Friday, February 18, 2011

Common mistakes made while engaging in strength and resistance training

In continuation of the last health tip I decided to take this time a closer look at “common mistakes made while engaging in strength and resistance training”.

  1. Failure to prepare
    Choose exercises specifically helpful to your particular training goals. Therefore plan ahead when starting a strength training routine.
  2. Choosing the wrong intensity
    No matter what the goal of your routine, whether you want to increase muscular strength or strength endurance (fatigue resistance) you need to place the right amount of demand on the muscle trained. The goal is to overload the muscle by using large workloads or through the number of sets and repetitions (work volume). Demanding less of your muscle than it can handle results in no or small gains. Too great of a demand can result in an incorrect performance of the exercise and expose you to an undue risk of injury.
  3. Ignoring the principal of “Super compensation”
    After overloading the muscle during strength training you need to give the muscles, ligaments and tendons the appropriate time for recovery. Too little time means the physiological adaptation (super compensation) to the training stimulus will not be complete (risk of over training). Too much time will lead to a reversal of the super compensation and a return to the level you started from. Typically we recommend strength training on 2-3 non-consecutive days per week.
  4. Too much too soon
    Successful strength training programs should be progressive in nature. As your muscle grows stronger and is able to handle larger work loads or work volumes you should increase the stress placed on the muscle if further gains are your goal. Ignoring the principal of gradual progression and starting to lift too much too soon can result in injury.
  5. Minimize the risks for failure and injury by:
    using proper technique when lifting, pulling or pushing a
    work load.
    Lift and lower the weight in a controlled fashion. Never “throw“ the weight!

    Synchronizing breathing and strength training. Remind yourself to exhale into the exertion part of the exercise, never hold your breath while strength training!

    maintaining the proportionate strength relationship of muscles that oppose each other (work on the same joint in opposite direction, i.e. biceps and triceps: one flexes the elbow the other extends the elbow). If this relationship looses it’ s relative strength balance the risk for injury increases!
I hope these tips will make your strength training safer and more effective.
In good health,
Hartmut Broring – M.S. Physio Therapy

My resolve is greater then ever!

When getting back from today's ride, freezing cold, wet to the bones and dirty and grimy I found an e-mail in my inbox send by one of our Team's Honorees (someone living with a form of blood cancer) that made me forget about my ride instantly and strengthened my resolve. I would like to share this e-mail with you.

"Hi Team,
This is important and I don’t want you to have to stand in the cold trying to hear it.  Saturday when it’s a little cold and maybe there’s a little spritz of rain and you’re wondering why you’re on a bike instead of inside a warm building I’d like you to think about someone-- Barbara Thomsen.  She has leukemia. It’s terminal--a matter of days.  I told her brother the team would keep her, her family, and him in our thoughts and prayers as we ride on Saturday.  If you’ve never had to watch a loved one die I can’t explain the agony.  If you have, you know what this family is going through.
I met her brother in an odd way.  On Wednesday I called customer service at Shurflo, a company in southern CA.  They make a product I need and while discussing it I realized they might also make one I could use for the team.  They do and I was told to send an email request to customer service and maybe I could get a donation. The message would be directed to the appropriate person.
I usually make requests for TNT via personal contact and although I had the email ready to send I just didn’t feel right about it. So I called the company and was directed to the appropriate person, Chris.  We had a 45 second conversation. He asked for info via email and said he’d take care of us. It was no big deal and literally took 45 seconds max. Within an hour Chris emailed me back with the details of what he was going to send us. This was so simple and fast I wondered why I bothered with the call. Twenty minutes later he emailed again.  This time it was to tell me his younger sister was terminal with leukemia and that he may not get back to Minneapolis in time to see her before she died.
It’s going to be cold tomorrow, and maybe even a little wet.  I guarantee you there are tens of thousands of blood cancer victims who wish they could do what you’re going to do tomorrow; families that would crawl the distance on their hands and knees if it would save a loved one.  So, here’s a real person and her brother. He’s doing what he can to help us. Let’s do this tomorrow as a gesture of support for Barbara, her family, and Chris. In two weeks I’ll have some cards you can sign and a team photo we can send. I thank you in advance.

To help me fight cancer please visit my web-site and donate to a very worthy cause.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Team In Training Update

Finished week 3 of Team In Training. This week I reduced cycling to three days and 110 miles in order to do bike and body maintenance. My week included, core stability training, TRX work-out, Yoga and a massage. Mi bike got new tubes, tires, pedals and a full cleaning and lubrication. yeah.

Please consider helping the Team that saves lives!
Find out more at:

Some of the most common mistakes made by exercisers engaging in aerobic activities

  1. Choice of inadequate work-out intensity
    To ensure a successful work-out you have to chose the right training intensity for yourself. Work-outs below this intensity zone fail to produce the desired results, work-outs above the zone increase your risk for injury or can reduce your wok-out time to the point where training results are diminished.

    • Intensity should range from 60% - 90% of ones maximum heart rate (220 beats per minute minus age = 100%; valid for healthy individuals only)

    • Your overall perception of effort should correlate with a feeling of “somewhat hard” (Rate of Perceived Exertion = RPE)

    • You should be able to keep up a conversation while exercising with a partner. Avoid huffing and puffing as it indicates a switch from an aerobic to an anaerobic work-out intensity.

  2. Failure to warm-up
    We suggest that our clients aim for a 45 minute aerobic work-out on 4-5 days per week (experienced exercisers can go beyond this recommendation). Our 45 minute recommendation is separated into 3 phases; warm-up – 10 minutes, zone training – 30 minutes, and cool-down – 5 minutes. Warming up and easing yourself into your “training zone” helps prevent an excessive build up of lactic acid at the beginning of your work-out and allows for a safer and more effective training.

  3. Failure to rest
    Even though you might feel like aerobic activities could go on forever and you could do them every day, your body does need an occasional day or two off to recover from the physical demands aerobic activities are placing on muscles and joint structures.

  4. Exercise in vain
    Too many of us are more worried about the way we look in the gym or on the track rather than paying attention to comfort and practicality when deciding what to wear. Chose lightweight clothes that are made with breathable materials and keep the sweat off the skin. Further ensure proper footwear, with good shock absorption and support for food and ankle structures.

  5. Adding ankle and/or wrist weights
    Beside offering very limited training benefits, weights attached to wrist and ankle can change your gait and exercise mechanics and place undue stress on muscles and joints.

  6. Aerobic monotony
    Many aerobic exercisers are engaging in the same type of exercise (most commonly walking or jogging) for weeks, months and years. Adding a variety of different types of aerobic activities such as swimming, cycling, or roller-blading to your routine will not only improve your aerobic capacity but also help avoid repetitive stress injuries (different exercises place stress on different muscles and joints) and exercise boredom.
In good health,
Hartmut Broring