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Tag Archives: resistance exercise

Stretching improves strength. So?


People are getting a little too excited about a surprising new study that suggests stretching can improve strength.

Furthermore, it does so in both sides (more on the stretched side, though).

Since I know people (especially stretching enthusiasts) are probably going to take the results of this one study and run with them, I am going to write this quick article to throw a stick in their bicycle spokes.

Hopefully this gets around before it’s too late.

The results are not that surprising – and still don’t really support the use of stretching for anything other than specific flexibility goals.

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Why Strength Training is Important

You used to strength train... why did you stop?

Everyone recognizes the importance of an all inclusive, overall balanced (buzzword of the day: holistic) approach to health and fitness.

Some kind of conditioning exercise (‘cardio’, endurance) is essential. Eating healthy is a must. Getting enough rest and quality sleep is key. The importance of mental health is becoming widely accepted. People even over-emphasize stretching!

But strength training? People still assume it’s only for big muscles.

They don’t want to get ‘too bulky’ (especially women). It might throw off their athletic skills. It’s not good for your heart. ALL MYTHS!

In this article, we will 1. deconstruct the common myths that keep people from doing it, 2. review why it’s actually tremendously important for overall health, and 3. explain how it’s not that hard to include in your overall program. Hint: you don’t need a gym membership.

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How Strength Training Works – Part II

Photo from: http://tiny.cc/o7enr

If you read my first article on this topic, you have a good idea of how your body adapts to get stronger. There are both morphological as well as neurological adaptations.

So what exactly are these ‘morphological’ and ‘neurological’ adaptations to strength training? And most importantly, how much of an effect does each adaptation actually have on strength?

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How Strength Training Works – Part I

Work muscles. Get stronger.


Well… at least I find it interesting. How does that work? What’s happening? What’s adapting to cause this increase in muscular force production? What is special about muscles; why are they so good at adapting when some strain is applied to them, yet I can’t see farther by straining my eyes at distant objects regularly?

This isn’t a how-to article, or even a benefits-of article. Its a how-it-works article. This article is primarily for beginners to the concept. For more detailed reading, see part II, although this article is a good primer. And if you don’t know anything about muscles, skim through this.

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