Day 167/365: Weight Training

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June 16, 2011

To be physically fit is a human race goal and the highest ranking New Years Resolution every year. But how does it take to be physically fit? The result can be the product of a number of factors and varies based on primarily the outcome of efficient technique, the progression of speed and the maturing competitive attitude on a sound basis of general endurance, all round strength and general mobility. The development of all round strength is best achieved via circuit training and then progressing this through weight training.

How do we get stronger?

A muscle will only strengthen when forced to operate beyond its customary intensity (overload). Overload can be progressed by increasing the:

resistance e.g. adding 10kg to the barbell
number of repetitions with a particular weight
number of sets of the exercise

Muscle Fibre Hypertrophy

Resistance training will increase the muscle size (hypertrophy). Muscle growth depends on the muscle fibre type activated and the pattern of recruitment. Muscle growth is due to one or more of the following adaptations:

Increased contractile proteins (actin & myosin)
Increased number of and size of myofibrils per muscle fibre
Increased amounts of connective, tendinous & ligamentous tissues
Increased enzymes and stored nutrients

Muscle Movement

Muscle contraction is initiated by an electrical charge from the central nervous system. The exercise that causes the greatest amount of electrical activity within the muscle group will potential produce the greatest gains in mass and strength. Lorenzo Cornacchia (Bompa et al. 1998) [1] conducted a series of Electromyographic (EMG) tests to determine which exercises generated a high level of stimulation with in each muscle group. The results were as follows:

Muscle                          Exercise
Pectoralis Major         Decline dumbbell bench press
Pectoralis Minor         Incline dumbbell bench press
Medial Deltoids          Standing dumbbell side laterals
Posterior Deltoids       Standing dumbbell bent laterals
Anterior deltoids        Standing front dumbbell raises
Biceps Brachii           Incline seated dumbbell curls (alternate)
Triceps Brachii          Triceps press down (angled bar)
Latissimus Dorsi         One arm dumbbell rows (alternate)
Rectus Femoris           Seated leg extensions
Biceps femoris           Standing leg curls
Semitendinosus           Seated leg curls
Gastrocnemius            Standing one leg calf raises

Day 166/365: Weight Training


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