Differences between CrossFit and Orange Theory


Group fitness training is a highly effective way to train.

Two popular methods of group training are CrossFit and Orangetheory Fitness. If you have been trying to find a fitness program to help you get stronger, lose weight, or improve your health and energy you may have had some questions about the program for you. Let’s take a look at some of the facts about CrossFit and Orangetheory Fitness to help you make an informed decision on these training options.

A key difference

One of the key differences to know between CrossFit and Orangetheory is that CrossFit gyms are affiliated and Orangetheory is a franchise. CrossFit affiliation means that the location and it’s coaches are certified in the CrossFit Methodology, the workouts, class structure, and equipment used is dictated by the individual owner. Orangetheory Fitness is a franchise so workouts, equipment, and class structure will be standardized amongst locations.

The Movements

CrossFit places an emphasis on functional movement and work capacity. Functional means movements that transfer over to everyday life, using your body to perform the movement it is capable of. Work capacity means being able to perform a certain body of work in a given amount of time. This requires you to standardize movement and lets you measure where progress. If you used to be able to perform 15 pushups in one minute and now you can perform 22 pushups in a minute you improved your work capacity.

CrossFit combines gymnastics, weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, monostructural (run/row/bike), and calisthenics movements in a variety of combinations. The program will generally reflect the style and background of what the gym owner is most comfortable teaching and believes will achieve the best results. For this reason you can witness unique fitness programming at each gym that you attend. You will learn the foundational movements CrossFit teaches like squatting and pressing. The great thing about CrossFit is that each movement and workout can be tailored to fit your unique needs. If a movement is outside your comfort zone then your coach can provide you with an alternative movement that replicates the movement pattern, but may be lighter weight or less technically demanding. Each individual in the class will get a similar result from the workout even though they have a wide range of strength and ability levels. Everyone moves forward together.

“Typically the world’s best athletes are minimalists when it comes to their training. They work hard and fast with few exercises. They master the fundamentals and work with them for years. This is the secret that no one wants to hear.”
-Greg Glassman, Founder of CrossFit

Orangetheory Fitness incorporates a combination of movements into their classes as well. Participants will run, row, and perform some light resistance training or calisthenics in a high intensity circuit style. You will generally not lift heavy weights and more emphasis is placed on the cardio component in these classes.

“We have a walker category, jogger category, and runner category. With this language I eliminated that fear people have when they walk in like, “oh no I’m not going to fit in.”
-Ellen Latham, Founder of Orangetheory Fitness

Class Structure

A CrossFit class generally consists of a discussion of the days workout and group introduction, a group warm-up, a strength or skill component, a metabolic training component known as the “workout of the day” or “WOD”, and a cool down or stretching session. These sessions are usually an hour long and are always lead by a coach who is certified by CrossFit.

Often times the gym will utilize specific programs designed to improve your strength in a particular lift or muscle group. Improving strength in compound lifts like the squat and deadlift recruits more high threshold motor units and is the most effective way to get stronger. This is a huge area where CrossFit differs from many other popular fitness programs. To truly perform at high intensity the workout must be designed for you to maintain intense effort in a single bout or multiple efforts with rest in between. The longer the duration of the exercise the less intensity you will be able to maintain.

Many programs just keep you moving for long lengths of time that merely grind you down. You might get sore or sweaty but you don’t improve in any measurable way. Learning how to safely and effectively lift heavy loads is a great way to improve muscle mass, burn fat, and build strong bones and joints. You should leave your workout feeling empowered to take on other tasks in your life.

Orangetheory utilizes heart rate monitors to keep you aware of your metabolic output. Your heart rate corresponding with an intensity zone is displayed for you to view. Each class will have you spend time exercising in different zones. Measuring your exertion allows you to improve your fitness if you are able to manage your heart rate in set zones for set durations of time. Similar to CrossFit you will spend time performing a warm-up, both strength training and cardio elements, and a cooldown. More emphasis is placed on the heart rate to achieve a cardiovascular response.

