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.

START YOUR REVOLUTION – SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

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!

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

Chicago recreational basketball player recovers after Achilles rupture

basketball patient

“I heard a ‘bang’ and then felt as if someone stomped on the back of my left calf, slamming me down to the court. But, when I looked up, both the basketball and the other players were all several feet away staring at me. That’s when I knew I likely had a serious problem.”

This is how Ganesh Sundaram, 31, of Chicago, describes the incident that left him with a ruptured left Achilles tendon earlier this year. “I was playing with a bunch of friends on the weekend and went up for a rebound. Then, I quickly reversed my direction to get back on defense,” he explains. “I later found out that this rapid deceleration followed by acceleration and change of direction is a common cause of injury to the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel.”

He felt numbness, then pain as he limped off the court. He went directly to the nearest emergency department where the physician on duty conducted the Thompson test to determine whether or not his Achilles tendon was intact. After his foot hung loosely when his calf was squeezed, the physician told him it was most likely a full rupture and should see a foot and ankle specialist right away. Sundaram, at the suggestion of his brother-in- law (a Chicago-area physician), made an appointment with Dr. Simon Lee of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. Dr. Lee, an expert in treating Achilles injuries, confirmed the diagnosis and presented options for both surgical and non-surgical repair of his tendon.

Given Sundaram’s very active lifestyle which included a regular fitness and full-court basketball regimen, Tough Mudder/Spartan races and keeping up with his toddler son, he chose surgery given the higher likelihood of returning to full pre-injury function, strength and mobility. They also discussed the warning signs that Sundaram experienced several months earlier. After running in high heat while dehydrated and on vacation, Sundaram felt stiffness and pain in his left Achilles tendon when getting up after a long flight home.

Concerned, he took a rest from running, jumping and basketball for a few weeks but maintained the rest of his fitness regimen. He then resumed these activities once he felt minimal discomfort, but didn’t do any pre-activity stretching or warming up and he didn’t see a physician. Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush foot and ankle physicians explain that this scenario is becoming more and more common in their practices. “Over a recent ten-year period, we have seen our number of Achilles patients increase by almost 300 percent,” explains Dr. Lee.

So many more people are participating in extreme sports, like Tough Mudders, marathons and Spartan Races. They aren’t stretching or strengthening their Achilles tendons properly – or at all. We also see lots of weekend warriors who do the same thing.

For both types of athletes, Dr. Lee and his fellow foot and ankle physicians created aMOR300x250 useful resource for athletes to keep their ankles and tendons healthy called ‘Ankles for Life’. It includes injury prevention tips in both a downloadable brochure and video format. It was developed in conjunction with the Illinois Athletic Trainers Association. Sundaram, who is now back to basketball and working out, knows that he should have listened to his body when he had heel pain several months before the rupture.

“Dr. Lee told me that surgeons have a saying that ‘healthy tendons don’t rupture’. Mine was irritated or maybe even partially torn at the time and I should have attended to it earlier,” he says. Sundaram now incorporates lower body and heel stretching and strengthening into his routine before any sports activity – and encourages all athletes to do so.

For more information on preventing Achilles injuries and to request a gym bag tag with ankle injury prevention tips, visit the Ankles for Life website.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Simon Lee to discuss your foot or ankle condition, click here or call 877-MD- BONES.

Featured Body Part: Foot

By ATIPT

Our foot and ankle complex needs to be both dynamic and stable to allow for us to walkFeatured Body Part: Foot without stressing other areas in the body. The ankle may seem like a simple joint, but there are actually four bones that combine to provide the stability and motion necessary – tibia, fibular, talus, and calcaneus. The rest of the foot consists of multiple smaller bones that each must be able to withstand the movement and stress placed on it by the weight of our body. Your ankle is also an integral part of your daily function, as it is responsible for your ability to drive a car, climb stairs, and squat. If you suffer an injury to your foot/ankle it will likely become increasingly difficult to perform your normal activities without pain. The more knowledge we have regarding prevention and common causes of injuries, the better our chances are to avoid future injury.

Common Causes
Unfortunately, with the complexity of the foot/ankle joints it is often difficult to isolate a singular cause of injury. As with other body parts, increasing age leads to increased risk of injury from general wear and tear. After the ankle is injured there is a high likelihood that you can suffer another injury due to remaining deficits and/or poor healing.

  • Overuse (Chronic) Injuries – With age and use cartilage can wear down and the ligaments, muscles, and tendons can become damaged.
  • Sudden (Acute) Injuries  – During a fall or other injury, the bones of the foot/ankle can be fractured.  You can also have ligament tears and ruptures of the tendons.

