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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Fit & Forty+ (Fabulous) Series—Increasing Your Metabolism with Strength Training

Fit & Forty+ (Fabulous) Series— Increasing Your Metabolism with Strength Training

Loss of muscle and decrease in metabolism go hand in hand and seem to happen when we hit theBand workout at NIFS big 4-0. Some sources claim that your metabolism can decrease by up to 5% every 10 years once you hit 40. That means you have to eat fewer and fewer calories every year just to maintain the same weight.

But what the heck IS your metabolism, anyway? It's the process by which your body uses the fuel and energy you eat and drink. Your body uses little cellular “furnaces” called mitochondria to burn that energy. Unfortunately, mitochondria in the cells tend to slow down or die with age or inactivity.

Another problem that can damage your metabolism is sarcopenia, a fancy word for muscle loss. Lots of stuff can cause sarcopenia, including extreme diets, a job that keeps you sedentary, too much long and slow cardio, and simply aging without doing any resistance exercise. In this part of my series I will focus on workouts that include strength training. These workouts are targeted to help you build muscle, which will help keep your metabolism high.

Our first workout focuses on Band Training. Bands let you strength train without adding a bunch of equipment. With a band you can add tension by just moving away from the anchor point. In addition, when working with bands the core must stabilize as the band re-tracts back to normal length.

Watch the video and try the workout and tell me how you did. Don't forget to fuel up before and after your workout the right way using the nutrition tips we gave you in our last video.

If you have just joined this series be sure to go back and read all the blogs. Including:

Getting Started

Foam Rolling and Increasing Your Range of Motion

Eat Right to Feel Right

 

If you have questions about something in this series or would like to schedule an appointment with Kris please contact her at 317-274-3432 or email.
This blog series was written by Kris Simpson BS, ACSM-PT, HFS, personal trainer at NIFS. To read more about Kris and NIFS bloggers click here.
Topics: NIFS exercise weight loss calories muscles resistance metabolism

Accommodating Resistance: The Benefits of Using Bands and Chains

NIFS has recently updated the weight room, including seven new half racks. Each rack has lower band pegs, and almost all of the racks have chains on the hooks at the top of the rack. Several people have asked why you would ever need the band pegs or chains to do your everyday squat or bench. In this post, I cover what accommodating resistance is and the benefits of using this form of chainstraining.

The Force-Velocity Curve

Before going into what the chains and bands do, I first have to set the groundwork and explain what the force-velocity curve is. As you see below, when force (weight lifted) increases, velocity (bar speed) decreases. So at the top where force is high and velocity is low, it is considered maximal strength. As you work down the graph, strength-speed is next. In the middle of the graph, you see power (the rate of force development, or RFD). As you continue down the graph, it becomes speed-strength and finishes with speed, where force is at its lowest and velocity is at its highest.

The reason this is important is that chains and bands give you the ability to develop explosive strength. So instead of benching with high weight and slow velocity (maximal strength), or low weight with fast velocity (speed), you can work in the middle of the graph and accelerate the bar in both the lowering and raising phases of the movement. Without the bands and chains, you have to decelerate the bar about halfway through the raising phase of a bench press, or the bar will fly out of your hands. Bands and chains ensure that you drive the bar as hard as you can, generating a high rate of force through the full range of motion (more on this below). The bottom line: Using bands and chains increases your rate of force development (RFD) and forces you to not let up after you get past your sticking point.

How Bands and Chains Workbands

Bands and chains do an excellent job of matching your leverage. The bar is lightest when your leverage is at its weakest, and the bar gradually increases in weight as leverage improves. Let’s break this down even further. You are getting ready to bench with 200 pounds on the bar. You add chains that each weigh 30 pounds. So now the bar total is 260 pounds. However, at the start position, half of the chains are lying on the ground, bringing you to a total of 230 pounds. As you bring the weight down to your chest, the bar gets lighter because more of the chains are lying on the ground. So when the bar is at your chest, you bring the weight down to the 200 pounds that you started with. As you press the weight up, more of the chains come off the floor, gradually increasing the bar total back to the 230 pounds at the top. This idea forces you to drive the bar out into full extension without letting up.

The Benefits of Accommodating Resistance

Bands and chains train acceleration and rate of force development, which is great for the development of power. If you are an athlete, the key to improved sport performance is producing more force in less time. This results when an athlete can absorb more force eccentrically (lowering phase), allowing you to apply higher levels of force concentrically (rising phase) in less time. Sport performance is about which athlete can absorb more force, enabling the athlete to produce more power. The biggest improvements that you will see by using this method are increased power, speed, and explosive strength.

Whether or not you are an athlete, using this method is definitely a game changer if your goal is to move a lot of weight and be explosive. I hope this post answers your questions on whether this type of training is right for you. If you are interested in trying this, be sure to ask a coach to make sure the setup is right, and always have a spotter to ensure safety.

This blog was written by Josh Jones, MS, CSCS, USAW, NIFS Athletic Department Trainer and creator of the NIFS Barbell Club. For more information contact Josh by email. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: fitness center equipment resistance weight lifting weightlifting