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Multiple Types of Weight Training

Multiple Types of Weight Training

The 11 groups of muscles in your body comprise of the biceps, triceps; shoulders, quadriceps, back, chest, forearms, abs, Trapezius, calves and the hamstrings. Weight training course can become effective for comprehensive bodybuilding when you are able to exercise all the groups alternately. 

The first obvious aim of the training is fat loss. The second goal is to build the strength and endurance features of all the 11 skeletal muscle groups. 

In this process you can also increase the size and mass of the muscles to a considerable extent. The procedure for weight training consists of several steps starting from the warm up, going through the reps, strengthening the weak muscles, going through reverse workouts and allowing the muscles to grow.


Weight Training Course – Muscle Growth

 What is muscle mass? This is the skeletal muscle weight in pounds along with the proteins and the water content in it. The mass can increase when the muscle grows in size and volume. The fusion of muscle fibers to form new muscle myofibrils is the basic definition of muscle growth. This process increases the muscle thickness and its volume naturally.

  • Core Muscle Growth: - The core muscle growth is a process related to the pelvic, abdominal external oblique, transverse, internal oblique and the multifidus muscle. Flat bench leg raise is the basic exercise for growing the core muscles. For this you need to lie down flat (on you back) on the horizontal workbench. Stretch your hands behind your head to hold the workbench and raise your lower body vertically up. Keep the legs straight all the way up. Hold for a few seconds and return to original position. Some of the other exercises you can try without weight are the z pose, plank, air bike and the crunches. For the core weight training you need to start with the warm up exercise like the treadmill. Then you can directly move onto the cable machine for the cable hammer curls, incline cable fly, wide grip lat pull down, seated cable rows and the cable crunch. The duration of the workouts has to be for maximum of 45 minutes. You may opt for 8 to 12 reps per set with heavy weights. Remember that light weights may not be effective in building the core muscles, while they can certainly be helpful in the initial stages of the weight training.
  • Biceps Muscle Growth: - barbell curl is the basic weight training exercise for the growth of twin muscle between the elbow and the upper arm. You may choose to work out the muscle directly or indirectly (by working out the leg, back and chest). You may also target the group of triceps, calves and the hamstring along with the abs and the shoulders to enhance the biceps muscle growth. Stand vertically with the short length barbell (EZ bar with 1” or 2” standard sleeves and appropriate weight) in front of you. Your grip on the barbell should be with your palm facing up. Keep the spinal cord straight while bending to pick up the barbell. Lift it till it touches your chest. Hold for a few seconds and place it back on the floor. Once your biceps get conditioned you can try the next pattern of exercise for maximum muscle ripping. Hold the barbell with your arms down at near the hip. Raise the barbell bu curling the elbows and keeping the arm straight until the barbell touches your chest. Hold for few seconds and drop the arms back to original position. In the beginning this might exert lot of pain in the biceps. But this is the sure sign of muscle ripping. As you progress you can overload the biceps to get maximum ripping and growth. Consult your bodybuilding coach to know the exact weight of the barbell. He will be able to guide you in the proper manner based on your body and health condition. The other types of exercises recommended for the biceps are standing biceps cable curl, concentration curl, incline hammer curl and the incline inner biceps curl.
  • Triceps Muscle Growth: - The muscles in the triceps have to be subject to the heaviest weights in order to rip them and make them grow. For recruiting this muscle you need to use your upper arm and stretch it fully in order to make the best contraction possible. Keeping the elbow muscles fixed during the exercise can help in better ripping of the triceps. Close grip barbell on the bench press is the first recommended exercise. Make sure you have gone for four sets with 6 reps in the first two sets. Increase the reps to 8 in the third set and g for 10 reps in the fourth. Taking a break of one minute between the sets can help in relaxing the muscles. Alternately you can opt for seated dumbbell press or the dip machine with three sets.

Similarly you can focus on the other muscle groups with the proper workout using the weights. The best practice is to work with a bodybuilding coach if you wish to get the practical results from the program. You may also plan for professional bodybuilding career if you have the commitment and train.


Weight Training Deadlift – Pure Muscle Strength

Deadlift squat on the bench press can be extremely helpful in enhancing the strength of your muscles in the upper body. The grip you take on the Deadlift creates a great impact on the muscle strength gained during the workout. 

The wide grip enhances the strength of muscles in the back, chest, shoulders, forearms, biceps and the triceps. The medium grip Deadlift on the bench consolidates the abs strength and the back along with the shoulders, forearms, biceps and the triceps. The narrow grip on the Deadlift on the bench can strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, upper back and the shoulders.


Weight Training Equipment Names – Best Exercises

  • Olympic bar
  • Dumbbells
  • Ez curl bar
  • Hex bar
  • Squat Rack
  • Power Rack
  • Cable Machine etc.

Biggest Benefits of Isolation Exercises

Multiple Types of Weight Training

The isolation exercises list contains all the workouts for the individual muscle group in your body from the neck to the calves. They can also be used for strengthening and mass building of an individual muscle by avoiding the connected muscles. 

The position of the neck muscle plays an important role in making the isolation exercises efficient. When the neck muscles are able to contract in an isometric manner the level of oxygen supply to the muscle being exercised will get controlled.

This will result in higher level of fat burning and muscle strengthening. Bodybuilders normally use isolation exercises for healing the injuries sustained by specific muscles. 

The other benefit is to enhance the strength of a specific muscle when it is unable to get recruited in the compound exercise. Isolation exercises help in stress reduction, enhanced focus, cardiovascular health improvement and complete relaxation of the muscles.