Cost

When it comes to your health the cost of a fitness program is always a great investment. CrossFit is usually purchased as a monthly membership with common options being unlimited classes or 3x per week. The cost typically ranges between $100-$250 with the biggest factors being what the gym offers balanced with cost of living in the area. You can usually begin with a free trial or consult to see how well you like it. The coaches will want to meet you to learn about your goals and any concerns you may have before you begin so they can set you up for success.

Orangetheory Fitness is a more informal process. You can purchase memberships for 4 times, 8 times, or unlimited classes each month with prices ranges from $59-$159.

Summary

Both CrossFit and Orangetheory Fitness are popular ways to train. In CrossFit you can expect more specific programming, a tighter community, and a great focus on strength development and functional training. Orangetheory Fitness is a bit more of a generic way to train and you can expect an upbeat cardio training session with less focus on weight training. Finding a gym that meets your specific needs is the key. A great coach is going to ask you about your goals, injuries, and experience levels. It’s all about finding a program that fits into your budget and lifestyle and most importantly delivers the results you want!

5 Common Mistakes in Low Carb Diets


High fat or low carb diets are a popular choice when it comes to styles of eating. Electing to eat more fat and minimize carbohydrate intake can be a great choice if you are trying to promote lean body mass, increase insulin sensitivity, and easily maintain health.
It is important that you consult with your doctor before beginning any new approach to your nutrition. Eating a diet higher in fat, with moderate protein, and lower in carbohydrate is beneficial for most people but may not be right choice for you under certain conditions. Healthy individuals however should consider the benefits of this eating approach. By avoiding these 5 Common Mistakes in your Low Carb Diets you will set yourself up for success.

Eating the same foods over and over.
Insufficient Carbohydrate Intake.
Missing Out on Key Vitamins and Minerals
You aren’t able to hydrate properly.
You don’t fuel before or replenish after a workout.

1. Eating the same foods over and over.
Lack of diversity is one of the most mistakes that can occur in many diets. With low carb diets this usually is a result of a limited range of choices for fats and a relatively small amount of carbohydrate consumption that limits the amount of foods you eat in that macronutrient.

For fats it is important that you include fats from a wide range of products including nuts, seeds, plants, meat, and fish. You should especially focus on including high quality polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that will give your body a healthy dose of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

For carbohydrates you should focus on getting most of your intake from vegetables, low glycemic fruits and starches, and unrefined whole grain foods. This will help you meet nutrient requirements and the fiber will help prevent spikes in blood sugar that can lead to cravings and fat storage.

2. Insufficient Carbohydrate Intake.
Another common mistake in low carb diets is actually going too low carb. Consuming healthy amounts of vegetables and low glycemic fruits will provide you the energy needed to get through your day. Unless you are trying to enter ketosis your body is running on glucose to fuel the brain. Unless you are practiced at fasting or burning fat as a fuel source you may experience swings in mood and energy levels by simply chopping carbs out of your diet. Most low carb diets still recommend 10-20% of intake from carbs. That means 200-400 calories throughout the day and leaves room for healthy foods like broccoli, carrots, and blueberries!

3. Missing Out on Key Vitamins and Minerals
When carbs are restricted it can be difficult to consume adequate levels of certain nutrients. One study looked at the Atkins diet, a popular low carb diet and found it delivered 100% of the RDI for only 15 out of 27 essential micronutrients. Incorporating a wide range of healthy carb choices will ensure you eat a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial phytonutrients. Low carbohydrate intake may not be the best long term plan without proper supervision and supplementation of certain micronutrients.

4. You aren’t able to hydrate properly.
Each gram of carbohydrate in the body can hold 2-3 grams of water. When we stop consuming carbohydrates it can be difficult for the body to maintain adequate hydration levels. Consuming salt, potassium, and other trace minerals becomes even more important when you choose low carb. Focus on high quality sea salt that will help replenish stores after sweating.

5. You don’t fuel before or replenish after a workout.
The final pitfall of a low carb/high fat diet is improper fueling before and after exercise. During bouts of intense activity the body demands more fuel to sustain intensity and output. Many folks who don’t consume carbs before a workout tend to feel weaker and sluggish during exercise. They then try to fuel their performance with caffeine and stimulants which further deplete them and place additional strain on the central nervous system. Consuming carbs before a workout will help boost performance and allow the body to train longer and harder.

