How often do you need to strength train ? The results may shock you!

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by Dreamliner, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Check out these studies:

    http://saveyourself.ca/articles/strength-training-frequency.php

    Additionally, the Nautilus North Study divided trainees into three groups. On group did six total sets once a week. Another did three total sets once a week. And the last did TWO total sets once a week.

    Guess which group lost the most weight and gained the most muscle ?
  2. G8rChuck85
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    G8rChuck85 Moderator VIP Member

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    Interesting read..still trying to get my head around it though
  3. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    It certainly does cut against the grain. And the article-writer frankly anticipates that it will not be enthusiastically received by exercise addicts.

    By the way, I confess to being an exercise addict. That's all it is. I KNOW I don't need to workout three times a week to get fitter and stronger.

    Good thing is addictions can begin to be broken at which point the costs begin to outweigh benefits. This is clearly the case with me as my Repetitive Stress Injuries are leaving me creakier and creakier. Honestly, I went out to rake leaves the other day and my elbows hurt. For the first time I'm beginning to feel like what I expected to feel like when I became an old man.

    Further, my research on RSI's (Repetitive Strain Injuries) have had a chilling effect. It appears that they are less like an inflammation than a sort of dry rot. The term "tissue degeneration" especially caught my attention.

    But what about younger guys who haven't had the time to feel the effects of these sorts of aches and pains and feel impregnable ? I'd just appeal to their competitive instincts. If they want to get bigger and stronger - and if it takes 7-10 days for muscles to recover from a strenuous bout of strength-training ... why would they want to act as to impede their progress ?
  4. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Here's another thought that might help: when, in human history, prior to the last generation or so, did people work out ?
  5. oI2ange
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    oI2ange Premium Member

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    Some reasons why they didn't have to workout-

    I'd say that before the last generation or so, most people didn't have to work out. Not only did they do more activity wise (blue collar work was much more prominent in many countries), but the commercialization of food has also negated our health quite a bit. Back in 1900, there wasn't a Mcds at every corner. More people worked in manual labor instead of the specialized work we have today. Further, there wasn't any xbox or ps3 for kids to play with back then as well. Kids grew up playing outdoors and were much more active than today (childhood obesity is at an all time high right now). That foundation is important for people later on in life.

    People also worked outdoors and were alot more handy back then as well- my dad and his dad are both crazy good at building stuff and such. I can't do any of it. I'm always amazed at how good of shape my dad is despite him not working out ever- building stuff and fixing up the house is a workout within itself. Old man strength for the win...

    So, cliffs on my ramblings- people didn't need to workout back then due to healthier foods, higher activity level (both at home and at work) was higher, and lower technology overall.
  6. G8rChuck85
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    G8rChuck85 Moderator VIP Member

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    I agree with both Dream and oI2ange. Many of us take office or indoor jobs after college and aren't as physically active as our fathers or grandfathers were. I also agree with the fast & junk food being far more prevalent in society today. My nieces and nephews grew up in the computer and Xbox generation and "played" indoors instead of outside like we did.

    My question for Dreamliner...Do you think strength training once or maybe twice a week is sufficient for those of us over 40? If so, how about maybe working upper body one day and lower body two or three day's later? Or do you recommend working the whole body one day and resting for six?

    Also,how much aerobic activity do you think is needed. I read somewhere that walking with pace three times a week can be as beneficial as running? So, what do you guy's think?
  7. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Whereas I'm a 'healthy food' skeptic, certainly agree on the rest. Exercise, for us, is a surrogate for the sort of activity we used to get. That said, I believe that strength training is a FAR more time-efficient means of providing the muscles with the sort of stimulus that took hours a week to achieve in the past.
  8. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Think EFFORT not volume.

    All I generally do is strength train and walk. I do not walk for exercise however. I get a lot of incidental walking during my day. It does drain off stress. It is relaxing. It does burn calories, but not many. It does confer, I suspect, modest health benefits. But it certainly doesn't do anything for strength and conditioning.

