Getting the proper exercise that achieves results is complex and has lots of scientific variables. But what if there was an understandable form of exercise that could help you lose weight, build lean muscle and detain the effects of aging? Introducing weightlifting.
On June 6, 2005, CNN reported on the startling findings of a McMaster University research group, proclaiming that "six months of pure, hard exercise once a week could be just as effective as an hour of daily moderate activity."
The study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, revealed that very intense exercise resulted in unique changes in skeletal muscle and endurance capacity. Changes such as these were believed to require hours of exercise each week.
What qualifies as intense exercise?
An intense form of exercise is skeletal muscle movement that requires a high amount of energy to perform. The objective is not to simply move the muscles for an extended period of time (i.e. briskly walking on a treadmill for and hour), but to force the skeletal muscles to adapt to the blood pumping exertion (i.e. heavy leg presses). This is known as strength training.
What is the most efficient form of strength training?
Another word for strength training is resistance training; muscle exertion to the point of exhaustion. The most widely used form resistance training is weights. Lifting weights works as a form of resistance exercise, and has worked for hundreds of years. However, they are potentially dangerous and require a lot of skill and a huge time commitment to work. The scientific factor and undermines weight training is that muscle is stronger controlling the lowering of weight than controlling the lifting of weight.
When you lower a heavy weight back down for another rep, you are underloaded and thus leaving a lot of meat on the bone. You are not maximising on depleting your muscles and getting the correct dosage of stimulus. But there is a way around this inefficiency. Introducing eccentric exercise.
What is Eccentric Strengthening?
Eccentric muscle action is the lengthening or extension of a muscle as it develops tension and contracts to control motion performed by an outside force.
In weight training this would be know as the negative phase of the rep. The muscle is extending to lower the weight.
Why is Eccentric Strengthening Important?
Muscle can apply much more strength to something that is pulling away from them as opposed to something that is being pulled toward them.
This allows you to lift, eccentrically, 30 to 40 percent more weight that you could normally handle (concentrically).
Eccentric training is much more demanding on the muscles and therefore it fatigues them far more than you could concentrically. It actually damages muscles to a greater extent, so there is a higher possibility of greater stimulation and subsequent growth.
Active muscle lengthening (eccentric contraction) stresses and thereby strengthens the tendon tissue more.
Boost the intensity and you'll boost your gains... but boost the intensity and the weight being used, then you double your chances of boosting your gains.