Training To Maximize Your Workout
from special on ABCNEWS.com
By Jonathan Glashow, MD, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City Jim
Ramsay, Team Trainer for N.Y. Rangers Healthology.
the time of year for sculpted muscles on the beach. How do you
begin to get that physique you always dreamed of using weights?
you're a heavyweight or a lightweight, if you're lifting weights
to stay fit there are a few rules of the road. Below, Jim Ramsay,
team trainer for the New York Rangers, and Dr. Jonathan Glashow,
sports medicine orthopedic surgeon and consultant to the Rangers,
offer tips that will help you maximize your workout.
should people get started with weight training if they've not
done it before?
When people start up at a fitness facility, they should talk with
a fitness professional. Discuss some goals with them. What do
you want to achieve? Do you want to lose weight? Get a fitter
body? Do you play a sport? Or do you just want to improve your
health? So goal setting is the first item of business.
many repetitions do you suggest starting out with?
MD: Start with ten to fifteen repetitions. These reps should be
done comfortably and in the correct form. Too many people sacrifice
form for weights, meaning they lift far too much weight and their
form suffers. You don't gain anything by using heavy weights with
poor form. Isolating the muscle you want to work and doing it
correctly prevents injury and you get more out of it.
should you expect to feel when you're starting out?
Initially there's going to be a lot of muscle soreness and aches
and pains that you aren't used to feeling. Try to do two to three
sets of ten to fifteen repetitions. By the first set of fifteen,
you should feel a little bit of fatigue in the muscle. If you
don't then your weight's too light. The first couple of sessions
are going to be trial and error. If by ten or fifteen you can't
lift any more and maintain the proper positioning and form, then
the weight is too heavy. So there's a lot of trial and error in
that first adaptation phase.
Q: By the
end of your sets how should the muscles feel?
MD: I think what you're trying to bring out is the point of failure,
meaning you can no longer do that repetition properly without
some slight assistance. That means you've exhausted the muscle
where does the role of "spotter" fit in?
Having a spotter there and available, or a professional with you
so that they can maintain your form while you're doing the exercise
is very important. The muscle has done everything that you've
wanted it to do in proper form and you're going to achieve your
goals through that failure aspect of the muscle.
much time should you rest between sets?
I think it depends on how much weight you're lifting and what
your goals are. When body builders are doing very heavy weights,
like the bench press or squats, they rest three to four minutes
between sets. I think a very common mistake is to go from set
to set and not give your body a chance to recoup. If you don't
wait at least a couple of minutes when doing significantly heavy
sets, you're cheating yourself because you're not giving your
body the chance to replete or gain the substrates and chemicals
within the muscles to have them contract maximally again.
So maybe two
minutes, maybe three minutes between heavy sets. But people doing
lighter weights can recover more quickly. Sprinters, for instance.
They don't have to wait as long.
bicep curl is a fairly common exercise. Can you describe the proper
Typically it's a two second lift and then a one second pause at
the top and then a two or three second lower or extended phase
on the way down, with a one second pause. It's slow and under
control, and maximizing the muscle. Really focus on what you're
doing. Feel the muscle working, and maintain your form. Don't
just do them as fast as you can.
MD: The two key words are control and focus. It's far better to
control the weight at the proper resistance and focus on that
muscle group, rather than do the absolute number. So it's better
to do five or six reps the right way than twelve or fifteen that
use three muscles. If somebody, in doing a biceps exercise, incorporates
their back muscles and their front shoulder muscles and everything
else, they're not stressing their biceps nearly as much as if
they used a much lighter weight and controlled and focused on
the biceps properly.
is the benefit of concentrating on the whole range of a muscle's
MD: The body has a very good memory, and if you train the muscle
to work over it's complete arc of motion, when you go to use that
muscle in some other event that you've trained for-whether it
be hockey or baseball or football-it will remember being stressed
through that whole range of motion. So in order to gain as much
as possible you'd want to train that muscle through the entire
always hear that higher the weight builds strength, more reps
builds size. Is this true?
MD: It's not that simple. The way the muscle builds is by breaking
down muscle fibers and allowing the body to regrow those in a
stronger way by giving them proper nutrition and rest time. So
whether you do it with very high repetitions over many sets or
you do it with a very heavy weight for a short amount of reps
is a debate. I think it's probably best to do both and vary things.
Reference Source 104