resistance training

Submitted by: malcsawyer 

The hamstrings straighten the hips and bend the knees, so it is necessary to train them with both hip extension and knee flexion exercises. All you need to perform hip extension exercises like the straight-leg deadlift or good-morning is some weight to add resistance.

For knee flexion exercises like the lying dumbbell leg curl or assisted natural leg curl, you need a dumbbell (obviously) or just something to hook your heels under, respectively. The problem with these exercises is the pull of gravity decreases too much throughout the concentric phase of the exercise to train the hamstrings effectively.

A better alternative if you don’t have access to leg-curling apparatus is the hanging dumbbell leg curl. If you don’t have access to a pull-up bar, buy one.

Another InFORMative on Form

You’re never too old to learn something, and in this business if you’re not learning, you’re not doing anyone any good. One thing I learned over the last few days was a bit of a definition behind form and lifting. It was explained to me a bit better than when I originally learned it, and I’ve been doing my best to put it into practice.

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Hey Ladies! I'm in the weight room lifting with all the guys, where are you at?

Why are women so afraid to go lift?  And when I say lift, I mean heavy weights, looking to really build some muscle. Not just going in and picking up some dumbbells and doing some curls or 2 sets of something light just to “tone up.” Why are women so afraid to be strong and powerful?!

Is it because you fear you’ll “bulk up?” Are you afraid that you’re not doing it right? Maybe you’re intimidated by all the guys in the weight room? You think cardio is more important? No. You’re wrong. Stronger is always better. Why fight to just be thin when you can be strong, make your body USEFUL not just pretty… Muscles are just as beautiful. 

Myth: If women start lifting weights they’ll bulk up.

FALSE. The vast majority of women simply do not have the testosterone to build muscle like men. Men have a different bone structure to allow them to build muscle in more places than women. Now, this is not to say that women cannot bulk up like men but this usually includes the help of LOTS of protein, strict diets and supplements. Lifting weights cannot hurt you and you will not bulk up like that bro over in the corner checking himself out. 

Myth: What if I’m not lifting correctly… won’t people look at me weird?

FALSE. Stop making excuses and get the help you need. I understand not everyone knows how to perform every exercise in the book, I’m a personal trainer and I don’t know it all. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to do the exercises. Ask a person in the weight room who is doing the exercise, ask the weight room attendant, ask a friend, find a personal trainer, google it… and after you find out how to do it GO PRACTICE. Sure, people might stare but they can go screw themselves. You’re not going to learn how to do it if you don’t practice it. Don’t refuse to do the exercises because you’re afraid of learning new things. You’ll get better and you’ll get stronger.

Myth: There’s just too many guys in the weight room.

Sooo you’re not going to go into the weight room because there’s a bunch of penises in there? You’re not going in there because they’re bigger, stronger and louder than you? Girl, get your fine ass into that weight room and lift your ovaries off. Since the dawn of time women have been told not to go places, do things, say things, look certain ways and have lots of babies. You really need to stop listening to all those people who say you shouldn’t do those things simply because it’s not what you’re “supposed” to be doing. The guys will probably stare, but that’s because you’re breaking mold, you’re breaking stereotypes that say women must only exist in the cardio room. It’s your responsibility to be a trend setter, be the first taco to break up that sausage fest. Tell all those other ladies at the gym that it’s alright to pick up those heavy weights and get buff.

Myth: Cardio is more important than lifting

Wrong. Incorrect. False. Nope. The more muscles you have, the more calories you burn at rest. So if your goal is to lose weight WHY WOULDN’T YOU WANT TO BUILD MUSCLE?! Lifting also firms up all those flabby muscles that haven’t been put to work in years. It makes you look fine as hell. Other benefits of resistance training: Stronger bones and increased bone density, stronger joints and less injuries, increased stamina for workouts and just everyday tasks, defined muscle tone, you won’t look saggy when you’re older… I can keep going. I’m not trying to dismiss cardio all together, cardio is clutch BUT if that’s all you’re doing then that cardio is going to waste. 

So ladies, please do not fear your strength. Do not fear the weight room. Get in there and lift. I’m so tired of seeing women trying so hard to be thin and dainty and as small as possible… that’s fine if that’s what you prefer, just make sure it’s healthy. Just remember that muscles are more useful than thin, maybe give the weight room a try. You just might like it. 

Does taking off your sports bra count as resistance exercise?


Grab your resistance band and try these Fun-ctional resistance band exercises!

I’m doing better today. For some reason when after I did resistance training on Friday, my knees were hurting bad. Yesterday I did my walking/jogging on the treadmill. Today I did my cardio. And then I hit the weights. I finally put my big girl panties on and went over to where all the men were. I did the single lateral pull machine and the row machine. I need to figure out what other machines or exercises to use for my arms and back. I think it’s in my likes somewhere on here. Oooh and something for my chest. I need to lift my breasts. Lol I’m laughing but I’m serious. Pregnancy and breastfeeding did a number on mine. Sheeesh.

