In Exercise

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If any of the following are true of you, or you’re hoping to begin with optimal strength training habits, heed these signs you might be overdoing your weight workouts:

  • No Changes After 8 Weeks
  • Inability to Add Muscle or Loss of Muscle
  • Constant Soreness and Fatigue
  • Frequent Illness

Tips for Weight Training That Gets Results

Make sure you’re building up and not breaking down your body. All exercise is essentially a breakdown of muscle. During exercise you’re creating small micro tears in muscle tissue that must heal and strengthen in order to leave you better. That means, it’s the rest between effective exercise sessions when you get better.

Challenging and Recovery Workouts

Certain types of exercise results in more breakdown that others. Some exercise creates a need for more recovery and some exercise can boost recovery.

If you’re doing heavy weight training and interval training both during a typical week workout you create a greater need to recovery between sessions. You can accomplish this by either doing short sessions of interval training on the same day as your weight training, making sure you allow at least two recovery days between these high intensity days, and or plan your workouts in an alternating hard – easy – moderate rotation.

Plan Ahead

Make sure you plan your week carefully. Let’s say you attend exercise classes that include strength training as a part of the class. These classes, though potentially done with lighter weights than you may lift with machines or in the weight room, count. So if you’re attending class two or three days a week, and you’re lifting on your own or with a trainer two or three days a week, you’re potentially doing some strength training every day.

Every day strength training* will increase breakdown of muscle. It will prevent you from seeing best results and feeling your best. If you enjoy group fitness classes but also know you need to lift heavy, plan to do a few weight room exercises following the days you lift weights in class rather than alternating days.

You’ve always needed a full 48 hours to allow muscle recovery. Some of us take more time to recover than others. You might want to try increasing your rest to 72 hours between workouts that significantly breakdown muscles. That’s a Monday –Thursday schedule instead of Monday-Wednesday-Friday. So, yes, even reducing the number of days you lift weights as you increase the number of days you rest per week can help you get better results.

In You Still Got It, Girl! I describe a longer workout schedule, a nine or ten-day rotation may make more sense than sticking to the traditional seven day week. If you have the flexibility, try it. If you’re a stickler for schedules and routine that’s a good argument for Monday- Thursday or some similar day structure. Let go of the idea more is better.

Recovery Eating

Get adequate protein. I’ve reviewed many a workout schedule before deciding how to help someone improve results only to find that what really is the missing link is an adequate diet. There have to be both adequate calories and adequate protein.

Your need for protein increases with age. We don’t synthesize what we do ingest as well as we did when we were younger. Add to the problem the fact most Americans do not get the 25-35 (and more) grams recommended for optimal weight management that more studies emerging since about 2008 are suggesting help retain lean muscle in both active and in inactive frail older adults.

*For the majority of us a full body workout two or three times a week makes far more sense in our busy lives than training different body parts. For weight management, metabolism boosting, and function in daily life working all muscles in an integrated way is most efficient and effective.

Tell me your experience with weights. Getting the results you want or not? Got a question? Post it! I love hearing from you.


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