Isolation Exercises List – Simple Approach to Bodybuilding

  • Biceps Exercises: - As you know, the biceps is the twin head muscle between the elbow and the upper arm. Incline bench dumbbell exercise can be helpful when you sit on the bench with your feet spread at a distance of the shoulder width. You can perform isolation curl from both sides of the bench by holding the dumbbell in each hand. Curl the elbows towards your chest without moving the shoulders until the two dumbbells come close to each other over your chest. Hold position for few seconds before going back to original position of hanging shoulders on either side of the bench. Neutral grip is preferred to balance the dumbbell weight perfectly. The other isolation exercises recommended for the biceps are machine bicep curl, overhead cable curl and the cross body hammer curl.
  • Chest Exercises: - The basic isolation exercises for the chest are related to the dumbbell bench press. Lie down flat (on your back) on the horizontal work bench with two dumbbells in your hands. Hold them by stretching your arms parallel to the ground on either side. Curl your elbow and hold the dumbbell vertically up. The two palms face each other in the grip as you raise the hands vertically up to lift the dumbbells. Hold your hands at shoulder width for few seconds before returning to original position. Do this exercise slowly for increasing the strength of your chest muscles. Some of the other isolation exercises for the chest are dumbbell flyes, bodyweight flyes, incline cable flyes and incline pushup.
  • Triceps Exercises: - The isolation exercises for triceps include the close grip barbell bench press as the main option.  Lie down (on your back) on a horizontal bench beneath the barbell rack. Grip the barbell with your hands at a distance of shoulder width. Lift the barbell from the rack and hold it above your chest with stretched out arms. Lower the barbell slowly towards your chest until the bar touches your middle chest. Hold for few seconds. Raise the barbell slowly up and replace it in the rack. You can repeat this exercise for 2 or 3 times before putting the barbell back into its rack also. The increased number of reps will strengthen the triceps muscles. The other forms of exercises for the triceps are dumbbell floor press, kneeling cable extension and the seated triceps press.
  • Lower back Exercises: - The best isolation exercise for the lower back is stated to be the axle Deadlift. Keep the bar on the floor and stand in the middle with straight back. Hold the bar with both hands at shoulder distance with the under grip. Take a deep breath and bend your hip until the barbell comes in contact with your sheen. Lift the weight up until bar reaches your hip. Hold for few seconds and lower the bar down. Place it on the floor and stand straight. You can repeat this exercise for 10 to 15 minutes with a break of 30 seconds in between. As your experience grows, you will be able to reduce the break time and increase the number of reps. Some of the other isolation exercises for the lower back are deathlift with chain and band, rack pulls and the deficit Deadlift. 
  • Neck Exercises: - The top isolation exercise for the neck muscles is stated to be the chin to chest stretch. This exercise can be done by sitting on the floor with stretched legs in front of your body. Hold both hands at the back of your head by interlocking the fingers. Push your head towards your chest as much as possible. Hold for few seconds and roll back. Repeat this exercise for 10 minutes with one minute break in between each rep. Similarly you can perform the side neck stretch and the isometric neck exercise.
  • Quadriceps Exercises: - Box squat is one of the most recommended isolation exercises for the quadriceps. The box height can be according to your convenience. Step under the bar and place it across your shoulder back. Make sure you are comfortable within the box with your head pointing forward. Now lift the bar upward as you raise your body. Stretch until your body feels comfortable. Now sit back on the box with a smooth reverse action. You can repeat the exercise multiple times within a span of 3 to 4 minutes with no break. This exercise will certainly enhance the strength of your quadriceps muscles.
  • Forearms Exercises: - The Isolation exercises for the forearms start with the farmer’s walk. Carry two dead lifts of same weight with the two hands by keeping the back straight. You can take a brisk walk with the weight to a distance of 100 feet. Your steps have to be short and fast. Similarly you can try the exercises like the finger curl and wrist roller for the exercises. Increase the number of reps and the weight gradually as you get experienced. Your forearms will get the required strength and muscle growth with the help of isolation exercises listed here


Drop Sets for Bodybuilding

Drop Sets for Bodybuilding

The unique method of drop sets triceps is one way of reducing the weights during the exercises with additional repetitions. Once you complete the first set, you can continue with the reps until your body reaches the point of failure.

The biggest benefit of drop set is the recruitment of the muscle fibers in all the 11 groups to the core. They help you achieve maximum muscle growth and mass gain. You can opt for single drop set or multiple drop sets depending on the intensity and the volume of weight used in the first set. 

The exercises are also called as strip sets. You can apply the technique with barbells, dumbbells, bench press, squat rack, cable curls and other bodybuilding equipment. 


Drop Sets for Triceps – The Ultimate Technique

  • EZ Bar: - The EZ bar triceps exercises are stated to be the best for enhancing the muscle size and volume through growth. Initially you can start the routine with the maximum weight your body can carry. Lie down flat on the work bench and lift the barbell from the rack. Hold it with the close grip by locking your arms. Lower the barbell until it touches your chest. Hold for few seconds and then lift the barbell up. Once you have completed the sufficient number of reps, you can drop one set of weight from the barbell and continue to exercise. You can go for 8 to 12 reps with constantly reduced weights. The main advantage is you can perform the exercises without taking a break in between.
  • Dips Drop Set: - The triceps dip machine has two versions namely the standing and eh sitting. The standing version allows you to place your body using high attachment bar. You can find hand grips and elbow grips on the two sides of the machine. You need to pull the attached weight at the back of the rope connecting to the bar. After repeating the sets with a certain weight, you can drop one set of weight and continue with the rest of weight. You can repeat the drop set for 8 to 10 reps in each set.

  • Drop Sets for Abs – Perfect Compound Exercises

    The weighted incline oblique crunch with three drop sets is stated to be the basic exercises for the abs. Similarly you can start with maximum weight dumbbells and workout until you reach the point of failure. Then you can gradually reduce the weight in each set and continue with the reps. The technique helps your muscles to rip at the deepest levels.

    • Rack Running: - Incline bench press with rack of dumbbell weights on both the hands can significantly increase the muscle growth to the core of the abs muscles. You can choose 4 to 5 sets starting with 4 to 6 reps and continuing till the last set wherein you go for 10 to 15 reps. After each set can reduce the weight by 5 LBS and continue without break.  The first set of reps has to be performed until you reach the point of fatigue. Hence you decrease the weight in the second set and increase the reps. As each muscle reaches the point of fatigue in the abs it shifts the load to the unutilized muscle. This chain will continue until all the muscles in the abs are trained completely.
    • Sit up Bench with Dumbbells: - Sit up bench can be used with dumbbell drop sets for increasing the core abs strength and mass. The standard position of the bench is at an angle of 45-degrees to the floor. The number of slots in the bench allows you to increase or decrease the angle according to your requirements. Sit conveniently on the bench with two dumbbells having heavy weight plates. Stretch the arms horizontal to the ground and crunch your abs as you apply pressure with your arms on the abs. Bring the hands closer to each other until the dumbbells touch each other. Hold for few seconds and retreat back in the reverse direction. Do it for 4 to 5 reps before dropping the first set of plates from the dumbbells. Then you can continue with 6 to 7 reps in the next set. Continue until you are left with only one set of palates on the dumbbells.
    • Rope Pulley Crunch with Weights: - You can opt for Rope pulley crunch exercises with heavy weights. The first step is to choose the weight which will fail you within the first 4 to 5 sets. Then decrease the weight to an extent which allows you to go for 7 to 8 reps. Then reduce the weight further and increase the reps. Continue until you have ended up with only one set of weights. Repeating these types of exercises can rip open the deepest muscles in the abs and expose them for growth.



    Drop Set Bulking – Best Practices

    The way in which you perform the drop set bulking with the dumbbells, barbells and weight machines determines the muscle ripping levels. One set of heavy weights needs to be repeated at least 4 to 5 times until the muscles hit the fatigue point. Then you can decrease the weight in gradual stages and increase the reps. 

    The idea is to stretch your muscles to the maximum ripping point and fatigue. This is when the muscles start growing from the existing conditions.

    The drop sets are stated to be designed specifically for the bodybuilders for whom mass and size of the muscles are more important than the strength and stamina.

    Of course the drop sets do provide the two qualities to the muscles, but only to certain extent. The sets of exercises with weights are useful in reaching out to the individual tissues in the muscles.

    The ripping action can result in two types of muscle growth. The first one is the creation of new muscle fibers and the second one is the thickening of the existing fibers. In both the ways the net muscle mass will increase considerably over a period of time.

    8 Ways to Break a Weight Training Plateau

    Break a Weight Training Plateau

    Why Training Plateaus Happen

    Training plateaus occur because the human body is constantly adapting to the stress we place on it.

