Sunday, September 8, 2013

Raising the Bar - Why You Need to Increase Your Weights

My Nordic Flex Ultra Lift Chest Press and Lat Bar maxs out at 15.  I am doing arm curls on 13 now.
I've had an epiphany. This year, I've made an effort to write down my reps and weight lifts for each session. Previously, I've just tried to rep out (blow out the muscle to exhaustion), but without recording my previous workout, I might not be moving forward. I recently moved up to doing my chest presses on "12". I could barely get the bar to move! Still, I took a breath and pushed with all I had. The first day I could only do 20 reps. The second day I cleared 30. That's progress!

So a few simple things can get you better results in your cross training routine:
1. Write down the results of your lift days including the weights used and amount of reps completed. A simple diary and note if the session was hard, easy or impossible.

2. On your next workout day, try to best your previous lifts either in weight or reps. Try to move up, not backwards.

3. Always include a recovery drink at the end of your session (within 45 minutes). I like Rainbow Light Protein Energizers and NeoCell Muscle Recovery Collagen Sport.

Muscle Growth Factors
In order for muscles to grow and develop, they need to be practically torn down and rebuilt. Muscle fibers, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments all need additional protein and collagen after a heavy workout. BUT... The heavier workouts are needed in order to build new muscle.

Women Don't Build Muscle Like the Men
If you are a woman who is concerned about bulking up, let me put your mind at ease. We just don't form muscle the way the guys do since men normally have about x10 more testosterone than us ladies. So unless you are doing anabolic steroids, don't be afraid of adding a little extra weight to your stacks. What you will find are smaller, tighter, firmer muscles that take up much less room in your clothes. 

Bone Density
Another major plus in upping your weight bearing exercise is that it helps to ward off osteoporosis. This tends to skyrocket once women reach menopause and a guy's testosterone levels fall off. Dairy based protein and calcium such as whey, is an excellent source of these nutrients without being loaded with fat. Running, cycling, walking and hiking are all great aerobic workouts but they are not weight bearing exercises. In order to build new bone cells or osteoblasts vs osteoclasts you need to put some weight on that bar!

Increasing Your Weights
Another good thing about proper recovery is that it prepares your muscles for increase without injury. It's one of the reasons why I'm now appreciating the NeoCell Collagen supplements. Not only do I recover faster but the next weight training day, I'm able to move ahead either in weight or reps. No matter which you choose, listen to your body. It if means grunting out only five more reps than last it. Your muscles will thank you for it.

Lat bar reps result in toned shoulders, arms and torso that benefit other exercise activities.

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