Last week Fran shared with the coffee club that she had discovered she was diabetic. We expected Uncle Bud to show up this week with a world of knowledge about diabetes. We were so surprised when, instead, he told us he had not had time to research the subject enough to engage in a productive conversation about Diabetes. Well, this was a first. None of us could remember him ever admitting he knew less than any of us about anything. But not to worry before anyone could say a word Uncle Bud was back in the “Uncle Coach” mode. He was ready to share with us a few things about strength training which he pointed out was sometimes called resistance training.
Had started out something like this, how often have you heard someone say, “Fake it till you make it”? You may have even made the statement yourself. Well, you may be able to do that in some situations but not with an exercise program. You can plan to exercise, you can say you exercise, or you can sit and think about exercising but until you do so you will see no results or benefits from exercise.
A well-rounded fitness program should include resistance training. Resistance training is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, endurance and size of skeletal muscles. Resistance training is based on the principle that our muscles will work to overcome a resistance force when required to do so.
At this point we knew Uncle Bud had done his research on strength training. Some of us wished he had not done quite so much. But we love him for caring so much. Maybe we should all add resistance training to our exercise program. He went on to tell us about physical and mental benefits to be achieved when you are involved in a resistance training program. A few of them are:
More confidence – feeling strong and energetic boosts self esteem.
Better bones – weight-bearing work increases bone density and slow bone loss.
Less pain – strengthening fights the weakness and pain of aging or arthritic joints.
Improved balance – a stronger frame reduces your risk of falls.
Enhanced metabolism – lean muscle tissue burns more calories and fat.
Basic Principles of Resistance Training
Resistance training consists of many components. The basic principles include:
Warm up – it is important to warm your muscles before you begin your routine.
Concentrate – focus on what you are doing and the muscles you are working on, so you can keep your moves safe and effective.
Start big – work the large muscle groups’ first (chest, back and legs) finish with the shoulders, arms and smaller muscles.
Focus on form – maintain a stable lifting posture throughout your exercise, move smoothly and avoid jerky, swinging motions, use a weight level that challenges you while allowing you to maintain perfect form.
Lift slowly – speed is ineffective and risky, take a two second count to lift the weight and four second count to release, keep in mind haste makes waste.
Breath – many people tend to hold their breath when lifting weights, this is dangerous, exhale through your mount as you lift and inhale through your nose as you release.
Advance carefully – as you move up to heavier weights, add only a pound or two at a time, overloading can lead to injury.
We are sure Uncle Bud could have taught us more but most of us had to leave to go to work.