    Aerobic activity is what we get almost all the time. The term simply means 'with oxygen.' So, basically, whatever you do that doesn't have you breathless, ranging from sleeping to walking, is aerobic. In fact, in my view, sleeping is the best aerobic activity of all. Most of us could stand to get more of it!

    I recommend total body workouts. I personally see no need for a split unless you insist on training several days a week which, as you've probably gathered by now, I consider unnecessary.

    The premise of this thread is that one, at best two, very brief, very intense strength sessions are all the 'exercise' the average trainee needs. Strength training is anaerobic, yes. But we now know that anaerobic exercise confers aerobic benefits. So, in my opinion, it is not necessary to 'add aerobic exercise' to your strength training. And it's certainly not an efficient means of burning fat.

    As I outlined on my 'HIT experiment' thread, I'm going to do one all-out set of three different exercises, once a week, at least through April. I'm not certain what to expect. But I'll be a little surprised if I don't become markedly stronger and slightly more muscular. This is because intensity will increase and recovery will increase.

    In my view, just about any trainee could benefit from cutting his volume in half and working twice as hard. Think: "Half + Twice."
  9. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Addendum: whereas I don't believe that fast food is harmful, per se; all food is chemicals, it certainly can play an indirect role in obesity. Certainly many fast foods are high in calories and often do not afford much in the way of satiety.

    Our problem today is the super-abundance of food more than anything else. Depending on the source, the average American gets 500-800 calories a day more than he did in 1970.

    THAT, is the direct cause of our obesity, not so much a lack of activity.
  10. malscott
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    malscott Premium Member

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    Obesity has been directly related associated with high-fructose corn syrup. Which is in pretty much everything. Particularly soda and a lot of the refined junk food stuff. Portion control as well, obviously. Decent diet, some regular exercise, (keeping within a close proximity of your fighting weight :) ) and hydration would keep us all going a bit longer. Other than my shoulders, knees, back, neck and hips, I feel great! Oh yeah, the tennis elbow from the friggin mouse occasionally too... HA! Glucosamine, condroitin, MSN and water! Hot tubs are good :)
  11. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    The only direct cause of obesity is positive energy balance. In other terms, consuming more calories than you burn. Yes, you can get fat from consuming too much HFCS. You can also get fat from eating too much meat and too many fruits and veggies. I've seen people do it.

    But HFCS is not unhealthy, per se. If it were, then health would suffer when we consumed it. But in a recent Rippe Institute study, participants saw no atherogenic changes in blood lipids, on a weight-stable diet (this is the key) even though they consumed FOUR times the RDA of HFCS and sucrose.

    We're fat and unhealthy because we eat too much.

    That said, when people say they feel better after having eliminated a food or food group they've elected to demonize, I say more power to them! But people tend to feel better when they simply choose to eat less and lose weight.
  12. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    demonizing a food group only leads to one thing.

    profit for some large food conglomerate.

    And that includes "regular food" in place of organic.

    IMO.
  13. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Aside from my wife's proddings, this is probably the main reason I got into the industry. People will do anything not to take responsibility for their overeating, including demonizing foods and even whole food groups.

    Elsewhere I mentioned that research has shown that the difference between feeling satisfied and feeling full can be upwards of 1,000 calories. Moving on, the difference between feeling full and feeling stuffed can be upwards of 3,000 calories.

    Add to this that Americans in particular absolutely suck in estimating calories consumed.

    Is it any wonder we're fat simply by dint of the amount of food we eat ? I take in middle-aged female clients whose food journals indicate they're getting enough food for a teenage male athlete.
  14. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Funny how every one of these conversations comes back to diet no matter what.
  15. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I don't really mind. In a sense it probably should because that's the reason why so many people exercise. There is the assumption that it is a lack of exercise that is making us fat and that more exercise can make us lean.
  16. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    When its probably 80% of the equation I totally understand its amusing to me that every topic comes back to it because even when you are trying to discuss something else fitness related the answer is almost always diet.
  17. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    True, true. Even when we do read "I want to get stronger" that's usually just preface to something like "I know I need to eat better."
  18. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    BTW, if I'm happy with the results of my HIT experiment I may write a book entitled:

    The Half-Hour Body

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