Strength Training

080205121740-large2I’m a longtime fan of Clarence Bass.
He’s pragmatic. Smart. And balanced. From him I’ve learned a lot of practical information, including the criticality of strength training for optimum health, fitness and the ability to get–and stay–lean (I am still working on the “get” part). I thought the following article was a good stair step towards building a healthier and better body, timely and relevant.
For me, I’ve found the most discouraging thing about strength training is that the results don’t often show up on the scale (obviously, when I was playing college football this wasn’t an issue that I cared about like I do now). In fact, I have been hitting it pretty hard for eight weeks now with both cardio and weights about 4-5x per week. And my eating habits have been, overall, great barring a few lousy meals here and there.
And with all this effort I have lost a whopping 32 ounces. Yep. Two entire pounds.
Fortunately, I also measure bodyfat using my Tanita scale (another reco I grabbed from Clarence) which has given me a much better orientation towards my goal–the results of which would have been hidden had I only looked at the weight. While the bodyfat scales aren’t as accurate as calipers or bioelectrical impedance they’re good for showing the change and progress.
And so while I now I could have achieved greater weight loss if I only initiated cardio and eliminated strength training, I also know that the weight lost would have also included muscle–and ultimately, what I really care bout is lean body mass. And I know that, at least for me, I simply can not get to my 15% bodyfat goal without strength training, and I know my body fat decline wouldn’t be anywhere near what it has been–or needs to be–without the strength training.
I think the summary below from Clarence is a good one, for a lot of reasons.
Forget Heavy, Think Effort

The health establishment struggles mightily to persuade people to exercise regularly with mixed results at best. The latest scientific findings and government guidelines say that strength training should be part of the mix at least twice a week. Many people, including those that need it most, are turned off by weight training. They imagine themselves having to lift heavy weights, and that turns them away.

Is that true? Do they have to lift very heavy weights? An eye-opening new study says “NO.” The study has the potential to change how strength training is perceived–and get many more people, perhaps millions more, pumping iron.

The study could revolutionize strength training for everyone, from pencil necks to muscle heads.

Click here to read the entire story.

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6 Replies to “Strength Training”

  1. Rich, I follow you on Twitter, and wanted to recommend:

    Kefir: Can get at Bayview and/or Top Foods, but best price at Trader Joe's in Tacoma (one will be coming to Olympia this year next to B & N).

    Kombucha: Can make yourself of course, which is lots of fun, but Synergy is the BEST bottled, and not too sweet. Can get at Bayview and Top Foods. Best price at Bayview during their sales every few months.

    I am a big fan of fermented and sprouted foods, have made my own Kombucha as well.

    If you want to add me, I'm @obrown πŸ™‚

    This is more a "direct message" than a comment on this blog post, so don't feel you have to add it…just wanted to tell you about these.

    I'm the person who commented before and who lives here in Olympia (obviously)…


  2. Hi Olivia,

    Thanks for all the great suggestions.

    I am obviously on a Kefir kick as you can tell from my Twitter updates. I’m actually off to a store right now to get a container to hold some of my weekend Kefir I’m making right now (not with the real grains, just the culture in the packets). We usually buy Nancy’s Organics (at the Co-Op) but I’ve wanted to try making it. Love Trader Joe’s, will pick some up there to try next time I’m in the area.

    I have never tried Synergy Kombucha but will make it a point to pick some up–I usually get GT’s from the Co-Op as well.

    And, I’ll definitely add you on twitter!

  3. Hi, Rich! It was great seeing you at the gym! Thank you for the inspiration you give others in increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat mass. What a great reminder to the Univera community that body compostion is so much more important weight. What an important journey in the anti-aging paradigm:weight training for increased muscle, increased strength, better function.’See you in cycle class again too. πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Natalie, great seeing you at the gym as well!!! And thanks for saying hello while there, I was kinda “in the zone” and also run into work colleagues there but it catches me off guard because of time/place.

    I will see you in spin soon–perhaps even in two hours for the 5:45am class!

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