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Posts Tagged ‘strength

Upon beginning college, my knowledge expanded on so many topics beyond chemistry, public speaking and math; my vocabulary also broadened. As I became a regular at the TREC on Purdue’s campus, swiping in sometimes twice a day, I heard words like “swoll,” “yolked,” and “pumped” thrown around during casual gym conversation. It took me a while to keep straight all of the terms for attempting to build larger, stronger muscles. No matter what you call it, strength training will undoubtedly benefit any fitness regimen.

Yoga/Pilates:

These low impact options focus mainly on employing body weight to stretch and strengthen muscles. Yoga offers the added bonus of stress relief, potential injury prevention, and internal detoxification. During a typical yoga flow class you can expect to use a yoga mat on which you will bend, twist, and hold your way to a more lean core and centered self. A pilates class consists of various moves usually carried out using only the participant’s body; however, some moves can be intensified by using props like resistance bands or small medicine balls. For those who want to combine the flexibility training of yoga with the strengthening of pilates, I suggest looking for a fusion or Piyo class in your area. Visit yogajournal.com for some fantastic at-home options.

Muscular endurance workouts:

Classes that focus on building endurance in total-body muscle groups are becoming popular in clubs nationwide. Classes like Body Pump and Body Sculpt train your muscles to endure moderate stress for elongated periods of time and typically work every major muscle group. Similar workouts can be completed in a gym setting by doing high repetitions and low weight for various exercises. Many DVD programs like Pump by Beachbody employ the principle of building muscular endurance. Working with lower weights allows athletes and non athletes alike to experience the straightening benefits of lifting weights while preventing injury.

Pumping iron:

You know what this is: grunting, 8-12 reps, ridiculous facial expressions, old fashioned weight-lifting. I have a strong belief that only certain body types adapt well to this type of training. If you are thin and have difficulty building muscle, this is the way to go. Personally, my athletic frame eats up this type of workout and builds muscle way too rapidly for my taste. However, if you want to look good in your pocket-flap jeans, or add some definition to those toothpick arms…go heavy or go home! The feeling of lifting heavy weights is fantastic and, if you build muscle at a steady state, it can be highly rewarding to gain strength. Make sure that if you choose to go the getting “swoll” route, you look into safety tips for the different exercises you plan on doing.

The elliptical and treadmill can only do so much folks; flex a little bit, get a good muscle tremor going and supplement that cardio routine.

Tomorrow: Whatever hits me on my run in the morning!

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