151113 Strength and power training for all ages

Strength and power training for all ages

Some people wonder what days are the best to train; it doesn’t matter. God did not make one day better for training the next or the one after. What does matter is whether or not the days you pick are the ones that will help you keep training. Ask yourself this question, what good does it do to pick out Tuesday and Thursday if you know that on Tuesday all day long you are tied up with work or enjoying the day with your children? Don’t pick those days because you won’t stay with them.

Look at your calendar and find the days that you can alter around to get your lifting in on a consistent basis. Missing one day normally leads to missing the next and the next. Pretty soon you won’t even be lifting and wondering why.

Getting back to a few of the frequently asked questions. A new lifter may not know what a set or rep is. A set is one complete sequence of one particular exercise. A repetition is one complete exercise movement within the one set.

For example, if you decide to do three sets of twelve repetitions in the chair squat you will be doing twelve complete separate individual exercise movements. The chair squat is simply setting into a sturdy secure chair and then standing up for one repetition. If you do this twelve times that is one set. By repeating this three times you will have done three sets of twelve reps in the chair squat. This means you have sat down and stood up a total of thirty six times in this exercise. By the way, this is a great starting out exercise for the lower body. It builds strength and power once you get going on it.

131113 World record holders coming home from Reno, Nevada, USA

World record holders coming home from Reno, Nevada, USA

Congratulations to Christine, Jordan and Levi, three lifters from the Explosivelyfit Strength Training Gym. They each brought back world records over the past week from Reno where they competed in the WABDL world meet held at the ultra-clean Peppermill hotel.

Chris raised the Washington State bench record to 203 and change. She also raised the dead lift record, one she already held, up to 358.

Jordan and Levi both raised their own world records in the bench press.

They put in the hard work in the gym and were rewarded with the records, and, needless to say personal bests, in their weight and age classes.

Not bad for us country folks…

111113 An introduction into strength and power training for all ages, continued with part 6

An introduction into strength and power training for all ages, continued with part 6

Now that all of the preliminaries are over with and you have decided to strength and power train, it is time to answer a few questions about how to train.

When first starting out with your training program give your body a chance to acclimate to the new activity. Get as much as possible out of the program before adding or moving on to another one. Take baby steps and learn the right way to train.

Beginning weight training, generally, means lifting at least twice a week on alternate days. Sometimes you may find that your schedule just won’t accommodate lifting on separated days. If this is the case, then lift two days in a row but don’t make it a habit in the beginning. It will only set you back because your body will not be up to the added stress of such a short recovery period.

If you do lift two days in a row then adjust your training to reflect this fact by changing your training program. For example, you can do a lower body series one day followed the next with your upper body exercises. Then rest the third day.

Rest is an important part of training. You cannot expect to gain strength or power without adequate rest between sessions.

After you have been at it for one to two months of steady lifting consider adding in a third day, again splitting the training days by a day of rest between them. The consensus of opinion amongst strength coaches is you can somewhat maintain with one day a week, gain slightly with two days and definitely add with three or more a week depending on the quality of the program and your recoverability capabilities.

I guess the best advice I can give you at this point of your strength training adventure is to go slow, add weight carefully, be attentive to your form, eat, and rest appropriately. By following these concepts, you should progress well in your training.

081113 An introduction into strength and power training for all ages, continued with part 5

An introduction into strength and power training for all ages, continued with part 5

So how much time do you need to do in order to see the benefits of exercise?

Research has shown that 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week or a blend of the two will provide good health paybacks. You may not necessarily lose weight if you exercise, but your health will improve. In fact, health improves, up to a certain point, the more you exercise and the higher the intensity is the better. Large scale studies have revealed that the risk of heart disease diminishes as the duration and intensity of the exercise increases.

If your goal is to lose weight then increase your exercise time to 90 minutes per day. However, relying strictly on exercise to lose weight is going to result in failure if you do not address our dietary habits.