After exercise the body needs to refuel glycogen stores. Any carbs consumed after a workout are going to be shuttle into muscle cells and stored as glycogen for energy later. By refueling your body during this time you set the tone for your next workout.

Have you made one or more of these mistakes in your nutrition? No worries. Information is key and working with a coach who has the right information is the best way to get the results you want!

Check Your Ego at the Door


“Greatness comes from humble beginnings; it comes from grunt work. It means you’re the least important person in the room—until you change that with results.” -Ryan Holiday

As an athlete you know how to work hard.

You show up day in and day out. You keep track of your training, nutrition, and recovery. But do all your actions truly align with a deeper goal. The one you say you want to accomplish but still feel hesitant towards. Are you truly on the path to mastery?

In his book Ego is the Enemy, author Ryan Holiday tackles the difficult topic of the place of ego in success. So often we become impatient on our path to success. We get caught up in what is unfair. We want to boast or show off and show the world our best side. All the while neglecting our weakness. Avoiding the work truly necessary to get better.

Can you think of a time in the past few weeks when you let ego get the best of you?

In this moment you were probably not taking the best course of action. Not focused on your values, who you want to be, or on taking action toward your goals. This can be problematic if you consistently let ego get the best of you.

Wanting to be the best will make you train hard toward your goals. Thinking you are the best can even have its place. If you are an athlete and need to go into every contest or event with confidence that you can win. But when you begin to act and treat everyone else like you’re the best…well that’s when you start running into problems.

The danger of ego is directly related to the reality distortion field it creates. You have seen examples of this in those who have achieved some levels of success. In business, music, and certainly in sport there are countless men and women who have made fatal blunders due to unruly egos. Often times they think themselves invincible and surround themselves with a team of people who only feed the ego and let it grow out of control.

Compare this to an individual who has their ego in check. By getting out of your head, detaching from the internal dialogue, emotional language, and most importantly, the outcomes of a situation, you will be in a much better place to decide and act.

Winston Churchill says, “facts are better than dreams”. If you can be realistic with your current standing or status it sets you up for true success. You will know where to leverage your strengths, how to attack your weaknesses, and have a realistic view of the challenges and competition that could get in your way.

How about in the gym – Are you checking your ego when you train?

Working with a coach is one of the best ways to get a reality check. They can hold you accountable when you try to skip the warmup you should be giving more effort toward. They make sure you get deep enough on every rep of your squat.

They’re not just fitness police though. They’ll tell you when it’s time to put more weight on the bar. To tell you exactly the strategy you need to execute in competition. They may not always give you the answer you want, but always the answer that you NEED.

If you have a specific health or fitness goal you want to achieve don’t let ego get in the way and keep you from making progress. Reach out today to speak with with one of our coaches. Click here to sign up for a 20-minute member check-in with a coach to review your goals and strategize the best path to achieve them.

Sugar: An Athlete’s Survival Guide


As an athlete or someone who cares about their health and fitness it is important to make dietary choices that are nutritious.

One of the biggest battles faced by Americans today is contending with the high amounts of sugar that seem to be everywhere in the foods that we eat. Sugar seems to sneak its way into many of the foods and drinks we consume daily without us even realizing it. This can be detrimental to our health, training, and body composition goals because sugar can provide unnecessary calories, impact our mood, alter cognitive function and energy levels, and impact so many other vital functions in our bodies.

Sugar, What it is?

Simple sugars are the most basic form of carbohydrates known as a monosaccharides. You will often hear these referred to as glucose, fructose, and galactose. These ringed structures are also the building blocks for larger compounds such as disaccharides like sucrose (table sugar), and polysaccharides like starch (foods like potatoes, corn, and wheat).

What does it do in my body?

Our body actually runs off the simple sugar known as glucose. With the exception of individuals in nutritional ketosis, our bodies actually require sugar to perform vital functions to survival. Our brain is actually the biggest sugar hog in our body and consumes approximately 120 grams of glucose daily, thats about 420 calories worth! That glucose can come from our diet or produced through a process called gluconeogenesis in the liver.

