Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

Circuit training to improve muscular endurance


Circuit training is used to enhance overall fitness levels. It increases muscle endurance, cardio-vascular fitness, flexibility as well as endurance. Circuit training involves very small numbers of rest intervals unlike other exercise regimen followed for increasing muscle endurance. Consequently, the number of repetitions is much more than other forms of endurance training.

Circuit training exercises are quite popular with laymen i.e. non-athletes in gyms because this offers a more diverse set of exercises than just plain cycling or running. Circuit training program can be designed for a particular sport which will include exercises that will develop the particular muscles required for that sport. It is concerned more with the structure of the exercise rather than the type of exercise. Several different aerobic exercises are combined with weight-lifting exercises to force the heart to work harder leading to an improvement in cardiovascular fitness. Circuit training can be used for a variety of purposes such as strength development, strength endurance development and general fitness. General fitness is good for people short on time. Strength development is more necessary for athletes who are in the early preparation stage. It also helps players while playing competitive sport as the different set of alternating exercises helps in quick recovery of muscles. Strength endurance development is required by the players or athletes to increase their overall performance of their game. Since different types of sport require specific designed programs, a program for a marathon runner will differ considerably from one who plays soccer.

Before starting circuit training, one must decide the goal of training. As the time of rest is less, so different sets of exercises are used hat exercise one group of muscle while the other group rests. Select the place for circuit training carefully keeping in mind your rest periods. As rest periods are brief, hence the facility should offer a variety of machines. You must use machines that are closely placed to each other. If you want to complete your training program without interruptions, then preferably exercise at a time of day when less people would be around. Keep plenty of fluids nearby so that you are properly hydrated during the training session. Approximately half an hour into the session, take some carbohydrates and proteins to replenish the nutrients depleted in the training program. And most important exercise within your limits. Stop exercising if at any moment you feel a headache or a fainting spell coming on.


October 18, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Strength training and weight loss


Going on a diet” for most people means not eating anything or eating less than what is nutritionally required. But the truth is, “going on a diet” should not be “going off the diet”. Weight loss and dieting is not simply about starving oneself to just to reduce your weight. Interestingly, it means eating the right food and burning the right amount of calories to put those fats away and keep that muscle mass. Otherwise, faulty dieting will only result in losing muscles and keeping those fats, with little to no improvement in your body weight.

Strength training is an effective way to achieve weight loss by burning those stored calories that make you gain fat. Unlike other physical fitness programs, strength training does not only burn the calories while performing the exercise and it burns even more calories by elevating the resting metabolism rate permanently. A resting metabolism rate is the average amount of calories that is metabolized by the body while at rest or mild work such as walking or standing. Since it counts for about 60 to 75% of your daily calorie expenditure, an increase in the resting metabolism rate will help you burn more fat without losing muscle mass. Performing strength training regularly will significantly contribute to permanent weight loss.

Another advantage of strength training over other fitness programs is the less time needed to perform the exercises. For example, while one needs to workout in a gym for at least two hours, you only need to regularly do a 30 minute workout once or thrice weekly. The exercises in a strength training program makes you work against resistance in order to boost workout intensity in order to develop muscle mass and stamina. Common methods of working out against resistance include weight lifting, elastic bands and body weights. By intensifying the workout levels, you boost metabolism in your muscle tissues which burns up to 50 calories per pound. By gaining another five pounds of muscle to your body through strength training, you can actually burn another 250 calories everyday by just resting or mild work. Doing strength training regularly will further increase your basal metabolic rate, transforming your body into a fat burning and muscle building machine.

In order to achieve maximum results, it is highly recommended to get advice from a fitness expert so you could not just only get started safely and prevent any injury, but also gain the best consequences. Your personal trainer can design a strength training program that is tailored for you. In order to gain maximum effects of weight loss through strength training, it is also important to listen to your body’s condition. Do not try to push your body further when you are too sick or when you feel unwell. Overstressing your body would not do you any good as this will only contribute to lower your physical aptitude and make you vulnerable to sickness and injury.


