Resistance Training and Weight Loss

By Revolution Physical Therapy & Weight Loss

It has been suggested approximately 21% of the adult population participates in some sort of resistance training at least 2 days a week (Chevan, 2008). While the popularity of strength training has increased from the days of it’s seemingly “cult” fad (refer to Arnold’s Pumping Iron), there still lies a massive misconception that those trying to lose weight should NOT focus as much on resistance training.  With more secondary information available than ever on health and fitness, it is important to dig down into the primary scholarly sources and identify of the necessity of resistance training for 31% of the population whom is categorized as obese (projected 51% of the population will be obese by 2030).

Resistance training is defined as “any type of training in which the body must move in some direction against some type of force that resists that movement”  (Stoppani,  2006). Although this definition may appear basic at first sight, it is important to place emphasis on the “some type of force” piece. Too many of us relate resistance training to meatheads lifting heavy barbells and slamming weights around. We don’t take into account that your own body weight can be used for resistance in addition to using bands, free weights like dumbbells or medicine balls.There are multiple types of resistance that can provide the stimulus needed to achieve the desired result that will assist with weight loss.

Such results are achieved through neural stimulation which causes the muscle to contract and when the muscle shortens and lengthens it creates microtears. Over time, hypertrophy (muscle growth) occurs and muscle becomes thicker and can move more weight (McArdle, Katch & Katch, 2010). As an individual increases lean mass, they burn more fat during rest and aerobic exercise. Furthermore, as a result of resistance training, daily energy levels adrenaline and other hormones (testosterone) increase (McArdle, Katch & Katch, 2010).

In conclusion, resistance training for weight loss should consist of large muscle group exercises (push, squat, pull, trunk, etc.). Repetitions should be 15-20, 2-3 sets of each exercise, preferably performed in a circuit format. It is encouraged that beginners with resistance training utilize cross training, integrating bouts of aerobic activity (walking, bicycle, elliptical, etc.) between resistance circuits to avoid accumulation of lactic acid, which can result in delayed onset muscle soreness.

In practical terms, resistance training will increase lean mass that both assist with fat burn during your “cardio” days, and also keep the weight bearing joints strong to avoid injury during these “cardio” days. For assistance with understanding what your ideal resistance training circuit should look like based on your goals, please consult with one of our expert Exercise Physiologists at one of the seven convenient Chicago area Revolution locations.

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Achilles Tendon Tear Repair

The achilles tendon is often injured during sports resulting in an inflammatory condition called tendonitis which is characterized by swelling and pain. The tendon ruptures because of weakened tendons due to advanced age or from sudden bursts of activity during sports. The classic symptom of an Achilles Tendon rupture is the inability to rise up on your toes.

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Introducing the first-ever mascot specialist doctor at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush

Introducing the first-ever mascot specialist doctor at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush – the one and only Benny The Bull!

Do High Schools Need Athletic Trainers?; Understanding Elbow Injury; Advancements in Regenerative Medicine

Episode 17.02 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.

new host image


Segment One: Katie Varnado from ATI Physical Therapy talks about the responsibilities and qualifications for Athletic Trainers, the difference between pro & non-pro team trainers, the importance of having High School Trainers and how to promote their use.

Katie Varnado is a certified and licensed athletic trainer who is passionate aboutKatie Varnado educating others about concussions, growth plate injuries in athletes, and the need for athletic trainers. In her role as Sports Medicine Director at ATI Physical Therapy, she oversees and provides guidance to the athletic trainers ATI provides to local high schools and colleges and ensures all athletes are receiving comprehensive care to return to sport as quickly and safely as possible.

Katie received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a concentration in athletic training from Illinois State University.  She then went on to earn a prestigious year long sports medicine fellowship at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, CO.  Katie has over fourteen years of experience working with both collegiate and high school athletics as well as working with physicians.


Segment Two: Steve and Dr. Cole discuss the various types of elbow injuries, causes and treatments. Dr. Cole describes the many new and interesting advancements in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy – the future of research and applications.

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Why Spring Is the Perfect Time to Take Your Workout Outdoors

forest bike

When the weather thaws, the plants bloom and the days get longer, it’s spring—and the best time of the year to take your fitness regimen outside. Here are six research-backed perks of al fresco exercise.