Even though our body loves glucose it needs to moderate the levels of glucose in the bloodstream. A steady stream of glucose is preferred to large amounts because consistent excessive amounts can cause problems in our bodies. Its like filling up the gas tank in your car. You need to put in the proper amount of fuel and have a maximal capacity for storage. You keep the fuel in the gas tank even though there is more room in the trunk of your car. If you filled your trunk with gasoline it would no longer serve its useful purpose as fuel and would be very dangerous.

What if I have too much?

To prevent our body from excessive glucose levels in the blood we have the hormone insulin to help store the glucose we don’t need as fat. This is like having those handy little red 5 gallon gas containers. When the tank of the car is full we simply start filling our storage containers to save the energy for later. Having a little bit of extra fuel on reserve is always nice, but we don’t need to store extra fuel every single day or we end up with a problem. We get fat, among other things.

So when can I have sugar?

As an athlete sugar is important for refueling our body after exercise. This makes sure that we have enough fuel in the tank the next time we want to go for a drive. If we want to drive fast and race however we don’t want to carry any extra storage containers in the form of fat. That will only impede performance. Most of our diet should consist of healthy fats, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates in the form of vegetables that will not spike our blood glucose levels.

You can and should strive to get all your calorie needs, including your sugar needs, from real food, not processed junk like candy, cola, energy drinks etc. Fueling up after a workout can easily be done with a snack or small meal and  protein and/or BCAA supplementation. Try to stick with carbs and protein only for post workout fueling.

If you have questions about the optimal food choices for your diet to optimize performance you can contact one of our nutrition coaches who can get the best out of an athlete with their direction. Nutrition is a highly personalized journey and can take some refining and tweaking to optimize. Once you dial in what is best for you there is nothing that can get in your way!

– Eat Clean…Train Mean, 6-week Nutrition Challenge –


– Eat Clean…Train Mean, 6-week Nutrition Challenge –

Date: 4/16/18 – 5/26/18

Cost: $45 single, $30 each if you enroll a non-CFRA member with you*.

This challenge is going to first and foremost be a “reset” to hopefully allow everyone to get back on track and ready for summer! Nutrition is a critical part of results–no matter how hard you try you cannot out-train a bad diet. This is not simply a weight loss challenge. It is for anyone looking to see positive changes in their performance, energy levels, body fat percentage, and biomarkers, amongst many other things. Below you will find the details. This will be a six-week long, two part challenge.

Phase 1: The first three weeks will focus on quality of food. Like Coach Glassman’s first sentence of Fitness in 100 words, we will be eating “meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and NO SUGAR”   (there are some exceptions, see below in phase 1)

Phase 2: During the last three weeks, we will dial it in with the same quality food but with an added focus on quantity. To do this in the simplest, most user-friendly way, we will use the “hand method” for measuring during the challenge. This method will help you easily control the amount of protein, vegetables, and carbs at each meal.

There will be weekly meetings every Saturday at 10:15am in both the Orem and Springville locations for members to attend for feedback, help, and Q&A. This will be great for everyone to get together to swap ideas, struggles, wins, etc! The first challenge meeting will take place on Saturday, April 14 at 10:15 AM in Orem and Springville. This “pre-start” meeting will be to go over all the details of the expectations, benefits, and rules of the challenge.

*If you enroll a Non-CFRA Member friend with you, they will be allowed to work out here at the gym during the challenge.  We would like them to attend the fundamentals class, Monday through Thursday 6:30pm first, and then attend any class that fits their schedule.

 

 PHASE 1
Quality (20 days, ending May 5)

Most people are nutrient deficient in more ways than one. By choosing nutrient dense foods, we can help to eliminate those deficiencies and help bring our bodies back to homeostasis. On this plan, you will be choosing your foods off of a list. This will ensure we are eating the right types of foods for sustained health and longevity. You will notice the absence of things like bacon, sausage, and other high fat meats. Just like many of the processed carbohydrates we avoid, these foods are often void of nutrients, yet very dense in calories.