Aren’t there other things I can do to improve my health without having to spend hours and hours in the gym? Yes there are!

If you are someone who would rather sit on a couch for most of your spare time then at least spend some of that time deciding how you want your estate divided up when you die at a young age. If, on the other hand, you want to make changes in your health then get up and get moving.

Spend at least ten per session, multiple times a day in some sort of movement such as going for a short brisk walk, doing chair squats, calf raises, counter top push ups, curl ups, skipping rope, and moderate stretching. Do this every day at least 5 days a week. Work up to the recommended total time of 150 minutes per week and you will notice your health improving.

Now then, the question arises; do you work out at home in in a commercial gym? The answer may seem simple enough if you have your own workout room with all the gear that you need to get stronger and more powerful. Most people don’t, so count yourself as one of the lucky ones if you do. Lifting at home certainly has its advantages.

You don’t have to dress to impress. If you are older, then this is a non issue because most of us are comfortable as we are and don’t need to make an impression on others. We are there for the work out, and not to socialize or hook up. Other reasons to stay home include:

• Working out any time your little heart desires.
• No gym fees or constant upselling of more memberships options.
• We can get equipment that fits us. It is not generic, meaning that it doesn’t fit anyone right.

However, if you insist on joining a gym consider these things before signing on the dotted line.

The cost, the knowledge of the trainers, the atmosphere (including the music or junk sounds, as the case may be), the availability of the gear you want to use when you show up to train, and whether you will be able to cancel the contract at the gym if it doesn’t work out as anticipated.

Don’t sign the contract on the spot. Take it home and go over it all. Look at the fine print. Think about what the contract says. Ponder it overnight or longer. Don’t jump into something that is going to cost you a bundle of dough without considering all the ramifications of your actions.

Once you make your decision, you will have to live with it, so take your time, and make the right one.

061113 An introduction into strength and power training for all ages, continued with part 4

An introduction into strength and power training for all ages, continued with part 4

Numerous research studies demonstrate that strength training provides abundant benefits for the older citizen. However, strength training is not the only resistance training that has healthy outcomes. Power training, the ability to exert force rapidly, is crucial in the prevention of falls.

Power and strength training go hand in hand in helping to slow down the age related muscle atrophy and the resultant diminishing of your physical capabilities. A few tips for training from the Harvard Medical School can go a long ways in getting you started in the right direction.

When you start out with a strength-training program set your sights on doing two to three sets of from between 6 to twelve repetitions of each exercise in the schedule. Start out with a minimum of two sets of eight repetitions and work up from there until you are doing all twelve of them for three sets. If you have chosen a weight that won’t allow the full, eight reps then do as many as you can. If when doing as many as you can you only get 3 or 4 reps then the weight is too heavy and needs to be reduced before you hurt yourself. In each exercise, add weight once you have achieved the three sets of twelve reps. It is a basic premise of strength training that adding weight, with correct technique, adds strength and power. Don’t waste your time doing little dinky weights when you can do more.

Don’t cheat the weight up. Use good form on all the exercises to reap the benefit of the movement. Cheating involves using momentum, rocking it up, flinging it around, and other ways that you will find to get the repetition completed that is not beneficial to your body and may, in fact, cause an injury.

Rest between each set of each exercise. These periods allow your heart and muscles to regain their composure and get ready for the next set. A good rest time is from 1-2 minutes depending on the exercise. If you are working your legs with squats, a longer period may be in order depending on your physical condition. Larger muscle groups like your legs or lower back often take longer to recover than the smaller ones such as your biceps.

If perchance, you do get injured stop immediately and rest the muscle. You gain NOTHING by continuing to train the injured part. Use the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) immediately after an injury occurs.

• Rest the injured area-don’t keep going if it hurts. You can, however work other parts of your body if the injury is not debilitating. Be conservative in your estimation of the degree of damage.
• Ice the injured area for twenty to thirty minutes every 2-3 hours during the first forty eight to seventy two hours.
• Compress the injury with an elastic wrap (don’t cut off the circulation; check this by taking a pulse below and away from the heart on a pressure point). Do this until the swelling stops and whenever you are out of bed.
• Elevate the area above your heart, while resting or icing the area. Call your health care provider if it is more than a minor injury.

