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Posts tagged ‘training’

Women ~ A Special Group? A Training Enigma?

It’s common to separate our general healthy population into what is called special populations.  The special populations are children, older adults and women.  While there are valid age considerations, it’s sometimes a bit ridiculous to call females a special group.  You see, human cells are human cells.  Muscle cells are not sex specific.  So, women are not “special” when considering training groups.  There is a difference in hormones between men and women, specifically Testosterone, and Estrogen, and hormones will be considered.  But, there is also a difference in the amount of hormones even among different men.  Now being sensitive to one of the common fears of some women of waking up one morning to find themselves looking manly big (and hairy!)  This isn’t going to happen, to a woman or a man.  Progression and muscle growth is slow.   At any point you decide you’re happy with your results, adjust your program respectively.

A nutritional consideration for males but, sometimes ignored by females, is adequate protein intake.  Often females, unlike males, will eat plenty of vegetables while skipping the protein rich foods (perhaps due to higher calories).   Protein is necessary for recovery and repair for general health and is even more important to an athlete.

Developing a base strength through bench presses, squats and, dead lifts, is important to women, and men.  But, men are stronger, right?  Well, relative to lean mass, there is less of a difference between men and women.  This means that once only muscle mass (muscle weight) is considered, women are much closer in strength (more so lower body than upper) to men.  Something to consider however is that women are more prone to knee injury.  It is theorized that due to joint flexibility, hip joint (femur angle to knee) women experience more injuries.  This should direct workouts to pay attention on strengthening the quads, hamstrings, adductors and abductors on women.  Essentially, calling for a 360 degree primary exercise focus on ensuring the supporting structures are strong for female athletes and therefore less likely to be injured.  A female working within their bodyweight during all exercises is generally a good idea.  There are exceptions of course and mostly due to thorough training and training experience.  But bodyweight is a good place to start.  This brings up another common criticized action called “partials”.  A partial is performing an exercise in less than the exercise’s full range of motion.  Performing partials are okay.  The goal is to reach full range of motion however.

Are You Exercising or Training?

The objective of your effort was the premise of Mr. Rippetoe’s article, “Rippetoe Throws Down.”  Perhaps more specifically Rippetoe wrote to induce or justify that increasing strength should be yours and everyone else’s objective, or you’re just sweating and getting tired without purpose.  I would suspect that most of Mr. Rippetoe’s articles take this “get strong or go home” perspective, just a guess of course.  I certainly agree with his stance on strength training.  However, Rippetoe clearly minimizes other physical traits important to life and specifically sports performance like technique, balance, speed, and endurance.  And, “exercise” as described by Rippetoe does go against his claim and produces the long-term benefit of health.

Rippetoe, Mark. “T NATION | Rippetoe Throws Down.” T NATION | The Intelligent and Relentless Pursuit of Muscle. N.p., 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. < http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/rippetoe_throws_down>.

A Resource for Muscles & Their Actions

I found exrx.net to be a good collection of exercise related information with a seemingly limitless number of muscle-associated exercises listed.  I had a muscle in mind and it was the first muscle I searched for, the Iliocostalis.  I wasn’t able to locate it initially.  After clicking around, I found it under “waist exercises”.  On the waist exercises page I was able to click the section title “Erector Spinae” and then land on the page detailing the anatomy and description of the three main erector muscles, which included the Iliocostalis.  And another curiosity to mention was that exrx.net had the Pectoralis Minor listed as a synergist to the Pectoralis Major and the Pectoralis Major as a shoulder extension, adduction and abduction muscle.

“Weight Training, Exercise Instruction & Kinesiology.” ExRx (Exercise Prescription) on the Internet. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.  http://www.exrx.net/Exercise.html.

The Squat is King! Or, is it the Deadlift?

At bodybuilding.com I looked around a bit and saw a lot of solid information on proper form, technique and safety while performing the common, but complicated compound exercises.  While I’m not a fan of tons of ads confusing the reader it was a good website overall.  I read an article written by Curtis Schultz titled, “

I read an article written by Curtis Schultz titled, “Deadlifts: Learn Why The King Is Dead!” based on my interest to learn, do, and perform a correct heavy deadlift.   There was accompanying video providing keys to the lift as well as many demonstrations.  After reading the article and watching the video I have a much better understanding of the equipment, hand & foot position, and total body posture advised for producing the maximum lift. I was left feeling inspired!

After reading the article and watching the video I have a much better understanding of the equipment, hand & foot position, and total body posture advised for producing the maximum lift. I was left feeling inspired!  You should check it out.

Schultz, Curtis . “Bodybuilding.com – Deadlifts: Learn Why The King Is Dead!.”Bodybuilding.com – Huge Online Supplement Store & Fitness Community!. N.p., 23 Apr. 2003. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.  http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/schultz3

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