    The body’s natural inclination is to keep things nice and balanced (known as homeostasis.) It doesn’t really like change, and when you try to create change, it responds by trying to make those unusual circumstances (like lifting more weight than you normally do) the norm. It does this by rebuilding the muscle so that there is nothing extra-ordinary about moving that amount of weight in the future.

    The way you increase muscular strength, endurance or muscle size is by continually and progressively overloading your muscles, so that in their effort to adapt, they grow and become stronger. However, the body is pretty smart, and at some point starts to put the brakes on things.

    Humans also have some inherent genetic limitations on how strong they can become or how much muscle mass they can put on — so the closer you get to “peak performance” the slower your progress becomes. This is why beginning weight lifters or exercisers often make a lot of rapid progress, while individuals who have been training for years find that their gains come much slower. In fact, the more conditioned you are, the more frequently you’ll hit training plateaus.

    Eight Ways To Break A Training Plateau

    Breaking a training plateau always involves change. Most plateaus happen because you’ve simply been doing the same thing in the gym over-and-over again for too long. You assume that what worked yesterday will work tomorrow.

    There are eight things you can try when you think you’ve hit a plateau. There are a number of other plateau-breakers out there as well, but I’m going to on these eight for now.

    It’s best to do them in order — advancing to the next tactic only if you’ve found that the previous one didn’t work. The final three tactics are more advanced, and will generally be most effective for more highly-conditioned or experienced lifters.

    Training Plateau Buster #1: Use an Exercise Log

    If you think you’ve hit a plateau, but aren’t tracking all of your performance in the gym (exercises, weight used, reps and sets) using an exercise log, then the first change you need to make is to start writing things down.

    Because you’ve been tracking everything in your head, you may have a distorted perception of your progress. It could be that you’ve plateau-ed because you simply haven’t been progressively challenging yourself each workout. And how could you know if you aren’t recording it?

    Start a log today and track your actual performance going forward. Each workout try to best your last lift in some way: either by using slightly more weight, another rep or an additional set. If you still can’t increase your strength or endurance after #2-#3 weeks, then go on to the next tactic (but keep tracking things going forward.)

    Training Plateau Buster 2: Check Your Diet and Mind-Body Factors

    Things like diet and sleep can have a huge impact on your overall health, fitness and training progress. Take a close look at your calories, the types of foods your are eating and sleep.

    For instance, if your goal is to add more lean mass, but you aren’t eating a slight surplus of calories each day, you are going to have problems. Additionally, low-energy levels could be negatively impacting your ability to perform up to your potential in the gym. So if you aren’t getting enough sleep, or not eating enough food (or the right combination of complex carbs, healthy fats and protein), this can stall your progress.

    Keep notes in your exercise log about how you feel during a workout and your relative energy levels and then compare the peaks and valleys against your food and sleep. Sometimes breaking a plateau is as easy as making some adjustments to your diet to give you more energy during your workout.

    Training Plateau Buster 3: Take A Break

    If you’ve truly hit a plateau and know it because you’ve after reviewing your exercise log and diet you can see that you’ve stalled in strength or endurance gains, then it’s time to give yourself a rest.

    Yes, I’m actually recommending that you workout less, instead of more, to break a training plateau.

    You can do this one of two ways:

    • Active Rest: Active rest is when you continue your exercise routine for a week, but lighten the resistance to between 30-50% of your One Rep Max (1RM). This will feel very light, and will probably allow you to do seemingly endless reps. That’s the point. The idea of active rest is to give your body a break, but to still remain active during that rest period. This high-rep, low-intensity workout keeps your usual workout patterns and habits intact, but allows a recovery period.
    • In-Active Rest: This means taking a break for seven days from any weight or resistance training, period. During this time you can continue to perform cardio if you like. Or you can just give yourself a break from all exercise for a week. Many people find that when they return to the gym the following week, they feel stronger and actually can lift more weight or perform more reps than before the rest.

    If you are concerned about muscle atrophy or loss of strength or endurance during either active or in-active rest periods, don’t be. It takes longer than a week for muscle to begin to break down. Continue to eat healthy during your week off and don’t be surprised if you’re plateau has disappeared when you return to your normal workout routine.

    Training Plateau Buster #4: Change Your Rep Ranges and Specificity

    If you’ve checked your sleep, diet and given yourself a rest – but still are hitting a wall — the next thing to do is change some aspects of your existing workout routine — typically weight used and rep ranges.

    Take a look at your workout log and see if you are consistently training within a given rep-band, and then change it.

    For example, if your workout logs shows that most of your sets are in the #8-10 rep range, it’s time to change it up. You can do that by either adjusting your resistance up to force you to train in a lower-rep band (4-6 reps) or decreasing your resistance and training in a higher-rep range (15-20 reps.)

    In other-words, do the opposite of what you’ve been doing in terms of weight and reps.

    If you lower your reps with more weight, you’ll be emphasizing muscular strength. If you increase reps and decrease load, you’ll be training for muscular endurance. Both of these tactics can help jump start your progress.

    Many people find it useful to take their current workout and adjust it to emphasize high-rep endurance work for one week, and then switch to low-rep strength work the next week. At week three, return to your mid-range rep workout.

    This is actually a tactic that you can employ on a regular basis to encourage better overall development, balance and conditioning, and head-off plateaus before they even happen.

    Training Plateau Buster #5: Switch Routines

    If you are still struggling with your progress, make a radical switch in your workout routine.

    For example, if you’ve been following a 5-day split routine, consider switching to a full-body workout performed three times a week for 4-6 weeks. Likewise, if your already doing a full body routine, switch to a split for a month or two.

    Switching routines will typically cause changes in the order of your exercise, reps/weight/sets and even your rest and recovery periods. All of these factors can have a dramatic impact on improving performance and breaking through a training wall.

    Training Plateau Buster # 6: Change the Order of Your Exercises

    Change up the order of your exercises within an existing routine and you may see an increase in strength, endurance and size.

    For example, if you are always performing chest exercises before shoulders, your triceps may be pre-fatigued before your shoulder work. This can cause you to push less weight during shoulder exercises as your triceps become the limiting factor.

    When you perform shoulder work first, your triceps are fresh and no longer your weakest-link. You’ll likely find that you can push more weight with your shoulders than in the past, which can help balance things out and jump-start growth.

    This is especially important if you are performing a full body routine, since you will always be working all of your major muscle groups in a single workout.

    Training Plateau Buster #7: Get Eccentric!

    If you’ve gotten to this point, you are probably a fairly well-conditioned, experienced trainee. That means you may need to try some more advanced techniques for breaking a strength or endurance plateau.

    One tactic that may be effective is to put more emphasis on eccentric contractions — in other-words, the portion of the exercise when you lower the weight.

    The muscle is able to handle more load on the eccentric contraction than it can on the concentric, which allows you to move more weight than you may be used to. You can use this to your advantage to “shock” the muscle into developing more strength.

    You may have heard this referred to as “negatives.” If you choose to try this technique, you’ll need to have a good spotter. Here’s how it works (we’ll use the bench press as an example):

    • Load a barbell with 10-15 percent more weight than you are accustomed to using.
    • With an attentive spotter covering you, lower the barbell slowly to your chest (this is the eccentric or negative portion of the contraction) and then have your spotter help you move the weight back up. This is a complete rep.
    • Continue to lower the weight yourself for additional resp, but use the spotter to help you push the weight back up each time.
    • Continue until feel like you are approaching failure on the negative rep and need the spotters assistance to even lower the bar.