Permitted foods: (This is not a full list but an example of “whole foods” that are acceptable)

Permitted foods are “whole foods” – things that are grown or live in nature, and things that do not have a label on a package. Items on the outside of the grocery store, not in the isles.

Protein Carbohydrates Vegetables Fat
Chicken Breast
Chicken Thighs
Center Cut Pork Loin
Fish
90/10 (or above) grass fed beef/bison
Top Sirloin
Top Round
Tenderloin (beef/pork)
Eggs
Ground Turkey Breast (*90/10 or above)
Turkey Tenderloin
Turkey Breast
*NO DELI MEATS
*ALL MEATS MUST BE SKINLESSCottage Cheese
Beets
YamPotato
Sweet Potato
Butternut Squash
Acorn Squash
Plantains
All Fruits
Leafy Greens
Broccoli
Green Beans
Cauliflower
Peppers
Onions
Mushrooms
Asparagus
Zucchini
Eggplant
Cucumber
Radishes
Cabbage
Tomato
Brussel Sprouts
Carrots
Grass Fed Butter
Olive Oil
Coconut Oil
Avocado
Avocado oil
Macadamia oil
Homemade dressings (2 tbsp**)
Olives
Raw Almonds
Raw Pecans
Raw Walnuts
Raw Macadamia Nuts
Raw Nut Butter **
(No other ingredients and must be made with one of the above nuts)

Less ideal, but acceptable:

Plain Greek Yogurt, Brown Rice, Whole wheat Pasta, Nut milk varieties (unsweetened), Honey (2 Tablespoons), Whole Wheat bread (1 slice per meal, 2 max per day)

 

 PHASE 1 Daily Point System
(Day 1-20, ending May 5)

4 Points:  Perfect day of eating.
Example:  No cheats.

3 Points:  One minor slip.
Example:  Condiments (salad dressing, mayo, bbq sauce, ketchup, etc), one tortilla chip, one Cheerio, one bit or sip of anything that is not allowed.

2 Points:  Significant slip, but not an entire meal.
Example:  A half glass of wine or one beer, finished your kid’s Mac ’N Cheese, piece of bread at dinner.

1 Points:  Major slip, a full meal went bad.
Example:  You had Pizza or pasta for dinner, an alcoholic drink, or dessert.

0 Points:  More than one meal went bad throughout the day.
Example:  You went off the rails at dinner and then went out for drinks.

Bonus points:
1 Point:
 You worked out that day–either at an affiliate or a workout off the list of travel WODs* (up to 5 in 1 week, take some time to rest and go have fun you wild maniacs!).

*See below for list of travel WODs

1 Point: Drink at least 100 ounces of water each day

1 Point: Sleeping at least 7 hours each night

2 Points: Attending each weekly meeting

 

PHASE 2 Daily Point System
Quality & Quantity (days 21 – 41, ending May 26)

To keep it simple, we are providing a guide for how many meals/snacks you should eat each day and utilizing the “hand method” to help you measure out your meals. The infographic below explains how to use the hand method.

PHASE 2 Daily Point System
(days 21 – 41, ending May 26)

Quality points:

4 Points:  Perfect day of eating.
Example:  No cheats.

3 Points:  One minor slip.
Example:  Condiments (salad dressing, mayo, bbq sauce, ketchup, etc), one tortilla chip, one Cheerio, one piece, bit, or sip of anything that is not allowed.

2 Points:  Significant slip, but not an entire meal.
Example:  Finished your kid’s Mac ’N Cheese, piece of bread at dinner, or an alcoholic drink.

1 Points:  Major slip, a full meal went bad.
Example:  You had Pizza or pasta for dinner, more than one alcoholic drink, dessert.

0 Points:  More than one meal went bad throughout the day.
Example:  You went off the rails at dinner and then went out for drinks.

Quantity points:

2 Points: Perfect quantity of food

You have the correct amount of meals/snacks in a day

1 Point: minor slip 

You are within ½ a meal of your daily goal

0 points: major slip

You are more than ½ a meal over or under your daily goal.
Bonus Points:

1 Point You worked out that day–either at an affiliate, or a workout off the list of travel WODs, but only if you are traveling. (up to 5 in 1 week, take some time to rest and go have fun you wild maniacs!).