You work harder

When people exercise outside, they tend to spend more time doing it. One study found that older people who were active outdoors did at least 30 minutes more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week than those who only did it inside. It also made them feel healthier. “Nothing makes you feel more childlike than being outdoors,” says Dr. Pamela Peeke, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and author of Fit to Live. “You’re modulating stress hormones, increasing endorphins and increasing the secretion of serotonin,” she says, so your mood brightens.

Being in nature lowers blood pressure

Spending time outside is also good for the heart. A recent study estimated that nearly 10% of people with high blood pressure could get their levels under control if they spent at least 30 minutes in a park each week, partly because of the heart-related benefits of getting fresh air and lowering stress. In Japan, public health experts recommend people spend time walking outdoors, a practice called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Researchers in Japan have linked forest bathing with lower levels of the blood pressure-raising stress hormone, cortisol.

It spurs cancer-fighting cells

Some research suggests that when people are in nature, they inhale aromatic compounds from plants called phytoncides. These can increase their number of natural killer cells, a type of white blood cell that supports the immune system and is linked with a lower risk of cancer. These cells are also believed to be important in fighting infections and inflammation, a common marker of disease.

In one study, researchers found that people who took a long walk through a forest for two days in a row increased their natural killer cells by 50% and the activity of these cells by 56%. Those activity levels also remained 23% higher than usual for the month following those walks.

It can feel more fun

When people exercise outside, they feel better and enjoy the exercise more, studies suggest. “Enjoyment is an important pathway to the mental health impacts of physical activity,” says Rebecca Lovell, a research fellow at the University of Exeter in the UK. Exercising outside is also a great alternative for those who don’t want to go to the gym.

A review of research found that people who exercised outside reported feeling more revitalized, engaged and energized than those who did it indoors. The researchers also found that people who exercised outside felt less tension, anger and depression.

Your mental health may improve improve

Nature has a way of making people feel calm, and exercising outside can strengthen that effect. A small 2015 study found that people who walked for 90 minutes outside were less likely to ruminate on their problems and had less activity in the brain area linked to depression, compared to people who took similar walks but in urban areas. “Nature becomes a major distraction from all the stresses of life,” says Peeke.

You save money

Exercising outdoors is not only convenient, but it’s less expensive than a gym membership. It also cuts costs for the community. A recent study in England of “green exercises”—those done outside, including dog walking, running, horseback riding and mountain biking—estimated that the health benefits of doing physical activity in nature can save around $2.7 billion a year. “All you need is the right pair of shoes, and you can exercise on your own time,” says Peeke.

By Alexandra Sifferlin for Time Health

In sports, who’s really ‘old’?

Tom Brady became the second-oldest NFL quarterback to win the Super Bowl this year, at 39. He also holds the record for most Super Bowl victories with five.

Tom Brady’s Super Bowl victory continues a string of big wins for aging professional athletes — and at 39 years old, Brady has said he has no plans to retire. The second-oldest quarterback to win the Super Bowl after Peyton Manning, Brady signals what avid fans and sports experts are calling a growing trend of older athletes — from mid-30s tennis icons Roger Federer, Serena Williams and sister Venus to Florida Panthers right wing Jaromír Jágr, who turns 45 next week.

“We’ve really started to notice it in the last five or six years,” said Shawn Arent, director of the Center for Health and Human Performance at Rutgers University. “Don’t be at all surprised if … (we see) some of these guys winning their sixth Super Bowl in their 40s,” he added. Arent said advances in the science and technology of exercise are changing not only who excels in professional sports but how star athletes are training for the big game.

Just keep swimming

On Super Bowl Sunday, former Olympic swimmer Dara Torres found herself arguingDara Torres' bid to be oldest woman on U.S. Olympic swim team comes up short with a 9-year-old boy who predicted Brady’s impending retirement. Brady, the boy said, is too old to continue playing. “He had no idea who I was,” said Torres, who last competed in the 2008 Games at age 41. That summer, she won three silver medals and set an American record.

“So now I have this bet with this kid that Brady’s gonna be back next year,” she added. Torres, who won 12 medals during her 24-year Olympic career, was affectionately called “Grandma” by her teammates. But she said people learned to stop telling her that an athlete’s career died at 30. “I think I did away with that myth,” she said. “Nowadays, 30 isn’t that old anymore.”

