Strength Strength and Strength

One of the biggest challenges I have as a training facility owner is building a business of regular and consistent group clients. There is lots of competition out there. With every big box gym offering free Zumba, Spinning, and so called Kick Boxing Classes (but your really not kicking or boxing anything but don’t tell the ladies that actually tape their hands before shadow boxing for an hour) for $30 bucks a month, why would someone spend a $100 more per month to train in my groups? I could go into the explanations of the quality of instruction since I actually teach and coach my classes rather than dance and act like a damn cheerleader during class, or the fact that each client must go through a Movement screen before even entering a class, but do people really care about that? Not really. They want fun, they want dance, and they want to socialize. I have to say many of my client’s have fun and get their behinds kicked but there is no dancing. So what is the biggest reason…. Strength. Training strength in the main stream is non existent. Somewhere between Oprah, shape magazine, and Gold’s Gym selling out to the mainstream, high repetition bicep curls and ellipticals became the thing to do. Unfortunately the result has been creating a generation of skinny fat osteoporotic individuals. Somewhere along the line women were told that strength training will “BULK” them up and men were told that high rep training is better for getting ripped. Then someone marketed a scam called muscle confusion which adds nothing more than more confusion.

Strength is trained normally between 1 and 10 repetitions. There are numerous ways program strength within these parameters that are effective, but if you are lifting 12-20 repetitions and can do more reps at the end, all of  the sweat in the world won’t make you stronger or benefit your fitness. Also, in these repetition ranges the ability to increase muscle mass and improve your metabolism are non-existent. In many of my classes we actually train between 3 and 6 repetitions much of the time and not once have I heard “I am getting too bulky” from a female. The reality is to lift for strength you need to lift heavier than you normally would lift. There is NO BENEFIT of lifting a 5 lb dumbbell 20 times, nada, zip. It is actually counter productive and a waste of time. How many times throughout the day do you think to yourself ” I really need to lift 5 pounds better?” You don’t. We usually say I am really struggling lifting my 25 pound daughter or the 50 pound suitcase. So why would you train with whimpy weights and expect to get stronger. Yes that means that when you load a bar in body pump class to do 5o repetitions you are actively going to get a bit weaker over time.  The body adapts to the way we train. We need to train by continually progressing and challenging the body. Many people want to look like certain athletes and athletes lift for strength.

Recently Gweneth Paltrow was diagnosed with osteopenia. Many have blamed here ridiculous diet but if you read the blurb it the attached article it explains her workout of light resistance bands and light weight. I don’t need any more evidence than that. One of the biggest preventions against osteoporosis is loaded resistance training, not high repetition training with light weight. For the guys out there… Men lift real weight and the loading the leg press machine doesn’t count.

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