1 Point: Drink at least 90 ounces of water each day

1 Point: Sleeping at least 7 hours each night

2 Points: Attending each weekly meeting

The Prizes

All members who are perfect (meaning all 4’s, for the first 3 weeks of the challenge) will receive $20 cash!

The final winners of the challenge will be determined by total points, most body fat % lost, and greatest workout improvement.

We may also throw in random challenges that have prizes attached to completing them.

1st Place in points:
1 month membership to CFRA
$125 cash 

1 pair of Crossfit Shoes

2nd Place in points:
1 month membership to CFRA
1 pair of Crossfit Shoes

3rd Place in points:
1 month membership to CFRA
$75 cash

Most body fat % lost:

1 month membership to CFRA

$75 cash

 Most improved workout:

1 month membership to CFRA

$75 cash

 *1 winner per category only!

 

Travel WODs

Body weight
1. 35 Burpees, 50 Sit-Ups, 35 Burpees
2. 20 Min. AMRAP: 5 Chest Slapping Pushups, 10 Sit-Ups, 15 Air Squats
3. 4 Rounds: 400 meter Treadmill Run, 50 Air Squats
4. Tabata – 8 rounds each of 20 seconds “On”, 10 seconds “Rest”: Pushup, Air Squat, Sit-Ups, Burpees
5. 15 Min. AMRAP: 5 Strict Pull-Ups, 10 Jumping Lunges, 15 Sit-Ups

Dumb bells
1. 3 Rounds: .5 mile Treadmill Run, 20 Dumbbell Thrusters (30’s/20’s)
2. 10 Min. AMRAP: 7 Dumbbell Hang Clean and Jerks (40’s/30’s), 12 Burpees
3. 20 Min. AMRAP: 6 Strict Pull-Ups, 12 Dumbell Snatches (alternating), 18 Air Squats
4. “Dumbell DT” – 5 Rounds: 12 DL, 9 Hang Power Cleans, 6 Push Jerks (45’s/35’s)
5. 4 Rounds: .25 Treadmill Run, 20 Sit-Ups, 15 Dumbbell Hang Squat Cleans (35’s/25’s)

Meetings

Every Saturday we will meet to discuss how the past week went and prepare for the next week ahead. These meetings will last about 30 minutes and take place at 10:15AM at each location on the following Saturdays:

Pre-start meeting April 14 (1 hour)

April 14
April 21
April 28

May 5

May 12

May 19

May 26

Final meeting and Prizes May 12

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I supplement protein pre or post workout?
This will be different based on your own personal goals. A protein shake is not required. If you choose to have a protein shake, its best to have it within 1 hour after your workout. It is important that you are getting adequate fuel throughout the day to speed recovery and restore your glycogen. As long as you are eating a meal within 1-2 hours pre and post workout, you don’t really need a protein shake. If weight loss is your goal, we recommend trying to stick to whole foods, no shake.

What about Kill Cliff/FitAid?
Post workout only

BCAAs/Amino Acids/Electrolytes/Creatine?
Pre/intra/Post Workout Only

Alcohol?
Not permitted during the challenge

Condiments?
Balsamic vinegar (must be the only ingredient), red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, mustard, hot sauce (check label for additives/sugar), spices, and seasonings are okay (read the ingredients!), garlic cloves, herbs.

Sweeteners?
Only source of sweetener can come from whole foods, AKA Fruit, or 2 tablespoons of honey or less daily. No molasses, maple syrup, table sugar, coconut sugar, stevia, other artificial sweeteners.

What about eating out?
I understand that these cases do come up. For 41 days, we are asking you to prepare all of your meals at home, so you will be losing at least a point. If you eat out, do your best to portion the meal out and eat within the guidelines. Unless you know exactly how that meal was prepared (you watched it happen) you cannot get full points for it. This is called a challenge for a reason. While it is definitely not sustainable in the long term, we are looking for maximum results in this 6-week time span.