October 18, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | 3 Comments

Strength and endurance training


Whether you’re an athlete or just someone who’s health-conscious, it always pays to do some exercise. Especially for those who are beyond their prime, exercise helps regulate the blood and oxygen circulation in the body, aside, of course, from trimming the fat and shaping those curves and contours in one’s bodyscape. But little do we know that there are different types of exercises. While some exercises were designed to maximize our body’s strength, some were specifically designed to make us endure, or to put it more strongly, to train and condition our bodies to endure. Well, between strength and endurance training, there is no need for us to choose. We need them both.

The body is created to adapt to its environment, its pleasures as well as its pressures. The idea of applying pressure to make body parts attractive and shapely is culled from this principle. That’s why trainees would usually begin as strength trainees, where they’ll follow the usual lifting of heavy weights with brief periods of rest between workouts and the workout itself. This is the type of training aimed towards developing strength in the individual. However, this, too, has its disadvantages, especially for athletes. Why athletes? Because most athletes do not need more strength training. Actually, not just athletes, but common folk as well. Sometimes, it is endurance training that one really needs.

Perhaps, this is why some athletes can workout for hours in the gym for a long time, but when they do ordinary chores, they find it hard to do. Seen in this light, a good dose of endurance exercises in a regular basis becomes beneficial. Take for instance, any activity, not necessarily exercise, like lifting up some things in the garden for your wife or in the garage. No doubt, strength will be needed in this activity. However, maintaining the amount of strength throughout an hour or two of work will need another thing: endurance. Endurance actually complements what our strength can achieve.

So how, then, do we increase strength-endurance? Experts believe that designing a program that will help trainees attain three things is essential. These three things are the use of heavy weights, volume, and short rest period in between workouts. Heavy weight lifting surely strengthens the body. The wisdom here lies in the fact that the heavier the weight lifted, the better the chances for the body to endure weight. Why shortened rest periods? Because you want to maximize your body’s potential to endure. Remember this simple advice: endurance is hampered when the body is pampered. And volume-this plainly means that you increase the amount of work or pressure you exert on the body.

It’s like moving one step from where you were yesterday, which is exactly, what endurance is about.


October 18, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | 1 Comment

Endurance training for football

The sport football demands a lot from its players. It requires its players to possess a multitude of abilities. Hence strength training forms the basic foundation for any football player. To reach the full potential, using absolute strength is just not enough. Whatever is gained in strength should be converted into explosive power. The player with the greater power is the best one on the field. The other factors required for a player to have are flexibility and mobility, muscle balance and endurance, explosive acceleration and speed. Significant anaerobic energy is required by the players during running on a field. This means, a player with better muscle strength can perform better without being fatigued or requiring a long recovery period. Since football players need to run very fast, endurance training is a must for them.

A basic strength training program is required by the football players to optimize their performance. The program should include different types of strength training as football calls for the use of diverse kinds of strength which differs from position to position. Strength training for football is a science that necessitates the use of a structured approach. Besides, focusing on specific muscle groups, it is also necessary to strengthen the core strength of the body. Core muscles include all the muscles that stabilize the pelvis and spine. Abdominal muscles, spinal musculature and pelvic musculature all come under the core category of muscles. Core training program helps by increasing the efficiency of movement, improving stability and balance, reducing the risk of injury, power output from legs and arms increases besides the core musculature resulting in an overall enhancement of performance. Balance boards, medicine balls and stability balls can be used for core training programs. A simple weight training program for increasing the endurance of football players is as follows:

Warm-up session should be included before the actual training program so as to loosen the muscles and make them contract and relax easily. The actual training program includes doing push-ups, lunges, sit-ups and similar exercises. Push-ups can be up or down or done with a clap. Similarly, sit-ups can be done with hands behind neck and crossed on shoulders position. Medicine balls, stability balls next come into the picture. They mimic movements that cannot be done with free weights. The right combination of weight training programs would cause a significant increase in the performance of football players on field.