    If you play around with negative reps, expect to have a serious case of the DOMS the next day, since eccentric exercises tend to produce the most severe cases of delayed onset muscle soreness.

    Because this is a shock technique, you also want to limit how often you use it. It’s not something you want to base your ongoing routine on, but performing them every now and then can be very effective at blasting through a strength plateau.

    Training Plateau Buster 8: Try Drop Sets

    Drop sets are another advanced technique you can use to try to jump-start your progress when you’ve hit a plateau.

    Drop sets involve performing a set of repetitions at your normal weight and rep range for a given exercise until fatigue sets in, reducing the weight and continuing to perform the exercise with reduced poundage until fatigued, dropping the weight again and continuing for additional back-to-back sets.

    Drop sets are a high intensity form of weight training that encourage increases in muscle size by more deeply fatiguing muscle fibers.

    Drop sets can also increase muscle endurance, which may eventually enable you to push out more reps at your normal training weight. Drop sets can be performed on machines or with free weights (you’ll typically want a spotter available to quickly strip off plates on things like squats or bench presses.)

    Change Things Up To Discourage Training Plateaus

    The one thing that almost all of the tactics above have in common is that they require change. Change in exercises, repetitions, or methods for challenging the muscle.

    Remember, training plateaus are your body’s way of adapting to the work you make it perform. One of the best ways to discourage tough training plateaus from developing in the first place is to change up your workout regularly — typically every 8-10 weeks. This can simply be minor tweaks to your existing workout like varying rep ranges, or it can be ditching your current workout altogether and trying something new.

    Plus, changing your approach to exercise will keep things exciting and can stave off boredom, which is one of the most serious challenges to continual progress.

    How Many Calories Are Burned Weight Lifting?

    The amount of calories you burn weight lifting depends on your weight, the intensity of your weight training, and the duration (and your age, to some extent, but this is less important.)

    A 180 lb male performing 60 minutes of weight training with vigorous effort (meaning little or no rest periods between sets) and at an intensity that causes your heart rate to remain somewhat elevated during exercise would burn approximately 400-475 calories weight lifting.

    If you tend to take long rests between sets and your intensity is lower, the same person can expect to burn around 250 calories weight lifting for one hour.

    This, of course, will very depending on your body weight.

    The key here really is how intense the weight lifting is.

    If you are performing circuit-type weight training, with extremely short rest periods or are performing supersets, it is possible to burn a fair amount of calories during a bout of weight training.

    If you’d like to calculate how many calories you would specifically burn weight lifting, you can try this calculator from Calorie King that takes into account your age, height, weight and gender and then returns a list of activities with their estimated calories expended.

    Weight Lifting versus Cardio For Calorie Burning

    However, regardless of your intensity during weight lifting, you will still burn less calories during that same time period than if you performed moderate-intensity duration cardio.

    To illustrate this, if you ran for 60 minutes at 8.6 mph (roughly a 7 minute mile), a 180 lb male would burn approximately 1,100 calories. If that’s a little too fast for your blood, running at 5.2 mph for an hour would still burn 734 calories, approximately 300 more calories than you’d burn performing the same duration of weight training.

    That said, while you burn more calories during aerobic cardio exercise like running, research has suggested that Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) is greater after weight training than after aerobic exercise.

    The estimates of how long that post-workout metabolism lift might last are controversial.

    You’ll often hear fitness and bodybuilding magazines throw around the figure “up to 24 hours” (and I’ve actually heard people claim as long as 48 hours), but recent research says increases in EPOC may actually only last for 60 minutes or less.

    A warning: It’s important not to make too much of this increased EPOC after weight lifting.

    While EPOC is increased, we’re not talking about hundreds of extra calories being burned after weight training — it’s more like an extra dozen or so, which generally isn’t enough to make up for the gap between cardio and resistance training when it comes to calories burned during these respective exercises.

    Do I Have to Do Cardio?

    The whole “Cardio versus Weight Training” issue is hotly debated, especially among bodybuilders.

    There are some bodybuilders who perform very little, if any cardio, and still maintain low body-fat to lean tissue levels. It’s hard to say if this is because of their training routine, the use of anabolic steroids or performance enhancing drugs, or their individual genetics.

    Some people simply don’t put body fat on easily, and have few problems taking it off quickly, so cardio doesn’t play as large of a role in their training. Others have to perform some form of regular aerobic exercise to maintain a good lean muscle to body fat ratio. The trick is to find what works for you.

    Most natural bodybuilders will perform some amount of regular cardio along with their weight training. However, it’s unusual to find them performing extremely long duration, solid state cardio. Marathon running or long-duration cardio is generally too catabolic to encourage the muscle gains that bodybuilders are looking for.

    Even if you don’t have your eyes on the Mr. or Ms. Olympia, if your goal is to add lean mass and get “toned”, you’ll want to moderate your total cardio. No one, male or female, gets toned by endless rounds of cardio alone.

    Cardio and Weight Lifting: The Best of Both Worlds

    The best overall approach for most people is to perform a combination of weight and resistance training and some cardio.

    There are benefits to aerobic exercise outside of simply burning fat — it improves cardiovascular endurance and can have positive effects on your mood.

    Also, research has indicated that combining cardio with regular weight training burns more fat overall than if you just performed weight training alone, or only cardio.

    If you dread cardio (especially the monotony of running on a treadmill), try high intensity interval training (HIIT), which allows you to enjoy some of the benefits of aerobic exercise (including improved cardiovascular endurance and increased VO2Max), while avoiding the long, solid-state runs.

    Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) – Preventing & Treating DOMS

    ​Nearly anyone who works out regularly has experienced sore muscles after exercise. Sometimes you’ll feel it later that night, or the next morning … and in some cases, you may actually think you’re out-of-the-woods, only to wake up two days later with stiff, tender muscles that feel as tight as rubber bands.

    ​It’s known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (also called “DOMS”), and it’s both loved and reviled by exercise fanatics. Loved, because many people view DOMS as a sign that yesterday’s workout was effective, but hated at the same time because in severe cases, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness can prevent you from comfortably hitting the gym again.

    And in the case of calf muscle soreness — which plagues runners as often as weight lifters — it can literally make going down a flight stairs in the morning a three minute ordeal.

    Symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

    You probably have a case of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness if you experience any of the following symptoms:

    • plus
      Muscle tenderness
      Muscle tenderness
    • plus
      ​Muscle soreness
      Muscle soreness
    • plus
      ​Stiffness
      Stiffness
    • plus
      ​Swelling
      Swelling
    • plus
      ​Pain
      Pain
    • plus
      ​Loss of mobility or reduced range of motion
      Loss of mobility or reduced range of motion
    • plus
      ​Muscle tenderness, including when the muscle belly is pressed with the fingers
      Muscle tenderness, including when the muscle belly is pressed with the fingers
    • plus
      ​Loss of strength
      Loss of strength
    • plus
      ​Acute muscle twitches or spams
      Acute muscle twitches or spams

    ​The extent and duration of these symptoms may vary from person-to-person and are largely dependent on the amount of resistance — especially eccentric resistance — placed on the muscles during exercise.

