Strength Training VS Aerobic Exercise

Exercise is something we all need regularly to keep our bodies healthy. There are a variety of ways to get adequate exercise, depending on what type of activity you are looking for. Some people may be looking for a fun way to keep in shape, while others may need exercise in order to excel in a sport or other activity. Here we’ll look at the difference between aerobic exercise and strength training.

Aerobic Exercise

In a nutshell, aerobic exercise are cardiovascular activities such as running, biking, or simply walking with a purpose to name a few. Dancing, playing soccer, skating, or doing anything that raises your heart rate qualifies as aerobic exercise and needs to be embraced. This doesn’t mean that you need to compete in triathlons; it just means you need to stay active. Aerobic exercise is beneficial to the body because it strengthens the circulatory system by building up the heart and blood vessels while also burning calories.

Strength Training

While aerobic exercise will can build muscles, many aerobic activities such as sports and dancing are not considered strength training. For most, the idea of strength training brings the gym and weights to mind, but this isn’t always true. Strength training at its core is the use of resistance to contract muscles which increases strength, boosts endurance, and builds skeletal muscles. Weight lifting is a big part of this for many, but yoga, pilates, and simple body-weight exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, etc) all accomplish the muscle contraction that strength training aims to achieve.

Using a Combination

Do not fall into the misconception trap that aerobic exercise simply burns fat while strength training builds muscle. You’re going to burn fat and calories while strength training and you’re going to build muscle during aerobic exercise. A personalized combination of the two based on your body type, wants, needs and goals is ideal. A combination of aerobic exercise and strength training will help keep your body in shape while burning calories and building muscle without wearing your body out on one type of activity.

Aim for a Healthy Lifestyle

Exercise alone, no matter what kind, is only one aspect of living a healthy lifestyle. Make sure that you have a healthy, varied diet, and that you engage in healthy pre-workout activities such as stretching and hydrating. Try to avoid unhealthy habits, such as smoking, which can damage your body, and focus on healthy habits. Healthy habits could include many activities, such as establishing a private workout routine, attending a fitness class, or even meeting regularly with friends for a workout activity. Establishing a routine will help keep your body in shape. Once you begin to build muscle and exercise frequently, you’ll begin to burn more calories and working out will become easier.

For more information about fitness and nutrition, or to inquire about fitness classes, visit the gym at STR8 Training in San Marcos, TX.

Encouraging Muscle Growth: Exercise And Nutrition

A lot of factors go into encouraging muscle growth. Some factors are commonly known, such as work outs, endurance training, and more. However, some factors are less well known, but just as important. These include sleep, diet, helpful supplements, and activities to reduce inflammation. Today, we’ll look at an overview of these factors, all of which come together to promote muscle growth.

Workout Options

A commonly known aspect of encouraging muscle growth is working out. To encourage muscle growth, you have to work your muscles to the point of exhaustion to create micro-tears in your muscle fiber which will then grow back stronger than before. This can be done through a variety of workout routines, including high weight exercises, low rep exercises with an Olympic bar, or sprinting. For added endurance training, high rep exercises, body weight exercises, and distance running will help.

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is an important part of fitness because our body does most of our regenerative processes at night during sleep. When you are awake, most of your energy is devoted to keeping your body functioning. At night, your body has the resources to focus on rebuilding muscle. Therefore, if you are not getting sufficient sleep, then eventually your body will not be able to heal as fast as damage is created.

Amount of Sleep Needed

The amount of sleep required for healing can vary from person to person, depending on age, activity level, and other factors. However, in general a minimum of seven hours of sleep is needed for average physical activity. If you are working out heavily, or must do a lot of physical labor during the day, then you may need closer to eight or nine hours of sleep at night.

Sleep Needs Change

As people get older, they need less sleep. From those in their late teens to those in their early twenties, up to nine hours of sleep may be needed for their bodies to recover, especially if they work out a lot. Those in their late twenties to late thirties may need slightly less, around eight hours of sleep. As your age increases, it becomes easier to function fully on seven hours of sleep or fewer, regardless of daily activity. However, this can vary by person, some people needing more, others needing less sleep to recover. Pay attention to your body and ensure that you get the amount of sleep that’s right for you.

