains in children are a neuromuscular learning and neural adaptations. This study reaffirms the need for strength training in adolescents.

A 2008 report by Dr Chezhiyan Shanmugam and Dr Nicola Maffulli with Keele University School of Medicine, Stoke-on-Trent, UK state that most injuries caused in children’s sports are minor and self-limiting. Trainers must take into account the youth’s physical and psychological immaturity, so that growing athletes can adjust to the changes in their bodies.

Research documented in December 2003 by The Ribstein Center for Sport Medicine Sciences and Research, Wingate Institute, Netanya, Israel is very much in line with what ISSA states. Increases in strength following resistance training in youth are believed to be due to neural adaptations and only minimally to muscle hypertrophy. Their research indicates that resistance training in youth results in increased serum IGF-I and that there is no detrimental effect on linear growth.

An August 2005 the Department of Pediatrics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong wrote a research paper on effects of strength training on body composition in children who are obese. This study had Eight-Two Hong Kong children who were obese complete a six week training program. This program consisted of three resistance training sessions a week. At the end of the six weeks most of the children wanted to continue the training sessions. This study concluded that children in an exercise program with emphasis on strength training results in improved lean body mass and bone mineral accrual.

Every research article I read suggested the importance of supervised strength training for young people. Strength training can be very safe and effective in youth if the individual is properly instructed and is taught proper form and technique. The goal of resistance training in youth should be to improve strength and performance. Muscle hypertrophy should never be advocated with younger trainees.

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