When returning back to the exercise program be gentle with the injured area. Start out slowly with the weight load and ease back into the program again.

If you follow, a well-constructed program there should be a minimum of injuries, although some minor aches and pains but nothing serious may still show up. If in doubt about your knowledge of the proper exercise technique, find a certified strength coach from either the NSCA or ACSM.

041113 An introduction into strength and power training for all ages-3

Numerous research studies demonstrate that strength training provides abundant benefits for the older citizen. However, strength training is not the only resistance training that has healthy outcomes. Power training, the ability to exert force rapidly, is crucial in the prevention of falls.

Power and strength training go hand in hand in helping to slow down age related muscle atrophy and the resultant diminishing of your physical capabilities. A few tips for training from the Harvard Medical School can go a long ways in getting you started in the right direction.

It does not matter what the mode of exercise may be, the beginning starts with a decent warm up and ends with a cool down. The warm up should get your heart and breathing rates up, and bring on a slight sweat. Afterwards when the training is over move into the cool down phase, continue with the cool down until your breathing and heartbeat return to near normal. Simply stopping after a hard workout is hard on your heart, so don’t bypass this important part of the session.

Never sacrifice form for weight. If you are unable to lift the weight with correct technique then lower the load. Always use good form. The risks involved in using too heavy a weight are the potential for injury. If you have never been injured before then you are a lucky person. Or lying to yourself.

Injuries set your lifting back for a day or more depending on the seriousness of the damage.

Use light enough weights that allow you to use correct form for all the reps and sets. If the weight is too heavy you won’t be able to complete the set with good form. At the beginning of your training program set a goal of three sets of 8 to 12 reps for each exercise movement. If you are able to do 14 reps on the last set of 12 for two exercise sessions then add weight for the third session. These last few reps should be, on a scale of 1-10 with ten being the hardest, in the 8-9 range of effort.

Follow a good cadence in all of your reps. Don’t bounce or crash the weights – always be in control of the load on the bar. Keep momentum to a minimum. It won’t get you stronger but it can get you hurt. Avoid getting hurt.

As the loads get higher, the speed on the bar will, of necessity, be slower. Think speed at all times. When you start to fall a slow reaction is not going to cut it. You have to react fast, or fall. There is no sport in the competitive world performed slowly. Avoid the coaches who try to sell you on their slow rep programs.

Generally speaking, breathe out as you near the sticking point of the exercise. Breathe in as you lower the weight. Some people hold their breath for a full rep and up to five or more. If you have blood pressure issues, holding your breath is not a good idea especially if you are trying to blow it out through a closed glottis. Practice good breath control.

7 Healthy Breakfast Tips by andreakmetova

7 Healthy Breakfast Tips reposted from:




by andreakmetova

visitorsbreakfast-7An American writer, Robert A. Heinlein, once wrote: “One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.” Although most of us would say that his words are only a pure exaggeration, I am more than sure that if our body could speak, it would highly disagree with us.  The importance of a healthy breakfast is often challenged by the demanding requirements of our 21st century lifestyle, which either forces us to eat some sugared doughnut with big latte on our way to work or to skip breakfast completely.

The food we eat for a breakfast serves to wake up our metabolism and also works as a signal for our body, telling it that it will be nurtured regularly throughout the day. Eating your breakfast guarantees you to be physically and mentally prepared to face all the morning challenges that wait for you on your work or school desk.

However, never forget that to start your day with healthy energy and healthy thoughts, you first have to choose healthy breakfast. Here are my 7 healthy breakfasts I use to prepare for myself :)


1)  “Sketchbook” breakfast that will paint your day 

While the eggs and broccoli stems are cooking, I cut the smoked salmon andcheese into small pieces. I add rocket salad and multi seed cracker to balance the taste of my not only colorfully looking but also colorfully tasting breakfast.When everything is cooked, add the broccoli stems and eggs cut into halves.


