Pillar #7: Exercising

I tell my clients I have good news and bad news. The good news is I only need you twice a week for 20-30 minutes, the bad news is it will be a little uncomfortable. We use machines because, not only are they as effective as free weights, but they are safer, no one ever gets hurt training this way.

We use a moderately heavy weight, go 8-12 seconds on the concentric and the eccentric. We are trying to reach complete muscle fatigue. You get to a point where you can't move the weight and I get you to push for another 10 seconds, most people are using momentum swinging the weight back and forth and quit when they get a little burn. You get lactic acid burn, anxiety kicks in and says “Hey this hurts!” Your brain says “Put it down!” Well that’s where all the benefits are, that’s where all the gold is. You get these microscopic tears in your muscles (a good thing) that is why you can only train twice a week. Your muscles heal, repair, grow on your days off.

Don’t worry ladies, you won’t turn into Arnold, think about it… a pound of muscle is half the size of a pound of fat. One of my favorite clients came to me and said "Don’t get discouraged if nothing happens, I’ve had 4 trainers in 5 years and nothing has changed." All I want to do is lose 10 lbs and get my leg to stop hurting." (She was being over trained.) After 6 weeks, 12 sessions she came to me and said “Wayne I’m ecstatic, I’ve lost 5 lbs, 50% of what I wanted, my leg doesn't hurt anymore, but more importantly, I can fit into my skinny girl jeans!” Ladies you lean out and get more toned!

Little secret…

If you have the first 6 Pillars all lined up properly, you need very little exercise. The problem is most people fall into one of two categories, they either lay on the couch, watch the game, drink beer and eat pizza, or they are at the gym 6 days a week or maybe out pounding the pavement running 8 miles a day, 6 days a week. They are completely over training their body. They are stressing their body out on a constant basis which raises cortisol, which then promotes fat storage. They are in a constant catabolic state, tearing down muscle and not giving muscle time to heal and repair.

It has been proven in many peer reviewed studies that it is much more effective not only from a weight loss/body composition perspective but also from a overall general health and well being perspective that you are better off doing 2-3 times a week 20 minute bouts of exercise under high intensity. Saves you time and you get more bang for your buck!

Every one over the age of 25, should incorporate some type of weight resistance training into their weekly exercise protocol, especially if you are living a sedentary life style. Once you reach the age of 25 we lose about 1 lb of muscle per week, a decade later that is quite a bit of fat you have added and a lot of muscle lost. If there is a fountain of youth, it would be weight resistance training. Believe me, when you are in your 80s and 90s you will be glad you have those muscles to get you up and down the stairs, in and out of the car, carrying the groceries, or even just being able to balance yourself.

Dr. Wayne Wescott took 27 senior citizens with an average age of 88 and put them under a weight resistance program, twice a week for 14 weeks. The results were pretty conclusive, weight resistance training is very important no matter what age you are.

Here are some of the results:

  1. improved body composition,
  2. increased muscle strength,
  3. enhanced joint flexibility,
  4. increased functional capacity,
  5. improved mobility.

Based on firsthand reports from medical staff and residents at the John Knox Village Campus, it is further concluded that a supervised strength training program may be related to:

  1. increased potential for patient independence,
  2. improved cooperation between care givers and patients,
  3. improved cooperation among nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, andrecreation specialists,
  4. enhanced potential for recruiting new residents,
  5. enhanced potential for recruiting new professional staff,
  6. reduced health care costs.

Click here for the the study: http://www.seniorfitness.net/strength.htm

Here's a great video on weight training:

Here's a great book on weight resistance exercise:

Body by Science by Doug McGuff, MD and John Little