Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Tags Posts tagged with "toning"

toning

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fitness mania

In recent times, people are suddenly so fitness conscious, so health-conscious. Everyone is running about, literally, trying to stay fit.

So why is this sudden mania for fitness? Why do you need it? In this article here, you will find out why you need to stay fit.

Defining Fitness

Fitness means being healthy. And being healthy refers to having a good and perfect mental, physical and social state. It means being free of diseases and disorders.

Health Is Wealth – Keeping Fit

We have all heard about the famous epigram – health is wealth. As long as you have a sound body and mind, everything becomes easier and better.

A sound body and mind mean being fit. Being healthy. And that automatically helps you concentrate on your everyday work. This is the root of the incentive for you to stay fit and healthy.

As long as you have a sound body and mind,
everything becomes easier and better.

Benefits Of Being Healthy And Fit

Fitness benefits are many. The standard benefits are having a better health and being better in general.

sound-body-and-mindBeing fit comes with exercising. The benefits more illustrated are as follows:

  • Weight Control: Exercising helps you burn extra calories. This, in turn, helps you lose any unwanted burden. Being fit even helps you increase your rate of metabolism. As a result, you do not quickly gain extra weight or fat.
  • Fewer Diseases: Being fit is a given for fewer diseases. Since you get to the point of being fit by exercising, you stay healthy with a lesser rate of illness. The risk of heart diseases and a lot more are averted when you stay healthy.
  • Improves Mental Health: Believe it or not, but fitness freaks have a better mental state than most others. With no disease to worry about, they are always happy and smiling.

Why Fitness?

There has indeed been a rise in fitness mania these days. Given the enormous rise of dangerous diseases like obesity and heart diseases, people are in a sudden frenzy to stay fit. Hence, the idea of fitness has overwhelmed people for their betterment.

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exercise-legs

You’ve been killing it on legs this year, right? As the months go by and the weather gets cold, often your body feels older than its years. Sure, you maintain a disciplined lifting regimen and sure, you look fantastic because of it. But it seems like your legs start to feel the aches and pains that result from steady consistent training load. You don’t want to give your legs a complete rest, but you know that your outright insane heavy lifting style has to give way for a few months.

Let’s just take a month to scale back the leg training. You’ll still be spending 90 minutes per week working on your legs, but you’ll be cutting back the weight and bumping up your repetitions. This will not only limit the amount of pressure you’re putting on the non-muscle portions of your leg structure, but will also isolate and target those slow-twitch muscle fibers which are typically ignored when using standard set schemes of 8 to 12. Once you hit repetition number 21, 25, 28 and beyond, you’ll discover a new level of muscle burning that you may not have previously thought possible!

Pre-Exhaust is a method which works perfectly with higher rep leg training. You’ll be unable to control and balance heavier sets of weight, but that’s okay! The initial high repetition method is great when you isolate the legs with leg extensions for 18 repetitions, and then throw 15 repetitions of lunges or barbell squats at them!

Hamstrings First? Referring back to the balance issue, without the requirements of going extremely heavy, you can hit the hamstrings hard and early for excellent isolation and eventually, results. Start your workout with high repetition lying leg curls immediately following by seated leg curl machine. Then finish off your day with stiff legged dead-lifts. Now, it’s time to move on to hitting your thighs with that same intensity and fury.

Leg_TrainingSplitting up your Hamstring & Thighs works well with this higher repetition training methodology. A Monday front thigh workout followed with a Thursday hamstring & calf workout is the perfect way to give yourself adequate rest and recovery from each tough workout, with the ability to really isolate and give each muscle group a nice level of dedication.

30, 40, 50 and beyond? Tom Platz used to start his leg extensions, and spend literally a dozen minutes on a single set. He would complete the 20 reps until he reached failure, then he would reduce the weight by 10% and complete another 5 repetitions slowly. He’d repeat this pattern until he was down to 10 or 20% of his initial weight. Then he would move form full to half to quarter repetitions.

Training in this matter allows your very tired and sore joints and tendons to rest while delivering a new level of intensity and an isolation and targeting of your various muscle fiber types. Happy training!

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5x5_workout

I am going to discuss the 5×5 workout which could quite possibly be the best workout to gain muscle and strength. I am sure you have heard this piece of advice before that when it comes to toning up, you should lift light weights and do high reps. I am sure you have also heard that you should lift heavy weights to gain big muscles. I am going to tell you, forget everything you think you know about fitness, and listen to what I have to say.

These two pieces of advice are absolute nonsense.

The idea behind light weights and high reps for toning is that with the decrease in rest time, the workout becomes almost cardio in nature. This is true and yes the inevitable pump which is just blood rushing into the muscle can make you look highly toned in the mirror, but this is only temporary. Although this workout is cardiovascular in nature I don’t recommend it for toning up. I actually recommend the opposite.

The other piece of advice is to gain weight you need to lift heavy, and although this is partially true, this isn’t the whole truth. Actually lifting lighter weights for higher reps will make your muscles bigger, not a nice big, but bigger nonetheless.

Before I explain muscle mass reps vs strength reps even further, I need to explain the different types of muscle and the 5×5 workout which will be our intermediary.

The two types of muscle growths are sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar. Sarcoplasmic muscle growth is where the volume of sarcoplasmic fluid in the muscle cell increases with no increase in muscular strength. You can think of this as a balloon filling up with water. Myofibrillar muscle growth is when the cells within the muscle actually multiply and makes the muscle more dense, dense being the keyword which I will come back to later. You can think of myofibrillar muscle growth as a balloon and adding more and more rubber to it making it denser.

Muscle Mass Reps

To gain muscle mass, which is just sarcoplasmic growth, you should focus on a rep range of between 6-15 reps using a pyramid scheme with the weight getting heavier each time. Rest should be kept down to a minimum 30-60 seconds to really fatigue the muscle. This will increase the fluid within the muscle and make them bigger. This type of growth gives off the soft bodybuilder look.

Strength Reps

To gain strength, you should avoid failure and lift as heavy as possible in the 1-4 rep range. Lifting in this rep range is what develops muscle tone. Lifting in this range is what will give you myofibrillar growth, it wont make your muscles big, but it will make them strong and really dense, and this is what gives of true tone. There is more to being toned than just having a low body fat. Having a low body fat and dense muscles is what gives off that really nice looking effect.

5×5 Workout

This is where the 5×5 workout comes in as an intermediary. It is bang in the middle of both strength reps and muscle mass reps. So if you want to gain strength as well as size, performing a 5×5 workout strategically is the right way to go about it. I hope you have now learnt that lifting light weights with high reps will not tone you up and lifting heavy wont give you much muscle mass.

I personally wouldn’t just use the 5×5 workout but would instead use all three to develop an incredible physique. Its a bit like shampoo and conditioner, is it better to use shampoo and conditioner combined? Or better to shampoo and then condition your hair? The answer is to first shampoo and then condition. To build an impressive physique, develop a foundation by building up sarcoplasmic muscle, then start hardening the muscle by using a 5×5 workout and then use strength reps to really bring out true muscle tone while focusing on burning body fat.

If you want more details, try out our Muscle Building With HIIT.

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