October 18, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | 1 Comment

Muscular endurance training


Muscular endurance can be defined as the capacity of the muscles to contract repeatedly against a moderate force for an extended time period. It is vitally important for people playing various types of sports that involve physical activity for a long time say tennis, football, etc. Infact, it is critical for every kind of fitness activity. There are two types of muscle fibers in the body, fast twitch and slow twitch. A large amount of force can be exerted by the former but for small periods while the latter can exert only moderate force but for quite long periods. This means it is important for slow twitch muscles to develop in muscle endurance training. Muscular endurance can be of many types such as Repetitive dynamic contraction (rowing), Continuous tension (Mountain climbing) and Prolonged intense contractions coupled with short rest periods (some types of weight training, handball). A very good example of muscular endurance is cross-country running. To develop overall muscle development, one has to exercise all the major muscle groups involving several different sets of exercises. Since performing a strength exercise in a single position would develop muscles only in that position, hence movement is required through the complete series of motion. An individual has t o first identify his weak muscles by working through a complete set of exercises and then focus on them to equalize the strength of all the muscles. This helps the muscle to balance, flexibility and stretch. Infact, if the muscles do not develop proportionally, then the performance of an athlete may get diminished. To develop muscle endurance, the muscles have to be overloaded. That is when the build-up slowly occurs. It is also important to rest in between work-outs.

By getting involved in any cardiovascular workout, you can improve muscular endurance. As a matter of fact, even walking can do wonders for the health and leg muscles but upto a point. Exercises like chin-ups, push-ups etc can enhance the muscles of the upper body. Muscle endurance includes both the aerobic and anaerobic forms of exercise. The former includes weight-lifting repetitions and an example of the latter can be jogging. But as with other endurance training, it is very easy to overdo muscle endurance training and cause injuries. It is always better to moderate the exercises. Studies have shown that increasing the load gradually in moderate amounts develops the muscles in the same way but with a significant lower incidence of injuries.


October 18, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Strength training equipment

Unlike some other physical fitness programs, strength training does not need costly or sophisticated equipment. On the other hand, strength training focuses on operating a group or groups of muscles against resistance until they are overloaded and contracts with greater energy. This resistance can be produced in many ways such as work out machines, barbells, air cylinders, elastic machines and even body weight. It is best to work with an exercise specialist in designing a strength training program that is fitted to your physical needs and the part of the body that one needs to develop. Starters usually begin with mild to moderate resistance exercises. The intensity and level of strength will increase gradually as the program progresses.

Workouts in a strength training program are arranged according to repetitions and sets. For example, lifting a barbell once is called repetition. A set, on the other hand, is a series of repetitions done continuously. Several specific exercises are integrated into the whole training program. During each exercise, a determined number of repetitions for one or more sets are prescribed. Each set is supposed to be performed correctly in order to cause the muscles to be fatigued but without extreme strain.

There is no special training equipment to be used in strength training. Instead, common gym equipments are usually used. Among the basic equipments used is a 50 lb dumbbell set with two dumbbells each of 5 lbs, 8 lbs and 12 lbs. Having a barbell set can also give you the opportunity to lift heavier weights in order to improve both big and small muscles groups. An aerobic step can also be used in strength training for a lot of uses such as a weight bench, as an incline bench or as a decline bench. In order to improve one’s balance and color step, an exercise ball can be used for abdominal workout or as a weight bench as you work on stabilizer muscles. An exercise ball can also be used for pushups and lower body exercises.

Especially when the strength training program includes chest and back exercises and quick abdominal workout or triceps dips, a weight bench can be used. An adjustable bench can be set up as an incline or decline bench. If you want a whole body work-out, then a resistance band would just be the right equipment to give you a different sort of resistance unlike what lifting weights do. However when working on the stabilizer muscles of lower body parts like the thighs, one can instead use an ankle weights for exercises like standing leg lifts or leg extensions.

Finally, the last gym equipment that you need to have when undergoing a strength training program is to have an exercise mat. An exercise map is best for abdominal exercises such as curl ups, toning exercises or whatever routine is prescribed in the program. The various exercises which are included in a strength training program can be performed using any of these gym equipments. However, it is very important that when using them, the right form is maintained and the prescribed number of sets and routines is closely completed.


October 18, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | 1 Comment