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I genuinely enjoy posting and exposing these controversial myths.  Part of my reason for becoming a personal trainer was, I was tired of getting conflicting answers on how to train and how to diet.  In other words, I had to put down body-building magazines, stop watching workout shows on ESPN, stop listening to steroid junkies in the gym, and stop watching infomercials.  Needless to say, I have become extremely careful with what I read and who I listen to.  Anybody can argue anything and the best salesman is always going to gather the larger audience, however, beware of false “teachers”. 

Myth #3: The best indicators of a good workout are how tired you are after the workout and how sore you are the next day.

This is a myth my most dedicated athletes still have a tough time dismissing. Most hard-working individuals equate a good workout with being exhausted and sore. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had athletes say, “You didn’t even make me puke” after a workout. My response is usually, “I didn’t make you puke because I didn’t want to make you puke. Making you puke would be easy. Getting you stronger, faster and more flexible actually takes some work.”

Puking is one of the most catabolic things you can do to your body. If your goals are increased muscular strength and/or muscular hypertrophy, you should do everything possible not to puke during your training!

Fatigue is another popular indicator people use to rate the productivity of their workouts. Remember that the goal of your training session should dictate how you feel after your workout. For example, if you’re going to perform a plyometric workout with the goal of improving your vertical jump, you shouldn’t be exhausted after the workout.

Actually, a properly designed plyometric workout should stimulate your neuromuscular system and you should feel better than when you started the workout. On the other hand, it’s good to be exhausted after a tough practice that was designed to get you in “game shape” for your given sport.

Finally, I’ve never read any research that links post-exercise soreness to strength gains, hypertrophy gains or improved athletic performance. Who the hell wants to be sore anyway? Think of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) as an unfortunate side effect of training, not a goal of training.

Remember that it’s easy for a coach to make an athlete tired, but it takes a true professional to get an athlete stronger, faster, more flexible and better conditioned.

J. Defranco           #3 of Top Ten Traininig Myths

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ME: So, how much weight do you want to lose?

Friend: What will you have me doing?

ME: Exercising and changing your eating habits

Friend: What do I need to eat?

ME: Well, you need to eat things that grow, and eat things that eat things that grow. 

Friend: Can I eat cheetos?

                                                      

EVIDENCE, CONSPIRACY, URGENCY, TRUTH, WHO KNOWS?  Is there any surprise these days that health care costs are at an all time high?  DECEIT, MISDIAGNOSIS, MANIPULATION, LIES, WHO KNOWS?  Has anyone ever questioned how or why when we need costs to be at an all time low, they are at an all time high?  TRUST, ILLUSION, SECURITY, VULNERABILITY, WHO KNOWS.  Are we all frustrated with how things are going in the medical field in regards to care, treatment, prescription costs?  DESTITUTE, WEAK, HUNGRY, FIEND, WHO KNOWS?  Are we all going to take care of ourselves by exercising, eating right, resting, avoiding stress, managing stress, encouraging others, or, are we going to depend on the institution to do it for us.  FREEDOM, ACCOMPLISHMENT, JOY, SUCCESS! 

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

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It’s all good, I think!   

I have been inspired to write this post from a person I don’t even know who told me I was wrong in my thinking on myths.  There is no way I am wrong because if you notice at the bottom Joe D. is the author.  Occasionally I will use other sources to add other reliable information to my blog.  However, I always acknowledge where these articles come from.  I will start out by saying that not only is Joe D. correct, I am also correct or I would have never posted his myth. 

Let me first explain that in order to do any type of aerobic conditioning (plyometrics) you have to have some sort of muscle development.  For example, think of the time you or a person you know broke a leg and had a cast put on it.  What happens to the muscle?  The muscle begins to atrophy (loses muscle), right!  Depending on how long the cast was on or how long a person has gone without using this damaged limb, will determine what a person can or cannot do after the removal of this cast.  Let’s say the cast was on for 8-weeks.  Who does a doctor send you to after the removal of this cast?  A physical therapist right! (Which most people fail to follow through on).  Does a physical therapist have you go out and jog (plyometrics) a mile before they have you do resistance training to rebuild the muscle.  Of course not, even though the bone is healed (and in most cases stronger than before, due to the calcification around the break area), you must develop a level of strength to engage in any high impact plyometrics (running).  We have all seen the knees buckle on a baby that is learing to walk and using the coffee table to hold themselves up? 

Knee pain, joint pain, and lower leg muscle tension is a common concern for most runners, especially if you haven’t developed any level of strength (not in all cases).  Now, take into consideration that both legs have been inactive for a prolonged period of time and are weak in comparison to a person’s overall bodyweight.  Please consider, if you’re overweight or just beginning a fitness program, beware of any type of high impact plyometrics (especially running off/on concrete) before building a solid foundation of strength.   

 LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

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pizza.jpg  At least once every month I slack off for multiple days by not training, eating right, or participating in any type of physical activity.  There used to be a time when I would feel totally guilty with this type of behavior, almost to the point where I would become discouraged and turn a few days off, into a few weeks and even as long as a month.  Naturally, I would justify this behavior by saying things like;  “I needed the time off”, “rest is good”, “I’ll get back on track”.  I could do that in my twenties, but unfortunately, I am  no longer youthful, energetic, and as resilient as I once was. 

My downfall started on Saturday when I decided to play in a fundraiser Texas Holdem tournament, where I thought I would be a favorite to win a 96 player tournament.  Ha!  I lasted a total of 1 hour 20 minutes and found myself on the rail eating another piece of fried chicken.  I had already eaten 4 pieces, a slice of pizza, and drank almost 4 cans of coca-cola (ugh).  Oh, I forgot the jo-joes.  🙂  I didn’t mind the amount of food, because I figured I would train Sunday and everything would be fine.  Needless to say, I forgot it was Mothers Day and training was not an option.   

My point is, I still have these weekends where I engage in this type of inactivity, overeating, and ignoring healthy food choices.  What’s even more mind boggling is once I get started, I cannot stop.  I continue to make unhealthy food choices and I always find a way to justify my behavior.  On another note, today is a new day without distractions and justifications.  Nobody is perfect and as long as we all realize that, then even if we have a few down days we can still rebound if we stay positive and our focus remains on our goals.

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women-lifting-weights.jpg  What are your views on aging? Is fatigue and joint discomfort the inevitable result of growing older? If so, do you believe that the elderly should take it easy when they are tired and suffering from mild aches?

The fact is that many age-associated declines occur not because of the aging process itself, but as a result of our lifestyle habits, including exercise. In our sedentary society, many muscle and joint problems are the result of weakness and inflexibility. By increasing your strength and flexibility, you can prevent injury and slow the age-associated loss of muscle function. This means that some of those old cliches turn out to be true…”use it or lose it” and “you’re as old as you feel”.

Inactive people become more frail than active people and are more likely to sustain a serious fall that could lead to hospitalization, permanent disability, dependence and even death. According to the federal government., Americans live an average of 73.7 years, but spend their last 11.7 years in “dysfunctional life”, which is marked by disease and impairment. Reducing the number of years lost to restricted physical activity has become a national priority.

Exercise itself, can slow and even reverse many components of the aging process. It’s probably the single most effective way to lengthen life. Proper exercise can rejuvenate you and take years off your chronological age- it’s the closest thing to an anti-aging pill. In other words, exercise can add years to your life and life to your years. The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, claims that a 50 yr. old today can expect to live, on average, to over 79. This is a lot of time spent in the “golden years”. Instead of believing that over 50 means “over the hill and declining”, you should view it as “over the hill and picking up speed!”

It was once thought that aerobic capacity and muscular strength decreased dramatically as one grew older: Studies revealed that a sedentary 65 yr. old has only 60% of the aerobic capacity as a young sedentary adult, and that after the age of 30, people not engaged in strength training lose muscle mass amounting to about six to seven pound of muscle each decade. Remember that these declines apply to sedentary adults.

A 25-year study on runners performed at Ball State University found that many of the runners who continued to train had aerobic capacities similar to what they had 20 years ago. A ten year study from the Center for Exercise Science at the University of Florida found that runners who took up resistance (strength) training were able to maintain their muscle over the ten years. Those who did not, continued to loss muscle mass. The results of these studies apply to everyone, not just athletes.

Each person over the age of 55 who I have trained has found that they have marked increases in their muscle tone, strength and aerobic capacity: they have become more fit and vigorous then ever before.

One of the things that happens when you begin strength training is that connective tissue, such as ligaments and tendons, gets stronger along with your muscles. This helps to protect your joints from injury and makes everyday tasks easier, such as walking up stairs, carrying groceries and keeping up with grandchildren.

There are community programs available to help older adults stay active. Many wellness programs include low-impact aerobics and strength training. Bowling, and croquet leagues are also a fun way to stay in shape. Whatever form of exercises you choose to do, you should include ones that employ a mixture of endurance, strength, balance and flexibility exercises.

Before starting, check with your doctor to see if there are any medical concerns. Appropriate exercise can reduce frailty in old age thus helping to make a person’s last few years be filled with active participation instead of the bedridden existence that too many elderly people now experience.

We were designed to be active..don’t rust out before you wear out because you aren’t putting your body to proper use. If you want to stay strong and mobile, look and feel well, and continue to live independently instead of ending up in the care of others,then you better START MOVING!!    Deborah L. Mullen, CSCS

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