    There also seems to be a continuum to DOMS — so additional symptoms may appear over a period of time that can last as long as seven to ten days. For example, loss of strength in the muscle tends to peak immediately following exercise or within 48 hours, even in the absence of muscle soreness or other overt symptoms of DOMS.

    In fact, by the time of the actual onset of muscle soreness, strength will often have returned to previous levels — although in some cases, it may take as long as five days to experience the return of peak muscle strength.

    Pain and tenderness may peak 1-3 days after exercise, with muscle stiffness and swelling peaking 3-4 days after exercise. It’s unusual for symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness to persist longer than 7-10 days. If they do, you may want to visit your doctor, since you could have a more serious muscle strain or tear.

    Signs That You Might NOT Have DOMS: When You Should See The Doctor

    DOMS is typically short-lived, and while it may cause some muscle tenderness, stiffness and reductions in mobility, it isn’t serious. Generally it never warrants a visit to the doctor.

    However, it is important to distinguish between Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, and more serious strains or pulls to the muscle or connective tissue that won’t simply disappear within a few days.

    Signs of a more serious muscle or connective tissue strain which may require medical attention include:

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      ​Sharp pain during movement
      Sharp pain during movement
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      ​Extremely reduced movement or mobility
      Extremely reduced movement or mobility
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      ​Excessive bruising or swelling
      Excessive bruising or swelling
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      ​Constant or intermittent throbbing or pulsating pain, even when the muscle is immobile or at rest
      Constant or intermittent throbbing or pulsating pain, even when the muscle is immobile or at rest
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      ​Inability to bear weight
      Inability to bear weight

    ​Any or all of these symptoms can indicate a more serious strain to the muscle or connective tissue, including ligaments and tendons.

    Typically, with DOMS, you’ll experience tightness and soreness in muscles only during activities that cause muscle contraction, stretching or during movement. While you may experience some feeling of “muscle fatigue” with Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, the muscle should still be able to bear weight without too much discomfort. If the pain is constant — even at rest — or if it persists for more than 10 days, you should see a doctor.

    Causes of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

    The causes of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness aren’t entirely understood by doctors and scientists. But there are a couple of theories.

    Sore Muscles = Lactic Acid Buildup?

    For years, the leading hypothesis for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness was that DOMS was caused by a build up of lactic acid in the muscle during intense, prolonged exercise.

    L-lactate is a chemical continuously produced from pyruvate during metabolism and exercise. Under normal circumstances, L-lactate is removed by the body a rate that exceeds production of it, but intense exertion (like weight training or running) can result in more L-lactate being produced than the body can immediately remove.

    This is actually a good thing — since it allows (through a related process that I won’t get into here) energy production to be maintained and your body to continue the exercise.

    Cellular Damage

    However, until this was widely understood, many people believed that L-lactate caused acidosis in muscle tissue — in other words, that “burning” sensation you feel during a particularly long or grueling set of squats, sprints or bicep curls. Scientists now believe that muscle burn during exercise is not a product of L-lactate (or the acid form of L-lactate – lactic acid), but rather a result of tissue pH falling when the body switches from aerobic metabolism to anaerobic during activities like weight training.

    The other reason scientists have eliminated L-lactate as a cause of DOMS is that L-lactate is cleared fairly quickly from the body once the the activity causing the concentrated build-up has ceased (often within 30-60 minutes). It’s just not present in the tissue long enough to explain muscle soreness that develops 24-48 hours after experience.

    So scratch that hypothesis.

    Cellular Damage and Microscopic Tears?

    The newest theory around what causes Delayed Onset Muscle soreness has nothing to do with L-lactate or Lactic Acid. In fact, it’s a much simpler explanation: muscle tears.

    Now, before you start getting freaked out, understand that what we are really talking about here is tiny, microscopic tears in muscle fibers as result of performing high-intensity work. We’re not talking about a ripped bicep or pulled groin.

    One of the things exercise physiologists observed when trying to find an explanation for DOMS was that certain types of exercises caused more severe cases of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness — specifically exercises or activities that involved eccentric contraction of the the muscles — activities like downhill running, plyometrics, or lowering a weight very slowly under tension or resistance. This suggested that maybe the type of muscle contraction was important to understanding DOMS.

    For some time now, exercise physiologists have known that eccentric muscle contractions (when the muscle “lengthens” during movement) can cause greater damage to muscle tissue than concentric motions (when the muscle “shortens” — for example during the first part of a bicep curl.) And since Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness seems to be more severe after exercise that involves a higher-degree of eccentric contractions, they put two-and-two together.

    A New Hypothesis For What Causes DOMS

    So here’s the new hypothesis of what causes Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness:

    Whenever you put the muscle under more stress than it’s used to, tiny, microscopic tears develop in the muscle tissue. In other-words, you’ve literally caused structural “damage” to the muscle and underlying cells. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — since the process of repairing the muscle will typically make it stronger or larger.

    There is also cell membrane damage that occurs in the injured tissue, which causes a nasty sounding thing called “necrosis.” Necrosis describes the death of cells, in this case due to muscle trauma. When this happens, the body sends in macrophages, which are immuno-cells that clear away the dead cellular material and flush it from the body.

    However, this process also sets off an inflammatory process that may create soreness, swelling and tenderness in the muscle tissue. As the body clears the waste material, inflammation decreases and symptoms subside.

    While there still is a fair amount of debate around what the actual bio-chemical and physiological mechanisms are that cause Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, the prevailing theory is that the muscle soreness you experience is likely a combination of both physical damage to muscle tissue, as well as secondary bio-chemical reactions by the body to that damage — for example the production of free radicals and scavenging cells as part of the recovery and reinforcement process.

    There is also some evidence that fast-twitch muscle fibers are more susceptible to eccentric-contraction muscle damage than slow twitch muscle fibers. The length of the actual muscle during exercise may also determine severity of DOMS. This may explain why the calves are particularly prone to developing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

    Could Gender Play A Role in DOMS?

    DOMS

    Interesting enough, there is some evidence that men may be more prone to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness than women.

    Researchers believe the mechanism for this may be estrogen, which could have a protective effect on muscle and cells, reducing damage. This effect has been observed in both rats given estrogen and then exposed to muscle stress, as well as in humans using oral contraceptives. However, these studies did not look at reported muscle soreness, but rather Creatine Kinase (CK) activity, which may not be a reliable measure of muscle damage.

    Preventing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

    Techniques for preventing — or at least minimizing — Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness are controversial. Indeed, some would argue that a little bit of muscle soreness isn’t something to worry much about — especially if it doesn’t interfere with your training.

    However, since a severe case of DOMS can prevent you from training according to schedule, many people are interested in lessening the severity of post-exercise muscle soreness. There are a number of training techniques and nutritional angles you might experiment with, all with varying degrees of effectiveness and clinical “proof” to back them up.

    DOMS Remedies That Haven’t Been Proven To Work

    First, let’s look at the techniques for treating or preventing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness that don’t have solid clinical research behind them. That doesn’t mean they won’t work for you, but rather that they haven’t been studied in-depth, so their effectiveness is highly-subjective.

