Recovery, Rest, Repair, and Rebuilding

recovery walk on the beachThere's an adage that strength gains aren't made in the gym; they're made during the recovery from workouts when muscles repair and rebuild (making you "better, stronger, faster..."). This has led (not "lead" ... words have meaning!) to the concept of the "off" day or "rest" day.

We can do better. "Recovery" day is a start. Or how about "muscle repair" day? That can change the way we approach our training schedule.

Continue reading

Spot Reduction Is Still A Myth

Spot reduction refers to the concept of reducing fat in specific area of the body through exercise. Spot reduction claims have been around a very long time...and have remained popular despite the lack of results. It seems like it should work, right? But then, it seems like the earth is flat. ("Look! There's the edge!") So why is there still so much confusion about this?

Continue reading

Know What You Eat

man chooses dairy products in the storeA healthy diet has a wide range of benefits including body composition (fat percentage), longevity (live longer), reduced likelihood of many diseases (such as diabetes), feeling better (improved mood and more energy), and more. Having a healthy diet means eating mostly healthy foods, but knowing how healthy foods are is not always so easy.

Continue reading

Barbell Selection: A Guide

two-bars-upright-with-logoStrength training is essential to developing and maintaining the ability to perform both daily functional activities (like lifting a bag of groceries or a child) and recreational activities you enjoy. One of the best ways to build strength is by lifting some form of weight, and the barbell has become the standardized weight implement used in competitions: the Olympics and powerlifting.

If you are considering adding a barbell to your home fitness collection, there are two main options: the standard bar and the Olympic bar. Overall, the main distinction between the two comes down to size: the standard bar is smaller in various ways.

Continue reading

Pain, No Gain

man with shoulder pain

No that's not a typo. We've all heard, "No pain, no gain!" relating to fitness, usually strength training. But grueling workouts aren't necessary to make progress, and can be particularly counterproductive after 40. Moreover, workout "pain" is almost always a bad thing.

Continue reading