Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Going to the Gym Too Much?

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen I work out at the gym everyday! Is too much?

A.Many studies conducted at universities around the world have clearly shown recuperation from strength training requires far more rest time than previously thought. In fact, some studies show that muscles are still overcompensating and getting stronger for up to 21 days after the previous workout.

Researchers have found fitness enthusiasts can reduce the time they spend working out by two-thirds and still achieve the same results. A study involving male weightlifters has suggested it is actually counterproductive to spend hours exercising.

Those who exercised less saw significant decrease in body fat. The study focused on 16 students aged 19 to 23 who already worked out regularly. They were split into two groups. Both carried out upper-body training three times a week for eight weeks. One group did one set of eight repetitions; the other did three sets of the same exercise.

At the end of the study, both groups had improved "significantly" in terms of muscular strength, according to researchers from the health and exercise science unit at the University of Glamorgan in Pontypridd, Wales. Report author Dr. Julien Baker says, "This study indicates that it is counter-productive to spend hours at the gym, and that a shorter workout can achieve exactly the same results.

Muscles take between four to seven days to fully recover from a workout and another two to three days for overcompensation to take place. It can also take seven to 14 days for the neuro-muscular system to fully recover from a high-intensity strength-training session.

In 30 years working in gyms, I’ve observed the same people continuing to train week in and week out, three to four and even more times a week -- even though they haven’t made progress in months or even years of training.

I have found through experience that any strength-training program that has you in the gym three or more times a week will have you plateau within four to five weeks and nothing you do will shift you from this plateau short of cutting back on training, which will restart the gaining processes again.

The only exception to this rule is the beginner whose strength will increase through neurological adaptations for up to three months after starting strength training. Also, perfect technique must be maintained and followed to maximize the training stimulus on the muscle and to minimize the risk of injury during this period

Studies have concluded that split strength-training programs have been shown to be no more beneficial than full-body training programs.

The training frequency that you, and everybody else, should use is variable, not fixed. As a way to develop more muscle, the intensity of your workouts has to progress upward. If they remain at the same intensity, there is no reason for new muscle to grow. If you want to train effectively you have to understand the relationship between the increasing intensity of your workouts and the decreasing frequency of those workouts.

The two main components of strength training are the intensity of the exercise and the recovery after the exercise. Infrequent, short, high-intensity weight-training sessions, followed by the required amount of time to recover and become stronger are what is needed to increase functional muscle size.

Your rest days are just as important as your training days. By giving your muscles more time to recover between strength training sessions you will be on the road to major gains in strength, muscle size and fat loss.

So there you have it: It's not the training volume, but the intensity and recuperation that are important when it comes to gains in strength and muscle!

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program.Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health!

Glen Edward Mitchell

Any questions? Ask Glen

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Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

Any Questions? Ask Glen!