Getting Ready For Summer
By Raymond Shipley
There are myriad rules to be followed in life, and fitness is no different. Volume, intensity, rep ranges, cadence, form, etc all play an important factor in one's overall goal, and the variables chosen should assist in the endeavor to reach both short and long term objectives. With that said, I thought this week I would impart a little wisdom in the way of explaining in brief what the actual role resistance training plays in the sojourn to a fit body.
When a client's overall goal is aesthetic, ie looking better, there are three aspects to life that must be on point to achieve maximum results: nutrition, cardio, and weight training. It should come as no surprise that as a trainer I have virtually no control over one's nutrition. I can suggest things, have one download apps, even write meal plans with proven success; however, short of actually spoon feeding someone, there really will need to be some personal responsibility in this area. I always offer my clients assistance, but one's willpower will really be tested on this.
Next is cardio. Let's be honest: in a resistance training session it would seem an epic disservice to have one perform cardiovascular exercise the full time, and an even bigger waste to do partial cardio, which really wouldn't effect a change anyway. Trust me, although I'm not a fan of performing cardio necessarily, I have done more than my share, including but not limited to 2,500 burpees in a single session, hiking with over 60 pounds on my back for over an hour before performing manual labor (line cutting) for a fire line/break and then hiking over an hour back to base camp, running non-stop for over 2 hours (not sure of distance), and much more. If the interest is in being broke off on cardio, I can do this very, very easily. But that's not usually why clients pay as much as they do in order to train. The cardio at the gym is as simple as push start, and go. Please, don't pay someone to watch you do this.
This leaves us with weight training, which is where our focus typically lies. There is a huge discrepancy as to exactly how many calories a pound of muscle burns at rest, so I'm not going to get into a debate here. However, according to Paige Kinucan and Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico "4.5 lbs of muscle mass would increase the resting metabolic rate by about 50 kilocalories per day." While not sounding like a lot, I wouldn't throw in the towel on that at all, and I think we can all agree that muscle assists in our overall goal of being healthier. Thus, during a training session the goal, unless otherwise noted, should be to increase muscular hypertrophy, while active calorie burn is taken care of by nutrition and cardiovascular exercise independent of said session.
Everyone has an unique goal and vision for their fitness endeavor, and it is my job to help manifest that ideal into reality. It is through communication this is possible, and as far as I'm concerned I have yet to come across a goal that was impossible to reach if dedication was there and genetics wasn't throwing in a trump card.