    In some cases, like whey powder supplementation, the effects may not be directly related to preventing or treating DOMS, but rather providing nutrients that allow the muscle tissue to heal — which can help with reaching your fitness goals — but not necessarily curing or preventing DOMS.

    L-Glutamine

    Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body and is critical to protein synthesis, digestion, immune function and possibly preventing muscle catabolism by blunting cortisol levels (a hormone that’s released when the body is under stress.)

    While Glutamine is plentiful in the body, because it’s so widely utilized, it can also be depleted quickly. Many people report that supplementing with L-Glutamine before their weight training or running — as well as immediately after — can reduce the severity of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

    However, there appears to be no peer-reviewed, published, clinical research to validate these claims. You can try it for yourself, and if it works, fine — but otherwise there is not an established correlation between L-Glutamine supplementation and reduced muscle soreness after exercise.

    Whey Powder and Macro-Nutrients

    Diet may also play a role in the severity of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness as a result of intense exercise. However, this has not been extensively studied.

    Because of the structural and cellular damage that training can wreck on the muscle, providing sufficient recovery nutrition is critical. Increasing both protein and complex carbohydrates may provide the muscle with the nutrients it needs to repair the damage and grow stronger.

    Anecdotally, some people report less severe symptoms of DOMS when they increase protein consumption to a minimum of one gram per pound of lean body mass. This may be one of the reasons that a post-workout whey protein shake has been clinically-shown to increase lean body mass.

    Hydration

    There also is a myth — especially among runners — that DOMS may be exacerbated by low hydration levels.

    While proper-hydration is important to athletes and runners for a wide-range of reasons, there is no direct correlation (nor any clinical research) to indicate that Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is caused by lack of water or prevented by better hydration. So while drinking more water is generally a good idea, don’t expect it to keep your muscles from becoming sore after training.

    Stretching & Massage

    Surprisingly, there is very little evidence to suggest that stretching or post-workout massage can alleviate or prevent Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. A 2007 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sportsfound that pre-exercise static stretching had no preventative effect on post-exercise muscle soreness, tenderness or loss of force in eccentric exercise.

    In fact, there is no real explanation from stretching advocates as to why muscle stretching – either before, during or after — exercise should relieve DOMS.

    Generally, theories around massage and stretching have focused on the ability of these activities to “clear” lactic acid or “toxins” from muscle tissue. However, as we discussed earlier, lactic acid buildup has been eliminated as a cause of DOMS. The body does a fine job clearing L-lactate just fine on it’s own.

    While stretching a sore muscle may help increase mobility — or at least the sense of mobility — it hasn’t been shown to actually alleviate DOMS.

    Techniques for Reduced DOMS That May Work

    There are a couple of treatments for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness that appear to be promising, even though the clinical research is mixed. They include:

    Vitamins and Antioxidants

    The connection between certain vitamins and antioxidants and reductions in the symptoms and severity of DOMS is still being studied. While research is sparse, there are a few clinical studies which have shown vitamin or antioxidant supplementation as a promising treatment for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

    Theoretically, supplementation with antioxidants makes sense: Damage to cells during intense exercise can produce free radicals, which may then cause secondary, additional damage to tissue until those free radicals are neutralized by the body. Vitamins and compounds in certain food that have high antioxidant properties may assist in helping the body blunt free radicals.

    In terms of Vitamin C, there are few well-controlled studies on the effectiveness of Vitamin C supplementation at preventing and treating DOMS.

    The most encouraging study was conducted by Kaminski and Boal and it did show that subjects who were treated with 1 gram of Vitamin C three times a day before ”induced calf muscle damage” and then continued the supplement regimine for seven days, showed reductions in reported soreness ratings from 25-44%. However, there appear to be no additional studies to either refute or confirm these results. There also were some methodology limitations to the study.

    So while Vitamin C may be effective at reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, the connection has not been well-studied.

    Vitamin E, however, has been more extensively researched as a treatment and preventative for DOMS. Even here, the results are mixed. Two studies showed reductions in muscle soreness or reduced chemical markers of cell damage — as well as improved recovery – with Vitamin E supplementation pre-exercise (the Vitamin E was taken for several days prior to training.) Two other studies — one conducted in rats and another in humans – reported no effect of Vitamin E supplementation on reduction in muscle damage or symptoms or DOMS.

    The inconsistencies could be the result of mixed human-animal studies as well as differences in mode of exercise and supplementation routines and concentrations. So the jury is still out on this one.

    Other foods or compounds high in antioxidants like Green Tea, White Tea or Black Tea — as well as Goji Berries, Pomegranates, Tart Cherry Juice, Blueberries and Acai — have not been specifically-studied as a treatment for DOMS. In theory, they may have similar effects as other antioxidants like Vitamin C or Vitamin E, but research is thin. Because these foods are generally harmless, and have other beneficial healthy properties, experimenting around with them as a DOMS treatment probably won’t hurt.

    L-Carnitine, Arnica 30 and Coenzyme-Q

    There are additional supplements which have been studied as possible treatments for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

    Again, clinical-results are mixed. There is some evidence that Arnica 30, a homeopathic compound, may have a protective effect in runners, but another study refuted this. L-Carnitine did produce lessened symptoms of DOMS in untrained subjects, but the study size was very small — only six subjects. Coenzyme-Q (dietary ubiquinone) showed no effect on antioxidant activity, and indeed, actually may have increased cellular damage according to one study.

    Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

    Since inflammation is one of the main physical markers of DOMS, conventional wisdom would say that over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen or even Aspirin should be effective in reducing the symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

    However, clinical research is decidedly mixed around this, with the preponderance of the evidence showing that NSAIDs are not particularly effective for treating or preventing DOMS. In fact, a few studies have shown that certain NSAIDs may actually increase cellular damage from eccentric exercise. There are some studies that demonstrate the contrary, but the prevailing attitude toward NSAIDs and DOMS is that they don’t work.

    Some research also suggests that the use of NSAIDs could result in less lean muscle gain and strength by interfering with protein synthesis. And since that is probably your goal to resistance training in the first place, you might just want to skip the Ibuprofen and “grin and bear it.”

    Methods for Preventing DOMS That Have Been Clinically-Prove To Work

    Methods for Preventing DOMS

    There are several techniques that researchers have found are effective at treating the symptoms of DOMS and may lessen the soreness and tightness. In some cases, the rapid utilization of these techniques after exercise may actually prevent the development of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness in the coming days.

    Reducing Eccentric Contractions

    Exercises that emphasize eccentric contractions (forced reps or many plyometric or static-body-weight exercise) seem to result in more severe muscle soreness. Research indicates that reducing these types of exercises may lessen the chances of developing DOMS.

    On the other hand, eccentric movements have also been shown to be more effective at building muscle mass and strength than concentric contractions. If fact, eccentric exercises like forced reps are one of the staples of weight training plateau-breaking routines, for this very reason. So maybe the temporary soreness is worth the payout. That’s something you have to determine for yourself.

    Pre-Exercise Warmup

    Warming-up sufficiently before preforming exercise may be effective at reducing some symptoms of DOMS.

    Scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes this. A 2004 study by Kazunori Nosaka and Kei Sakamoto and published in the Journal of Athletic Training found that increasing muscle temperature alone did not produce a measurable difference in post-workout muscle soreness or DOMS. So it appears that the protective characteristics of warm-up are not due to an increase in body or muscle temperature.

    A more interesting hypothesis is that performing “warm-up” sets of exercises – which has long been recommended by trainers — creates an environment in the trained muscle that reduces the damage of subsequent sets of exercise in the same muscle group. A separate study by Nosaka published in the February 2002 journal Acta Physiologica Scandinavica found that the first set of eccentric exercise that a person performs has a protective effect on subsequent bouts of exercise — and that this “warm-up” wasn’t due to central nervous system adaptations (the researchers controlled for this by stimulating the muscle with electricity.) Instead, it may be the result of a cellular adaptation caused by the initial bout of exercise.

    Practically speaking, this makes a case for warm-up sets prior to performing heavy eccentric exercise, although it’s important to understand that most of the research around warm-up is carefully controlled. You may not experience the same effects in an uncontrolled, gym-environment.

    Ice/Cryotherapy: Why Ice Is Nice

    There is a fair amount of clinical evidence that cryotherapy, or treatment with cold or ice can prevent or reduce symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. I know ice isn’t as glamorous as L-Carnitine or Acai Berries — but it appears that it is effective in treating at some symptoms of DOMS.

    Cold water immersion — think “ice-baths” here — are one of the most widely studies techniques for treating DOMS. A 1999 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that immersing the trained muscle in cold water 15 minutes after completing eccentric exercise, and then following up every 12 hours with a similar 15 minute immersion, reduced muscle stiffness and damage. However, the researchers noted that it didn’t seem to improve muscle tenderness or loss of strength. So while it may help with some symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, it doesn’t appear to treat others.

    With DOMS, you win some and lose some.

    What about ice massage?

    Based on the current research, ice massage does not appear to be effective at reducing the symptoms of DOMS. However, this may simply be a result of the construction of the studies around ice massage therapy — especially since cold water immersion seems to have some advantageous effects.

    Compression Therapy

    Compression therapy also looks like a promising technique for treating Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

    A 2001 study by the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State found that wearing a compression sleeve for five days after performing eccentric exercise reduced strength loss, swelling, muscle soreness and stiffness.

    Mixed Treatments: The Key to Reducing Symptoms of DOMS?

    As researchers Declan and Connelly of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Vermont — Burlingame have pointed out in their excellent review of the current research around treatment of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, the most promising area of additional research is around combining multiple therapies together to treat DOMS. For example, they are particularly intrigued with the idea of combining cold therapy with compression therapy, which may have a synergistic effect on DOMS treatment.

    Alternative and Experimental Treatments for DOMS

    There are a number of other “alternative” or highly-experimental treatments for DOMS that warrant more attention. These include acupuncture, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, and application of electromagnetic shielding fabric. While a few studies suggest positive results with all three of these methods, with the exception of acupuncture, they are treatments that are just not practical for the average gym-goer or athlete who doesn’t have access to high-tech equipment.

    Can I Still Workout With Sore Muscles?

    Sore Muscles

    While allowing your muscles time to rest and recover after training is critical, there appears to be very little evidence that working out when your muscles are still sore will cause additional damage or impede strength or muscle gains.

    In fact, many people report that performing anecdotal improvement in symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness after performing additional bouts of exercise in subsequent days. While it’s generally advisable to give yourself at least 48 hours of rest and recovery time before exercising again, performing lower-intensity exercise with the effected muscles can sometimes lessen stiffness, even 24 hours later.

    Research seems to back this up.

    A 2000 study published in the Journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that light exercise following bouts of heavier eccentric exercise resulted in better strength recovery, than when the exerciser only rested. In this case, the light exercise was performed 90 minutes after the initial bout of exercise, so it’s different than performing light exercise the next day. However, the results are encouraging and if you are able to perform lower-intensity exercise within 24-48 hours of developing symptoms of muscle soreness, you may want to try it.

    The Take-Away: Practical Advice for Treating Your DOMS

    I’ve discussed a lot of clinical research and physiology here because it’s important to understand that there is no “silver bullet” when it comes to treating and preventing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

    Even much of the research is contradictory, and for every study that shows something works, you can typically find another study to refute it. And because scientific research is an ongoing process, there are all kinds of interesting therapies and treatments that just haven’t been given much attention.

    So, if there are no “silver bullets” what’s the average exerciser to do? After all, this is supposed to be about providing some practical fitness and training advice that you can take to the gym.

    The best approach to preventing and treating Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is to take a multi-faceted, holistic-approach. You may want to experiment with including one of more of the following tactics into your training routine to help promote recovery and minimize serious post-exercise muscle soreness. They include:

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      Providing yourself with good nutrition pre-and-post-workout, including plenty of protein, complex carbs and some healthy fats which all support muscle recovery and growth.
      Providing yourself with good nutrition pre-and-post-workout, including plenty of protein, complex carbs and some healthy fats which all support muscle recovery and growth.
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      Including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, which are naturally-high in antioxidants. Supplementing with a multi-vitamin, Vitamins E and C and including other sources of antioxidants, for example Green Tea may help.
      Including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, which are naturally-high in antioxidants. Supplementing with a multi-vitamin, Vitamins E and C and including other sources of antioxidants, for example Green Tea may help.
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      Performing warm-up sets prior to your main, higher-intensity sets. This is generally good practice just to prevent muscle pulls and strains, but it may also reduce the severity of DOMS as well.
      Performing warm-up sets prior to your main, higher-intensity sets. This is generally good practice just to prevent muscle pulls and strains, but it may also reduce the severity of DOMS as well.
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      ​If you do develop DOMS, consider trying an “active rest” approach to recovery, by performing light exercise the following day — provided you can do this without too much discomfort.
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      ​If you feel that you’ve had a particularly intense training session or run, consider ice baths or immersion of the trained muscles in cold water to aid in healing and reduce inflammation and stiffness. Try to do these for 15 minutes, every 12 hours for the first 24 hours after exercise. Many runners report good results with this approach after particularly grueling runs like marathons.
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      ​While compression wear is sometimes impractical for certain muscle groups (for example the chest) there are compression sleeves available that you can use for things like the calves, which are particularly prone to DOMS and can make walking a real pain. Combining this with cold therapy may also be even more effective.
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      ​If you can, consider skipping the NSAIDs. They don’t seem to be particularly effective at reducing the symptoms of DOMS, and may actually interfere with muscle recovery and growth. Instead, consider supplementing regularly with fish oil capsules, which have been demonstrated to reduce inflammation and have added benefits for your heart and brain. While I have not found any research that looks directly at whether fish oil is an effective treatment for DOMS, there is plenty of research that shows it can be as effective as NSAIDS in treating inflammation. So you may find that it helps.
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      Massage: While message has not been shown to be particularly effective at reducing the longer-duration symptoms of DOMS, many people do find that it provides at least temporary relief from muscle soreness and stiffness, and is pleasant and relaxing. If you feel like it helps, then by all means, try it.

    Book Review: The New Rules of Lifting for Abs

    I found Lou Schuler’s author of The New Rules of Lifting for Abs style of writing to be engaging, interesting, informative but not boring.

