The Purpose of Exercise
Many people think the reason we exercise is simply to burn calories for weight loss. The true purpose of exercise is to send messages to the body requesting enhanced physical capabilities such as improvements in metabolism, strength, and aerobic (lung) capacity. You will see these improvements with any of our personal weight training programs.
At The FIRM U, we seldom prescribe cardio in our weight loss training programs. The key to weight loss is being able to change your metabolism and your metabolism is much easier to alter with weight training than cardio. There is no metabolic effect after a cardio workout. When you burn 500 calories doing cardio (takes about an hour), that’s all you get. When you burn 500 calories with weight training, you not only balance your muscle and bone structure, you continue burning calories as your body repairs the breakdown and buildup of muscle, increasing your metabolic system. The result: FAT WEIGHT LOSS, not water weight loss. And…muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.
Resistance weight training is #1 for fat loss. Read our recent blog on cardio versus weight training for fat loss.
What Weight Training Does for Your Body
- Increases insulin sensitivity. Then you won’t need as much insulin -a WIN for fat loss!!
- Decreases cellulite (contracting muscles move along the lymph system).
- Increases glycogen storage (more muscle you have to put glucose in, the less gets stored as fat).
- Sweating is an excretory function (Detox! Kidneys don’t have to do all the work.)
- Lipase enzymes are activated by heat. They break up fat to feed to the working muscle to burn instead of sugar. This continues up to 15 hrs!
- Increases resting metabolic rate. Your body has to restore its core temp and repair tiny muscle tears. Speeding up metabolism lowers citrate levels, thus lowering fat production.
- Increases lung capacity allowing for more oxygen. Fat only burns if enough oxygen is available. More 0xygen = more fat burn!
- Increases muscle mass. Fat is burned in the muscle. More muscle=more fat burned!
- Increases testosterone & HGH anabolic hormones. These burn fat.
- Reduces stress and lowers Cortisol, decreasing fat storage and appetite.
Your Personal Training & Weight Loss Experience
No Cross Fit, Biggest Loser, Xtreme, Insanity workouts with our personal training sessions. We like to keep all of our joints for the rest of our lives and figure you do, too.
The first step with our personal training program is a private fitness assessment and consultation where we establish fitness goals and review your current medications and physical limitations. Several options will be offered to get you to your fitness goals. Factors like age, gender, body fat %, and lifestyle are taken into consideration. Often, for men & women over 40, we suggest our optional weight loss/hormonal panel (only if you are unable to provide a current one). We believe “you can’t help the outside until you know what’s happening on the inside.”
Building the Foundation
We tailor training sessions to specific goals, physical limitations and medical conditions and monitor your progress through weekly body composition measurements. The trainer will review your diet log and provide nutrition guidance based on solid science and bodybuilding tradition. Each session is full of education on proper exercise form and technique and explanations of the muscles involved.
Personal training sessions will start with challenging your balance and stabilization to develop optimal communication between your nervous and muscular systems. Inefficient stabilization negatively affects the way force is produced by the muscles, increases stress at the joints, overloads soft tissues and eventually causes injury. In the beginning, you will be doing a fair amount of activities involving posture and body weight with some gym machine movements. Everything you do during exercise originates in your nervous system. To lose fat or build muscle more quickly, you will need to improve your nervous system signaling by following our effective nutrition plans.
We will then progress to Nautilus and Cybex machines to strengthen and balance your prime mover muscles. If you are not balanced all 3 ways- i.e. top to bottom…side to side…front to back, your stronger muscles will naturally stop growing and strengthening to protect your weaker muscles from injury. Most people have major imbalances from front to back because we do everything to the front because our eyes and hands are in the front of our bodies. Quads dominate hamstrings. “Pushing” muscles like chest and anterior deltoids overshadow the “pulling” muscles in the back like lats and rhomboids. We will be rather demanding that you use proper form and posture during exercises. Improper form reinforces muscle imbalances and won’t get you to your goal.
As you perform each exercise we will remind you to “stabilize” your body before moving. We then progress to using free weights using fluid, controlled movements to increase coordination. Free weights, like dumbbells, strengthen stabilizer muscles such as rotator cuffs and core muscles to increase your coordination.
Poor movement control = Poor coordination
Poor coordination = Poor muscular strength
The first few weeks will also include endurance training of the muscles by using low loads and high reps. Combining this with a balance-challenging environment forces the body to recruit more muscle to stabilize itself and in doing so also burns more calories. Stabilization and endurance allows you to maintain good posture all day long so you can happily eliminates backaches caused by muscle imbalances. By correcting prime mover muscle imbalances, developing increased coordination and using proper form, we can then safely bump up your weight load to increase your muscular strength and sculpt your muscles.
How Nutrition Fits In
Proper nutrition is an excellent way to alter body composition. In the first month, you may see weight loss if your hormonal environment is favorable and you are eating as we suggest. It may take longer than a month to see significant physical muscular changes. Be encouraged, though….many positive neuromuscular things are happening inside that you can’t see. We recently launched our own food service called Fit N Firm Foods in response to high interest from our clients for meal options that fit our anti-inflammatory nutrition mission.
Please see our home page for prices.