 2) Sweeten your day

Are you rushing to school or work without any spare time? Have a look in your fridge and grab all the fruits you see. I guarantee you that you will cut them beautifully within couple of minutes and enjoy their refreshing taste. My favorite combinations are berries with banana, green and red grapes and pears with Pink Lady apples. Our body can absorb all the fructose and vitamins from fruit the best in the morning time till 1PM, so don’t lose this brilliant opportunity.


3) Hercules Breakfast

This is one of my favorite breakfast that I eat when I feel very hungry in the morning and I know I will need lot of energy for the following day tasks. I simply wash some green salad (Rocket always wins for me), add tomatoesonion, peppers or any kind of vegetable. Then I add pieces of roasted salmon with honey and some cheese. Finally I season it with drops of olive oil, salt pepper and mix of beans and peas (this one contained baby peas, Azuki and chick peas).



4) Liquid Morning Pleasure

It often happens to me that I wake up and I don’t feel any hunger, but I know I don’t want to start my day with an empty stomach. In this case, I prepare myself a proper healthy liquid breakfast. In the first case, I mixed blueberries with little bit of milk and banana and in the second I replaced blueberries with strawberries.I love this breakfast because it’s very refreshing, healthy, and you can have so much fun with it by combining various kinds of fruits together. Have Fun :)


5) Generous Fridge

This is what I call: What the Fridge Gave Me. In this case I had a flat bread withlight Philadelphia,  ham, cheese, baby salad, corns, olives, peppers and baby tomatoes. Requirements met: Easy, Quick, Tasty and Healthy.


6) Healing Breakfast

My good old porridge… This is my absolutely top favorite combination with berries and banana. Not only healthy but healing as well!! Fiber and other whole grains that can be found in oatmeal help to clean out your colon.


7) Breakfast for Two ❤

This is what I call jumbo breakfast….you know those kinds you need to eat before something big like flying to the moon or climbing Mount Everest. On this plate you can find corns, broccoli, tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, garlic, salmon, rocket salad, peas…and you can replace or add any ingredients you wish. Get ready for a difficult day by this energetic bomb or grab another fork and share it with your partner ❤

Lastly, short poll and some wisdom from my favorite Winnie The Pooh….. on breakfast. Enjoy cooking ❤


I would be very thankful if you answered this simple question just for my own interest.


Do you eat breakfast every day?
No, I am very busy in the morning so coffee is my only breakfastOnly during the weekendEvery single day, I wouldn’t go out of the house without breakfast.Yes I do, but I eat it on my way to work/school.Other:

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011113 Set a goal if you want to lose weight, get stronger, or run farther.

Set a goal if you want to lose weight, get stronger, or run farther.

If you are one of the many who is always wanting to lose ten pounds, run faster or get stronger then deciding on how many pounds or how fast or how much more you want to lift is the ticket to success. Once you have decided then write them down in specific terms.

Saying you want to lose ten pounds forever and ever is not the way to lose those ten pounds you’ve been bitching about for the last ten years is it? In the recent October, issue of the Journal of Consumer Research a series of studies reported that those who set ranges were more likely to stick to their plans when compared to others who did not set ranges. By ranges is meant that saying you will lose ten pounds is not as productive as setting a range of losing 2-4 pounds by the end of this week. Setting a single number is not as effective as an array of numbers that include the one you really want to arrive at in the end.

These range goals improved the individuals motivation to succeed and at the same time brought more engagement or buy in to the process than did the ones who used a single goal.

Probably the reason for the successes of those using the ranges was the built in flexibility. There is some leeway to this method, which seems to fit more people than the hard single number goal. On the one hand, you have the hard lower number for weight loss or the high number for strength gains and on the other hand, you have the easier to attain numbers.