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Happy Post Labor Day! According to the calendar, it’s not quite fall yet, but it isn’t really summer anymore either, especially here in northern New England. Fall is in the air — people are back from vacations and digging in at work,, the school buses are rolling down the roads, the white pants and shoes are washed and put away, and I can find parking in my town again!
But really, not much has changed from last week, before Labor Day.
The last few days have been hot and humid. On Saturday, I went for a run and it was the hottest run of the summer! I was quite surprised. As a matter of fact, in an effort not to break out in a cold sweat (something that I am prone to do when it is very hot), I walked the last mile home. Even though I stayed outside for a while afterwards, and delayed my shower, after I did shower I continued to sweat for another hour — ick! And then today I went to yoga class and it was as hot and sticky as any class in July.
I’m thinking that summer might be planning on lingering for a while longer, and I am glad, because according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, it is going to be a cold, cold winter!
I’ve written a little on protein, how we only need 0.8 gm of protein per kilogram of body weight (weight in lbs. divided by 2.2 x 0.8), and that there are excellent non meat sources of protein.
But still, the most common response I get when I say I don’t eat meat is, “How do you get your protein”. I have finally found a terrific response:
Did you know that the strongest animal in the world is vegetarian?
photo from http://sharathpandukal.blogspot.com/
I have spent 30 years in the field of advertising and marketing, and so I know the power of advertising. One of the most successful marketing campaigns over the past 50 years has been that of the dairy industry. They have convinced us that drinking milk is essential to our health. However, the more research I do, the more I realize that this is totally untrue! Casein, the protein found in milk and other dairy products is in fact detrimental to our health. Did you know that:
- 75% of the people on the planet don’t consume any dairy products because they are lactose intolerant and they are doing just fine.
- The Japanese consume much lower levels of dairy than we do, yet they maintain a higher life expectancy and better health than the United States.
- Calcium can be found in non-dairy foods such as spinach, kale, broccoli, tofu, soybeans, almonds and molasses, and these foods provide more calcium per calorie than milk.
- As for cow’s milk’s role in building strong bones, that the countries with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis
- Dairy consumption has been linked to cancer, diabetes, autism and schizophrenia, and many autoimmune disorders including Multiple Sclerosis.
- The fat and hormones in dairy have been strongly linked with a variety of hormone-related illnesses in humans, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and acne.
- Most of the milk in the US is produced on large factory farms, where cows are kept in unhealthy conditions, and fed hormones and antibiotics, we need to pasteurize the milk so we don’t get sick, but this process destroys many of the nutrients
- And lastly dairy cows suffer immensely in dairy farms/factories, and they also account for huge amounts of CO2 emissions, land degradation, water consumption, and water contamination
For more information and references please refer to my earlier post on this subject.
I saw a quote from Nike on a friend’s daughter’s website:
“A one hour workout is 4% of your day”
Do you really not have time to exercise?
A little while ago, in a post about the phenomenon of “Skinny Fat”, I started writing about the Five Components of Fitness which are (in no particular order):
- Muscle Endurance (how long a muscle can work without fatigue)
- Muscle Strength (i.e.: how much force a muscle can exert a single time)
- Cardio Vascular Endurance (the ability of the heart and lungs to work together to provide the body with oxygen)
- Body Composition (percent of body fat vs. lean muscle tissue)
- Flexibility (ability for the joints to achieve full range of motion)
For our bodies to be physically fit, we must be fit in all of these areas which is why it is so important to cross train. I know that when I concentrate too much on running, while my cardiovascular system improves, my muscle strength and my flexibility suffer. Therefore I try to add in some weight training and yoga to the mix.
But I want to go a little deeper into exactly how we can train to improve these different areas of fitness. In this post I am going to talk about training for Muscle Endurance.
While training for strength and training for endurance can both be accomplished at the gym with the same equipment, they are actually quite different. When just starting out, it is advisable to start with a program for Muscle Endurance, and to work each of the 8 major muscle groups.
Before starting any exercise program check with your doctor to ensure that are healthy and that you don’t have any health issues or concerns that should make you avoid certain types of exercise.
Training for muscle endurance involves low intensity and high volume workouts. In other words, you should lift weights at about 50%-75% of your max, doing 15-20 repetitions per set, for 3-6 sets. So for an average person starting out try these weights for your major muscle groups. Adjust as needed. All machines are not equal. There are other factors besides the weights such as the weight of the machine itself and the ease of its movement that effect the weight you are lifting. If you can easily do 20 reps, increase the weight 5 pounds, if you can’t make 15, decrease the weight:
|Chest (Pecs)||Chest Press Machine||30-60 lbs||10-30|
|Upper Back (Lats)||Lat Pulldown||60-80||40-50|
|Shoulders (Delts)||Overhead Press Machine||40-50||10-30|
|Biceps||Bicep Curl (w/dumbbells)||10-15||8-10|
|Triceps||V Grip Pushdown||25-40||15-25|
|Quads and Hamstrings||Leg Press Machine||50-90||20-50|
|Lower Back||Back Extension Machine||45-95||25-45|
It is a good idea to keep a notebook and record your weights, reps and sets. The goal is to slowly increase the weight and the number of sets — start with 3 and work up to a maximum of 6. If you can do 5 or 6, it is time to increase the weight!
Prior to starting a Muscle Endurance training program, it is a good idea to do a test to see where you are starting, and then do a test at the end of 6 weeks to see your progress.
The generally accepted test for muscle endurance is the push up test To to this test, do as many good form push-ups as you can.
The above post is intended to give an explanation of muscle endurance and a sample of a muscle endurance program. It is not a personal recommendation. It is advisable to consult a physician prior to starting any exercise program and to work with a trainer for a program designed specifically for your needs. If you have any general questions, feel free to ask in the comments section and I will try to give you some general information.