What if I’m still really hungry?
Communication is key, so please let me know how you are feeling along the way. Remember though, when we are eating at a calorie deficit to see weight/fat loss, it is normal to feel hungry. Make sure you are staying hydrated by getting plenty of water. You should never be “starving.” Work on timing out meals strategically to help keep you from going too long without eating. You can also save some of your “meal” for a snack.

Coffee/Tea?
These are okay, but need to be unsweetened, and a little milk is ok, but no more than ¼ cup total each day. Almond milk is also ok but only ¼ cup and it needs to be “original” almond milk – no “vanilla” or “sweetened”.

5 Reasons to get STRONG


Fitness trends come and go and most fall to the wayside for good reason.

Most programs fail to produce consistent results. It’s a wonder why so many folks stray away from what is tried and true when it comes to exercise programs?

“The rule is: the basics are the basic, and you can’t beat the basics.” -Charles Poliquin

Despite what your goals may be, every individual can benefit from physical resistance training. Not only that, but the health benefits extend far beyond your short term fitness goals. Regardless of why you train, let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen.

1. Training for strength produces results.

Whatever your goals, muscle will help you get there. Some companies in the fitness industry has made a fortune around buzzwords like “tone”, “lift”, and “sculpt.” The problem is there’s no way to measure those loose terms. If you want to change your body composition there is only the ability to gain or lose muscle while simultaneously gaining or losing fat. If you are looking for the most efficient way to do make a change then strength training is your best option.

Strength training, or physical resistance training, can be defined as a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. When you gain muscle you increase your bodies basal metabolism (the amount of calories you burn each day before factoring in physical activity). It’s kind of like putting a bigger engine in a car. The car is capable of moving faster or pulling a heavier load (more muscle), but it also uses more fuel (fat) whether it’s cruising down the freeway or idling in the driveway. Strength training helps us “tone” through this muscle gain/fat loss trade.

2. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” -Peter Drucker

Training for strength provides a clear path for success. You can set training goals that are specific, measurable, and produce desired outcomes. A good coach will help you design a plan towards these goals with checkpoints along the way. Your strength training program is a road map to success with clear directions. Sets, reps, and weights lifted safely through the full range of motion are the signals that you’re on track. Many people find that a more detailed plan helps them stay motivated as they experience progress.

3. Age gracefully with more muscle mass.

As we get older strength training is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Physical independence is a key factor in a great quality of life.

A comprehensive study of strength training has been proven to:

  • Improve motor function
  • Lower resting heart rate
  • Increase stamina
  • Prevent sarcopenia (age related muscle loss)
  • Improve bone mineral density
  • Prevent and help rehab injuries

Functional strength training will be an asset in daily life too. From picking up grandchildren or bags of groceries to climbing stairs with confidence.

4. You’ll experience epic brain gains.

Did you know that lifting weights can strengthen your brain just as much as it does your body?
Dr. Yorgi Mavros from the University of Sydney has found that high‐intensity physical resistance training (PRT) results in significant improvements in cognitive function, muscle strength, and aerobic capacity in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Adults who followed a resistance training routine in addition to cognitive training performed significantly better than control groups on a series of mental tests. A couple key factors to note:

The participants exercised 2x/ week working to at least 80% of their peak strength.
The benefits lasted one year after the exercise prescription had ended.

What does that mean? According to Yorgi, “The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain.” Let that sink in for a minute. You actually grow your brain by training to become stronger! It makes me wonder if Einstein developed his Theory of Relativity in between heavy sets of back squats…

5. Strong moms have healthy babies.

During pregnancy, the question always arises of what does fitness look like for this stage of life? With so much on the line, it’s important to consult with a doctor before beginning any fitness routine. Luckily, there is a tremendous amount to be gained by incorporating a strength training routine under normal circumstances. Resistance training can help alleviate symptoms and improve health outcomes for the mother and child. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who follow a consistent strength training routine during pregnancy can experience:

  • Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
  • Boosted mood and energy levels
  • Better sleep
  • Prevent excess weight gain
  • Maintain levels of muscle strength and endurance
  • Reduced incidence of gestational diabetes

Not only that but women who train during pregnancy report enhanced body image and better psychological well-being!

We would love to help you live a healthy strong life. Schedule a Free Consult to learn more.