Archive for the ‘Weight Training’ Category
Every person has health concerns.
What concerns you most is going to depend on your current level of fitness, your personal goals, your family history, and all those vanity and virility issues that we obsess over.
So what did our readers say when we asked them: What are your top fitness concerns?
Can you ever be too much?
Too fast, too big, too intense, too focused? The being too big bodybuilder heart attack debate is always brewing in the gym and in the lab. Some people wonder if it’s healthy, others wonder how they can get the same results.
However, when a bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast dies a few months after suffering from a massive heart attack…people start to wonder if all the muscle building is worth it.
Are you getting ready for military bootcamp? Navy Seal Buds Training? Or an endurance event like the Marine Marathon or Ironman event? Or are you simply trying to stay in shape so when you strap on that Kevlar vest you know you’re ready for anything that comes your way?
In any case, guys that try too hard, too fast with their personal sports training programs can end up tired, fatigued, burnt out, and actually have trouble concentrating when it matters the most.
These are just some of the signs that you might be overtraining.
One of my favorite classic skits from Saturday Night Live was when comedian, Billy Crystal, played Fernando, a superficial and overtly sexual latin night club performer who greeted everyone with the phrase, “Dahling, you look mahvelous.” His character lived by a personal credo that it was always “better to look good than to feel good.” Maybe we all have a little Fernando in each of us with our desire to look good. While I don’t believe we are all vain and self-absorbed like Fernando, could it be that we put a bigger price tag on our outward appearance than our inner health? This month, let’s focus on ways to feel good from the inside out starting with our body composition.
Good questions with answers below…
(1) How long is a workout? Should it be a half-hour or a full hour?
Depends on your goals and current fitness level. 30 min is great for a beginner / maintenance plan or high intense workout. 60+ min is needed for longer events like marathons, triathlons, spec ops training, but fine for a body building workout. Like I said — all depends…
Mine are usually 2–3 hours long full of calisthenics, running, swimming mix in the summer and shorter with weights and light cardio in the winter — see how
According to scientists at the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory of the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition of the University of Pittsburgh less body fat improves physical and physiological performance in army soldiers.
According to results of this study soldiers meeting the Department of Defense (DoD) body fat standard and those exceeding the standard were subjected to a Wingate cycle protocol to test anaerobic power and capacity, an incremental treadmill maximal oxygen uptake test for aerobic capacity, isokinetic tests for knee flexion/extension and shoulder internal/external rotation strength, and the Army Physical Fitness Test.
Results showed that group 1 performed significantly better on 7 of the 10 fitness tests. In Soldiers with similar amounts of FFM, Soldiers with less body fat had improved aerobic and anaerobic capacity and increased muscular strength.
By Sergeant Michael Volkin (aka: The Volkinator) of Strength Stack 52
A typical gym workout lasts 30 minutes to 1 hour, and often includes significant weight-lifting. If exercises are performed incorrectly, the load on the muscles and stress on the joints of these repeated movements causes both short and long-term damage to your body.
Most people continue to work out despite a known injury, aching back, or sore muscles because of the improved appearance of their physique as a result of the working out. However, over time, the improved appearance becomes harder to maintain and a “plateau” eventually occurs.
A workout plateau is when someone continues to exercise and sees diminishing returns on the improvement of their physique. In addition to these hardships, a gym workout causes a time constraint for many would-be gym goers. In addition to the 30 to 60 minute workout, the average gym member has to factor in the time for driving and parking.
Recently, several scientific studies – see Further Reading below – have been conducted which analyzes the optimal duration and intensity for a proper workout. Some experts claim high intensity and fast workouts are the most beneficial, others claim slow meticulous movements with heavy loads is the easiest way to maintain a great physique and optimal health.
You read articles, watch videos and listen to the experts. But 100% of what you hear isn’t necessarily accurate. We often get channeled into a mindset that certain aspects of health and/or fitness work or don’t work. Here are five of the most common myths busted!
You’ve seen the movies and military bootcamp training clips, right? A staff sergeant up in your face yelling and screaming for you to do more, push yourself harder and insulting your mama and her combat-boot wearing ways.
Most guys respond with an “I’ll show you, you S.O.B.” kind of attitude, fight back and kick it in gear building mental toughness and physical endurance.
For some, this works. For others it’s a recipe for disaster. They actually do push themselves beyond their physical limits and their body quits…way sooner than their mind, pride, ego and spirit do.
If you are entering military bootcamp training with a body that’s not fully conditioned, then you could be setting yourself up for a setback in training. And that sucks.
Most gym training programs look like this: pre-workout drink, a little bit of a warm up on the bike or treadmill, hit the weights, work up a sweat, and then head home for a post-workout meal including protein, glutamine, BCAA, and the best dietary supplements to enhance the work you just put in.
You feel good, your muscles are pumped and all in all it’s a good day at the “office”, right?
What’s missing from this otherwise normal military gym training routine is stretching. Face it, we all have an urge to just skip this part of the workout. After an intense workout, slowing down to stretch can seem a little anti-climactic.