Common Conditions
Foot/ankle pain can be caused by any one of these common conditions:

  • Adult Acquired Flat Feet (Fallen Arches) – Fallen arch, or flatfoot, is known medically as pes planus. This is characterized as a loss in arch height in the foot. There are many causes of this disorder, but among the most common is decreased muscular strength. The muscles in the foot and ankle are required to help support the arch and if the weaken the arch can collapse
  • Bone Fracture – There are multiple bones in the foot/ankle that can break and each needs to be managed differently. Most will require a period of not putting weight through the foot to allow for healing.
  • Metatarsalgia – Athletes who run and jump a lot may be susceptible to metatarsalgia, a type of foot injury that results in pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – Affecting nearly 2 million Americans each year, Plantar Fasciitis is when there is an inflammation of the thick band of ligament that extends from the bottom of the heel to the toes (primarily the big toe).
  • Calcaneal Bursitis – In the heel, bursitis may cause bruise-like pain mostly on the bottom of the heel, but also at the back of the heel. This pain is most often felt at the end of the day, especially for people who spend much of their time on their feet.

Injury Prevention
Kurt Gengenbacher, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, CSCS a Regional Director of Clinical Excellence, gives us some tips to help prevent and rehabilitate foot/ankle injuries:

  • Stay Flexible – Make sure to stretch your calves daily. Hold those stretches for at least 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
  • Keep Your Foot Strong – Focus on functionally strengthening your foot.  The foot must be able to assist in stabilizing the body while standing, so the best exercises are often in a standing position.  Try to perform appropriate balancing tasks, standing toe crunches, heel raises, and toe raises.
  • Avoid Overtraining – Make sure you vary your exercises and don’t always do the same thing. If you have pain after exercising, stop the activity, rest, ice and elevate your leg.

Rehabilitation
If you have pain in your foot/ankle that isn’t going away, rehabilitation is a great step to take to improve your functionality. During rehabilitation:

  • A Strong Foot Is A Healthy Foot – Working on strength in the small muscles of the foot (intrinsics) can help your ability to walk barefoot and on uneven surfaces.
  • Be Balanced – Work on dynamic balance exercises to improve your proprioception and ability to stay upright.
  • Don’t Let Tightness Be Your Achilles Heel – Stretching your ankles can help to improve your ability to go down stairs and squat.
  • Stay On Your Toes – Strengthening of your calf muscles can help to improve your ability to walk, run, and climb stairs.
  • Wear Proper Footwear – It is important to provide appropriate support to your foot.

When weighing your treatment options for foot pain and injuries, consider physicalATI 300x250 therapy. Physical therapy offers a wide variety of treatment options including strengthening, stretching, and sustainable home exercise programs. Stop in or call any ATI location for a complimentary injury screen or to learn more about how physical therapy can help you overcome your foot pain.

Put your best foot forward with ATI!

Stronger than Yesterday: Getting F.I.T.T

By Kirstie Chase for Athletico

F.I.T.T. is an acronym that was created to address many of the important questions people have about exercise programs. This principle can be applied directly to strength training. Using the F.I.T.T. principle in combination with S.M.A.R.T goals is a great way to cultivate confidence, generate accountability to goals and improve your physical prowess!

fitt

The F.I.T.T. principle is comprised of Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type. Combining these factors is a safe and valuable way to answer the questions how often, when and how much effort is needed to strength train. Ultimately, this is a valuable way to create an exercise schedule. Since strength-based workouts follow different parameters than other forms of exercise (running, yoga, etc.), the resulting tips can be applied to strength training specifically.

Frequency

Frequency is the first category listed within the F.I.T.T. principle. Frequency can be described as how often a person should lift weights.1

Frequency as it relates to strength training should be done two to three days a week.2 It is important to allow at least one day of rest between workout days to allow muscles to regenerate. Exercising the same musculature multiple days in a row can lead to increased soreness and potentially injury.

Intensity

Intensity is a measure of how challenging a workout is. In terms of strength training, the amount of weight lifted, or resistance used, indicates the intensity at which one works.1

It is important to use weights that challenge the body, but that are still easy enough to maintain proper form. If building overall strength is your goal, consider using heavier weights for fewer repetitions. On the other hand, it is better to use lighter weights for more repetitions if greater muscular endurance is the goal.2

Time

When it comes to strength training, time can be understood in sets and repetitions. Below are a few parameters to consider:

  • A set is a group of repetitions. It is important to do more than one set of an exercise to build strength in the muscles being used. Three is a commonly recommended set amount, but more advanced training may recommend more.2
  • To build greater strength, consider sets that have anywhere from one to five reps at heavier weights.
  • For general fitness programs aimed at building strength and endurance, incorporate sets that have a greater amount of reps. Three sets that include eight to twelve reps is recommended for beginners, those with injuries and those over the age of 50.2
  • Include anywhere from one to three minutes of rest between sets.

Type

Type provides insight into what exercises should be included in a workout. Since every movement of the body requires the use of at least one or two muscles, the focus of resistance training should be to build total body strength. There are unlimited ways to combine exercises, however general strength can be increased by completing eight to ten different movements that challenge the major muscle groups.2

Use F.I.T.T. to get Fit!

As you begin a new strength training program, take time to consider how the F.I.T.T. principle can be used for your benefit! Goal setting gets the mind ready to take on new tasks, while the tips above help to create a plan of action to turn your dreams into a reality.

As always, if you feel any unusual pain or discomfort after your workout, click here to set up a complimentary injury screening.

athletico300x250