Diets that Promote Muscle Growth

Another important factor in encouraging muscle growth is what you eat. It is commonly known that protein is an important part of healthy diet. It is also important to ensure that you eat enough antioxidants to combat muscle inflammation. Many antioxidants are found in vitamins, such as vitamin C and various B vitamins. Another important element to include in your diet is unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats. These ensure that you stay healthy and that your heart can get blood and oxygen circulated throughout your body.

Sources of Necessary Nutrients

Knowing what your body needs is one thing, but finding foods that carry those elements can be more challenging. Below are some suggestions for getting enough protein, antioxidants, and unsaturated fats.

Protein: Good sources of protein include lean meats, nus, and dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and eggs.

Antioxidants: Antioxidants can be found in various vitamins, such as vitamin C and others. Healthy sources for these vitamins include fruits, such as oranges (making fruit smoothies is a great way to get antioxidants). Salads also offer many great antioxidants. If you need to supplement your diet, vitamin C tablets are also an option.

Unsaturated Fats: Unsaturated fats are good for your health, and can help lower cholesterol. Healthy sources of unsaturated fat include nuts, seeds, certain grains, avocados, yogurt, and eggs.

What to Avoid

While some fats, like unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are good for your body, others can be detrimental. Avoid foods high in trans fat, and limit foods high in saturated fat. These fats can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of developing certain health issues such as heart disease. These fats are found in high amounts in fried foods, such as doughnuts, and baked goods, such as crackers. Avoid these types of foods as often as you can.

If you would like more information about exercises and nutrition that encourage muscle growth, visit STR8 Training, located in San Marcos, TX.

Choosing a Workout Plan: Strength Training

In the 1800’s-early 1900’s there was the rise of the strongman, the training was not specific, and sometimes training was simply tossing hay bales or carrying large rocks around a field. The late 1900’s was the first time that the scene had started boiling it down to a science that could be studied and fine-tuned for the best results, but it was still very crude. Today, we have a huge wealth of knowledge, and many topics have been settled to some extent. But with the amount of studies that have been done, there is so many conflicting views on the best ways to achieve the results. This has led to some experts defending yoga, cardio, outdoor sports (biking, swimming, kayaking, etc.), low-rep weight training and everything in between over any other method. But, there is no one correct way to work out. The reality is that for the most part, these all have a method to the madness, and the success depends on what you define it as. This will be a two-parter, with part one covering weight lifting, and part two covering cardio exercises, with both going over finding one that gives results and personal enjoyment.

Many of the high-intensity workout programs that have become popular recently, when done safely with proper form, can definitely help one become toned and in great shape for sports performance, but will likely not lead to a bulky strength like Arnold’s. The main criticism is that certain gyms do not focus enough on correct form. Form is crucial to not hurting yourself and gaining muscles. There is a lot of great, practical strength routines one can gain from doing these types of workouts. You’ll stretch, you’ll do cardio, you’ll do some weightlifting, truly it is an all around program. Any exercise routine based on using a lot of muscle groups quickly to push yourself to exhaustion (when done properly) can have amazing effects fairly quickly.

Then there are no nonsense, barebones weightlifting plans that are great for beginners through intermediate. It’s important to focus on safety while gaining building strength, covering all muscle groups, and laying out a path for success. There are several guides on correct form for lifting, going in detail over correct posture, supporting muscles and all in between.  You may want to add in some extra core work and some dips, and cardio on off days.

Of course, if you want professional training at an affordable price, be sure to visit our San Marcos gym. We would love to consult with you to discuss your desires and current abilities to help craft a plan that is safe and effective to help you reach your ultimate potential. We also offer a variety of classes at various times, so be sure to check the schedule and come in for one that sounds like a good fit for you–we welcome those who have only started on their fitness journey all the way to those who are advanced.