But your flexibility has more benefits than the low amount of exertion suggests.
When a celebrity bodybuilder drops dead from a heart attack, it quickly hits the front page of the papers and becomes the topic of the day for many news outlets online.
Armchair health experts and licensed doctors and nutritional experts debate about why an athlete or bodybuilder after years of training and maintaining a healthy looking physique would drop dead of a heart attack or have by-pass surgery to unclog arteries. Non-exercisers may relish in the news. Finally, another reason for them to remain sedentary! But bodybuilders that want to build muscles and athletes that are training for endurance and performance want to know if they can find a bodybuilding supplement that works to gain muscle, enhance performance, and still protect the heart.
Can you have it all?
BCAA’s. If you’re building muscle and want faster recovery after fitness training, then branched chain amino acids are your version of muscle building ABC’s. Why? Because amino acids are the building blocks of your body. Your muscles crave them. And when you workout your body has to get enough so that you’re burning calories and building muscles rather than burning up your muscles because of protein deprivation.
Civilian run military bootcamp training may not be the real thing…but can you still get the same results? Your goal may not be to go into combat, but there is some benefit to being “combat ready” through an intense workout. Do you have friends, family, or a spouse that has always been curious about whether or not they have what it takes to survive and thrive the way you did? If so, you’re in luck because the trend in fitness right now is intense training.
There’s nothing more frustrating during military fitness training than getting injured. It interrupts your progress. It tests your patience because you have to rest the injury. Then when you can get back to training, it’s going to feel like you’re starting all over again. Any muscle gain you had will be quickly lost.
It’s exactly this frustration that pushes people to return to their military fitness training before they’re really ready.
So what can you do? The best advice is to prevent injuries by practicing the best form in your weight training, running and overall physical routines. True, you will push your body beyond its limits and accomplish things that you never thought were possible. However, you have to watch out for overtraining and overstraining.
Not everyone agrees that you can get everything you need to build muscle before, during and after military training simply by eating regular food. But most people would think that you lost your mind if you suggested that sugar is a great way to build muscle.
But did you know that an early study revealed that sugar in its raw, natural state contains chromium?
Yes…chromium! I know that you’ve heard of the “magic” of chromium picolinate to build lean muscle mass. And while there is some evidence that it works, the question is whether or not you should be taking a dietary supplement that contains chromium to give you the best results when you’re training for a military sport, getting ready for bootcamp, or just want to stay fit.
When you’re training for military duty, you want supplements that will give you the results you want, right? So when something like Creatine comes onto the market and is advertised as the “greatest muscle building formula known to man”…it’s tempting to believe all the hype and load up on the stuff.
However, as with everything you put into your body for a competitive edge, you still want it to be safe. And you don’t want to be ripped off.
Did you know the military actually spends a lot of time and money researching dietary supplements? They want to know what works and what’s safe too.
Soldiers, especially those that train for special operations, have the same mental and physical requirements as an elite athlete. However, there is an added concern for safety. You must be able to operate in various climates, often under extreme conditions with environmental risks. If any supplement a soldier is taking interferes with their health then a mission can be compromised and people can die. It’s that simple.
Say the word “steroid” and most people are ready to run the other way, suspect you of illegal activity, or harass you for tricking the sports training system. However, when we’re talking about DHEA, or Dehdroepiandrosterone as it’s formally known, we’re talking about a different kind of steroid.
This week, a random group of questions crossed my inbox from our Allies from across the pond and I thought it would make a good discussion on the Fitness Blog. I look forward to hearing people’s experiences with this topic on both sides: the Young vs the Old. Here is the first question / topic:
1) At what age does the average man reach his full physical strength and fitness like agility,speed,stamina, strength etc? You can give me a range of age.
There is some research out there on this topic as well as evidence that men peak later in life physically than one might think. Just look at the ages of the fastest times in marathons, triathlons, Olympic weight lifting etc…for the fastest times and strongest lifters.
Why should a soldier follow a sports diet? Just because you wear combat boots and fatigues instead of Nike® running shoes and Adidas® sports apparel doesn’t mean that the physical and nutritional needs of your bodies are much different. In fact, I would argue that a soldier demands even more from their body since your “playground” is not always climate controlled. You must face elements, natural and man-made, that other don’t.
The questions of how to gain weight and do I need to lift weights are often thrown around by Spec Ops candidates preparing for the upcoming year or more long training pipeline. There are many avenues to get the results you seek. I will recommend a few but our military / spec ops audience may have some more ideas to pass around in the comments section below. Here is the question:
I’m a freshmen in college and plan on joining the Navy to go for the SEALS afterwards. My PT scores are pretty good and I’m working on getting them better, but my real question is do I need to gain more weight and muscle. I only weight 141 lbs and am 5’11″. I know you say weight lifting is not needed to prepare, though I feel like I do need to gain more weight by lifting and taking massive amounts of protein. Also, your opinion on Creatine would be greatly appreciated! Thanks,