Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Five Components - Part One - Strength

There are several benefits that come with a properly designed resistance program, such as injury prevention, personal appearance, and improved physical performance. The act of becoming stronger is accomplished by implementing a safe, sensible and productive strength program that is well advised and monitored. Strength training is probably one of the best insurance policies in helping reduce injuries associated with sports and daily activities.

There are, of course, physiological benefits as well. Resistance training can enable you to increase muscle size and strength as well as increase tendon, ligament and bone strength. And let’s not forget to mention a boost in self-esteem and confidence that can certainly give an individual that “mental edge”. There is also the probability of improved physical performance and appearance. Research indicates that unless we strength train regularly we lose more than ½ pound of muscle every year after the age of 25 so strength training does help prevent muscle loss that normally accompanies aging (a concern for us “older athletes”). Regardless of your age, a solid resistance program will benefit everyone.

If you are sedentary and loss ½ pound of muscle each year after the age of 25 then that can result in a ½ percent reduction in basal metabolic rate. A reduction in BMR (BMR is the amount of energy (in calories) your body needs just to sustain its basic life processes) means we are less able to use food for energy and therefore have the potential to store more body fat, but with the inclusion of resistance training, in particularly with a high level of effort and at a fast pace can improve metabolic efficiency so you can be stronger, healthier, leaner and in better condition. This approach will benefit any individual, age not withstanding.

Next time: Cardiovascular Conditioning

Fred Fornicola