    My Review of The New Rules of Lifting for Abs

    A lot of fitness books, I am snoring by chapter 2! This one kept me reading all the way to the end and I’m still re-reading it as I write this.

    Apparently, there are LOTS of rules of lifting for abs! Before reading this book I believed, that if you want your abs to show, you need to change your diet, FIRST {I still do think this is true}.

    These guys can give you all kinds of inventive ways to make you have strong abs and core, but, if you don’t change your eating, those abs aren’t going to show.

    This was my favorite rule #15:

    “Processed food makes you stupid and depressed.”

    The New Rules of Lifting for Abs

    These guys seem to take a moderate approach to a healthy diet. They don’t advocate the Zone diet or the Atkins diet or any other particular diet, they just say you need to keep your food clean without a lot of processed stuff, eliminate all calorie containing beverages and avoid fast food.

    As for the workouts and plans- Weights are two days, Metabolic work are two days, and there are two days of light exercise with one day off. Fairly reasonable in my humble opinion!

    Readers, I am recommending this book for everyone to read and check out. It gives lots of exercises (new ones) that are inventive and strength building. It seems to be solid in it’s research but doesn’t repeat everything you’ve heard in many other weight training books.

    Weight Training Basics: The Four Principles of Weight Training

    You know the benefits of weight training, so now it’s just a matter of doing it.

    ​But before you hit the weights, you should take a few minutes to understand the key principles to effective weight and resistance training. Having knowledge of these tried-and-true rules of weight training will ensure that you make progress in the gym, no matter what your individual health and fitness goals may be.

    There is a lot of jargon thrown around by fitness trainers and gym-goers that you need to understand. Sometimes it can seem like a foreign language, but once it’s been explained in plain language (we like to call this “gumping things” at the office), it will make all of the sense in the world.

    The Basics of Weight Training: What You Need to Know To Get Started

    Okay, so you’re convinced you need to start including weight training in your workout routine.

    Great. Now where do you begin?

    Let’s start with the four basic principles of weight training:

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      Overload: This just means you expose your muscles to more weight, resistance or stimulus than they are used to performing during your normal every day activities. To do this, you need to lift an amount of weight that only allows you to complete the intended amount of repetitions. Remember, your overload weight will increase as you continue training and your body recovers and adapts. Which takes us to the next concept, progression.
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      Progression: Progression means that you continually overload your muscle with more stimulus each time you weight train. Since your muscles are constantly adapting, you will never get stronger without increasing the force they have to exert or the amount of work they do. Progression doesn’t necessarily always mean adding additional weight. You can overload the muscle progressively in a number of different ways, including performing more reps with the same weight, increasing the volume (total number) of sets performed, changing the tempo or pace of your repetitions to keep the muscle under tension for longer periods of time, or simply lifting more weight than last time. The key here is to always push your muscles harder than the last workout in some fashion.
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      ​Specificity: Specificity is a fancy term for performing weight training with a specific and distinct goal in mind. So if your goal is to add additional muscle mass, your choice of exercises, repetitions, sets and weight used will be different than if you are training your muscles for endurance. Know your goals before you start weight training, since it will impact how workout routine.
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      ​Rest and Recovery: There is a common saying that muscle is built outside of the gym, not in it. Weight training stresses your muscles and requires that you allow yourself adequate rest and recovery time. Typically that will mean giving your muscles 48 hours to recover before training that same muscle or group of muscles again. Understand that recovery time is highly individual. Some advanced trainees need less recovery time than beginners. And the intensity of your weight training will in large part determine the length of rest that’s right for you.

    Weight Training: Burn Fat, Be Strong & Stay Healthy

    ​Weight training is one of the most effective additions anyone can make to their workout routine. It improves overall strength; encourages a more lean, “toned” appearance; can reduce the risk of injury (especially as you age) and is a potent metabolism booster, helping you burn fat even when you aren’t exercising.

    ​Yet many people never even start weight training because they either don’t know where to begin, are intimidated by the idea of lifting weights, or think weight training is something only bodybuilders or power lifters can benefit from.

    What Exactly Is Weight Training?

    Weight training is simply performing an exercise under resistance or with added weight to challenge the muscle to become stronger and larger.

    When you weight train, you are resisting the force of gravity (which is increased by adding weight to the movement) during the exercise. You can increase resistance by adding additional weight in the form of dumbbells or weighted bars, or by utilizing a cable and pulley-based weight machine or cable-station.

    Weight training improves strength and increases muscle size because it “overloads” the muscle and works it beyond what is normally required every day to meet your basic physical needs. This overload literally damages the muscle. However, the body, being the wonderful machine it is, responds by repairing the muscle in a way that over time allows it to meet the increased strength needs that regular weight training requires. So you get stronger over time, and your muscle also becomes larger to meet the demand.

    The Benefits of Weight Training

    Weight training has a number of benefits, regardless of your age or gender. Ongoing weight training:

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      ​increases muscle strength
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      ​strengthens connective tissue like ligaments and tendons, which can prevent injury
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      ​improves bone density, which can help prevent osteoporosis in both men and women
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      ​increases your lean mass, which causes you to burn more calories even when you aren’t exercising
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      ​provides a post-weight training metabolism boost that causes your body to burn more calories for up to 48 hours
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      ​improves your physical appearance and muscle definition
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      ​boosts endurance and cardiovascular health

    ​In fact, weight training has been shown to have so many positive effects on your health, that the U.S. Government has made it a public health goal that, by 2010, at least 30 percent of Americans will be performing strength-training workouts at least twice a week. In 2004, that number was around 20 percent.

    Weight Training For Women: The Next Big Thing?

    Weight Training For Women

    And weight lifting isn’t just for male bodybuilders or football players.

    Women are adding weight training into their workout routines at record numbers because it’s one of the most effective ways to change body composition, while also reducing bone-loss and improving overall health and physical fitness. A 2006 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1 in 5 American women perform at least 2 sessions of weight training a week.

    While many women still have reservations about weight training due to myths around “bulking up,” weight training is rapidly gaining popularity among females, and it’s no longer unusual to see women working out in the free weight room alongside men.

    Weight Training Benefits for the Elderly

    Lifting weights might seem better suited to a younger crowd, but again, the research on weight and resistance training shows benefits for all ages, especially seniors and the elderly.

    Weight Training Benefits for the Elderly

    As people age, they experience a loss of muscle mass, also known as “sarcopenia.” This typically begins around age 50, but increases dramatically after age 60.

    Scientists don’t completely understand the mechanisms behind this rapid loss of muscle mass, but there are likely several factors at play, including decreased testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels; increases in catabolic compounds; as well as muscle wasting from the reduction in activity that often accompanies getting older.

    Sarcopenia may also be one of the reasons that older people experience slower metabolism as they age. Muscle consumes energy even while at rest, and decreased muscle mass can eventually reduce the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your current weight.

    However, regular weight training appears to lessen muscle loss in older males and females, alike. And the earlier you start, the better, since having more lean muscle to begin with lessens some of the effects of the age-related loss of tissue.

    New guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine suggest strength training two or three times a week. Be sure to give your muscles at least one day of rest between workouts.