Strength Training Program, Benefitsof Strength Training Program, Research

//Strength Training Program, Benefitsof Strength Training Program, Research

As many of you know, strength training produces many positive benefits including but not limited to increases in strength, endurance, cardiovascular health, bone density, insulin sensitivity and reduced lower back pain.

Recently, research has revealed that strength training improves cognitive function and reverses certain genetic markers of aging. No longer is lifting weights just something you do to make your muscles bigger. It makes you smarter and younger as well!

I have always advocated two weekly strength training sessions for best results. Research seems to bear this out time and time again. One weekly session does indeed provide good benefits but not as good as two for the vast majority of people.Below is a table sent to me from my friend Dr. Wayne Westcott. Dr. Westcott is one of the countries foremost experts in exercise science. He just completed a large scale study involving over 1600 subjects comparing 1,2 and 3 strength training sessions a week over a 10 week period. His training methods are very similar to ours – 20-30 minute sessions, single sets, slow repetition speed continued to total muscle exhaustion.

Table 2: Baseline to Post Test Changes (M±SD) by Training Frequency

  1XWk Group 2XWk Group 3XWk Group
  (n=81)  (n=845) (n=693)
 Percent Body Fat (%)  -1.43a
(±1.35)
 -1.85b
(±1.49)   
 -1.85b
(±1.49)   
 Fat Weight  (kg)  -1.34a
(±1.72)   
 -1.47a
(±2.04)   
 -2.01b
(±2.61)
 Lean Weight
(kg)
 0.33a
(±3.57)   
 1.40b
(±3.21)   
 1.40b
(±2.53)
 Systolic Blood Pressure
(mmHg)
 -4.19a
(±12.13)   
 -3.14a
(±13.53)   
 -4.63a
(±14.63)
 Diastolic Blood Pressure
 (mmHg)
-1.97a
(±8.33)  
1.36a
(±9.89)    
 -2.15a
(±8.89)

Values that significantly differ (p<.05) are denoted by different superscripts.

As you can see, 2 weekly training sessions produced significantly better gains in lean weight than one session a week (3lbs. vs. <1lbs.) and better losses in fat mass.  Note that three strength sessions a week did not produce better gains in lean tissue. More exercise is not always better! And though 3 weekly sessions did produce better fat loss than 2 sessions a week, since diet was not part of the study, we cannot attribute fat losses with the training. It may have had an effect, but the added fat loss could not have been caused by the few extra calories burned in a 20 minute strength session. The math just doesn’t add up.

Benefits to blood pressure were statistically equal for all groups.

So as you can see, it behooves us all to try and squeeze in 2 weekly sessions for best overall results. Even training 3 times in a two week period will up the fitness ante and benefit you to a greater degree. So get to it ladies!

Yours in strength,

 

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