Who Should You Fight: HTTYD Books Edition
  • Hiccup the Third: Don't do it. It doesn't matter if you win or not, he's going to forgive you either way and you'll feel bad. He knows you're better than this. Don't fight Hiccup.
  • Fishlegs: You could absolutely beat him but why would you want to, you monster
  • Camicazi: You won't win but she's probably going to try to fight you at some point anyway so you might as well get it over with
  • Stoick the Vast: Is always down to fight for fun and getting on in years but he also cut his way though a horde of faceless bloodthirsty dragons that one time so. Maybe not.
  • Valhallarama: She'll kick your ass and it will be amazing. You'll thank her.
  • Grimbeard the Ghastly: You probably shouldn't but if anyone deserves a punch in the face it's him
  • Alvin the Treacherous: Depends on whether it's slim, charming Alvin focused on self-preservation or bulky man-of-war Alvin filled with all-consuming desire for revenge. But you should absolutely fight him just on principle
  • Excellinor: NOPE
  • Hiccup the Second: We have a WHOLE THIRD OF THE SERIES demonstrating why hurting him is a terrible idea (hint: it's Furious. Furious is why it's a bad idea)
Day 26 - Strength Workout: Bodyweight Circuit

For this strength workout you’ll do 60 seconds of each of the eight moves with no rest in between, and repeat 1 to 3 sets (1 set = 8 moves) with no rest in between.

  1. Forward Lunge
  2. Backward Lunge
  3. Bench Dip
  4. Push-Up
  5. Bicycle Crunch
  6. Plank
  7. Regular Crunch
  8. Reverse Crunch

If you want guidance on how to do any or all of the moves, including proper form to stay safe, watch this short video in which Tom Holland takes you through the entire Bodyweight Circuit workout.

Tomorrow’s Cardio Workout: Endurance

Choose any form of cardio you enjoy most.

Do 30 minutes of steady-state cardio at an intensity of 6 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Have a question for Tom? Ask it and share your progress on the IFE wall.

The benefits of weight training for women and those over the age of forty far outweigh those that just choose cardio. Yes cardio is very important, but to add weight training will add many benefits. See what those are. Over the last decade, researchers have made extremely compelling arguments for the benefits of weight training for women and those over the age of forty. Still, the number of women who take this recommendation to heart is still quite low. Most women who exercise are spending most of their gym time on cardiovascular exercise, and less time using resistance that challenges their bodies. Resistance training does not have to be hitting the weight room with an all-male crowd and intimidating machines. You have options and you owe it to yourself to explore them. There are specific women only fitness centers now available. However, you still need to find the right one that will allow your body and mind to grow rather than doing the same old routine without progressive resistance.


1. You Will Lose Body Fat

Studies performed by Wayne Westcott, PhD, from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, found that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories all day long. Generally speaking, for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories each day. That can really add up.

2. You Will Gain Strength Without Bulk

Researchers also found that unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy. You will, however, develop muscle tone and definition. This is a bonus.

3. You Decrease Your Risk Of Osteoporosis

Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling by 13 percent in six months. This, coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium, can be a women’s best defense against osteoporosis. What is Osteoporosis?: Osteoporosis is a disease of bone leading to an increased risk of fracture. The bone mineral density is reduced, bone microarchitecture is disrupted, and the amount and variety of non-collagenous proteins in bone is altered.

4. You Will Improve Your Athletic Performance

Over and over research concludes that strength training improves athletic ability in all but the very elite athletes. Golfers can significantly increase their driving power. Cyclists are able to continue for longer periods of time with less fatigue. Skiers improve technique and reduce injury. Whatever sport you play, strength training has been shown to improve overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury.

5. You Will Be Physically Stronger

Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent upon others for assistance in daily living. Chores will be easier, lifting kids, groceries and laundry will no longer push you to the max. If your maximum strength is increased, daily tasks and routine exercise will be far less likely to cause injury. Research studies conclude that even moderate weight training can increase a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent. Research also shows that women can develop their strength at the same rate as men.

6. You Will Reduce Your Risk Of Injury, Back Pain & Arthritis

Strength training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury. A recent 12-year study showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Other studies have indicated that weight training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and strengthen joints.

7. You Will Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease

According to Dr. Barry A. Franklin, of William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. When cardiovascular exercise is added, these benefits are maximized.

8. You Will Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes

In addition, Dr. Franklin noted that weight training may improve the way the body processes sugar, which may reduce the risk of diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem for women and men. Research indicates that weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.

9. It Is Never Too Late To Benefit

Women in their 70’s and 80’s have built up significant strength through weight training and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age.

10. You Will Improve Your Attitude And Fight Depression

A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program, all important factors in fighting depression.

Healthy Resistance Training: Don't Go Crazy

I was having a discussion with a dear friend of mine who knows she’s subject to being a discussion point on here from time to time. We were discussing her routine as she had asked me for input on it. I didn’t think much of it at the time, except that when I actually looked at what she was doing I was shocked.

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I am somebody different physically and mentally. It is the mental change I am most proud of. I love myself and it is not because I lost weight. It took love for me to decide to do what is best for ME. I tried and failed many times before, but once I decided I was worth it is when I made a huge change to my lifestyle. I am healthy and happy and nobody can ever take that from me.