Torres did notice that her body had changed over the years. In her teens and 20s, her approach to training was “more is better.” She trained to be physically stronger than the competition, packing on muscle in the weight room. In her 30s and 40s, however, she realized that she could no longer pull a double workout in one day. She felt winded with the same effort.

“You can’t do what the 20-year-olds are doing,” Torres said. Arent said that what is considered “old” changes from sport to sport. While athletes’ bodies may change in predictable ways, he said, their performance also depends on the unique demands of the game. Strength is one of the first things to decline with age, according to Arent. After 30, muscle mass tends to drop just a few percent per decade, but this is not something most people will notice, he said.

“For the elite athlete, where things are won and lost by fractions of a percent, then it’s definitely noticeable,” he said. In one analysis of the ages when athletes reach their peak performance in different sports, researchers found two separate trends: For sprint-like events that demand bursts of power, the longer the event, the younger the age at which athletes peak. For endurance events, athletes peaked later for longer events.

By that logic, the researchers found that swimmers peaked around 20 years old while ultra-distance cyclists peaked closer to 40. And scientists have found that even cyclists older than 100 can increase their performance and oxygen consumption, despite conventional wisdom. In sports that skew younger, athletes like Torres have gotten creative to stay on top of their games, said Arent.

“There are lessons in this for the younger athlete,” he said. “Train smarter, not just harder.”

Older and wiser

Torres wasn’t just losing her muscle. Her hormones were changing, and her recoveryUS swimmer Dara Torres came out of retirement at age 41 to win three Olympic silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Games. time was longer. She no longer swam through her injuries like she did in her 20s. Maximum heart rate also falls as people age, and training may take an extra toll on muscles, joints and ligaments. Maximum oxygen consumption takes a hit. For women especially, bone density may drop after age 30. Genetics may also play a role in athletic performance. “You can’t just push it like you did when you were younger,” Torres said.

Hormones that drop with age include growth hormone, a naturally occurring muscle-building compound whose synthetic version has also been implicated in Olympic doping scandals, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency. Although the impacts of other hormones, such as estrogen, on athletic performance are less clear, exercise physiologists such as Arent say new technologies are only beginning to reveal the science of what happens when athletes train and recover.

“We’ve seen a massive step up in terms of our ability to monitor athletes,” he said, adding that heart rate monitors, sleep trackers and biological tests are giving researchers new insight into what happens beyond the field or pool. Using personal data, athletes like Torres may change up their routines to play past their theoretical peak. If Torres couldn’t swim more powerfully, she said, she would have to swim more efficiently.

“You’re gonna lose a little bit of power, but you’ll make it up in the ability to do the sport in the best possible way,” said Jeoff Drobot, an exercise specialist at the American Center for Biological Medicine, who worked with Torres leading up to her final Olympic tryout in 2012.

One example of improving efficiency, Arent said, was famed cyclist Lance Armstrong’s low levels of blood lactate. Lactate, a byproduct of high-intensity exercise, causes a feeling of fatigue and burning in muscles; lowering these levels, said Arent, allows athletes to improve their performance — not by increasing their maximum strength but by staying closer to their current maximum for longer periods of time. Even then, Arent said, athletes can’t turn back the clock; they can only slow it.

“As you get older … you realize that no matter what, that window is closing,” he said. At 45 years old, Torres narrowly lost her spot in the 2012 London Olympics to competitors who were decades younger. It was then that she retired from swimming.

Of early birds and worms

Torres acknowledged that factors beyond training and willpower might be leading some athletes to stay in the game longer. Players might be having families later, making more money in some sports and realizing that it’s possible to continue playing professionally past a certain age.

“People are seeing the Serena Williams, the Roger Federers, Tom Brady,” she said. “Before, no one was doing it, and no one tried.” But while scientists continue to research new ways of monitoring and adjusting athletes’ regimens, experts like Arent and Drobot have stressed a message of early prevention: Though exercise can benefit non-athletes at any age, elite athletes stand to uniquely benefit from an early start. “Watch what these guys are doing” to train in their later years, said Arent.

“Now, can you apply this earlier? Imagine how much longer (your career) can be.”

By Michael Nedelman and Robert Jimison, CNN