They new inclusion of the growing popularity of Barbell Strong U class from the Thursday evening to this week being on, and subsequent weeks, Monday at 7:30pm and Wednesday at 6:30pm. This information will include the following:
- The differences between group classes at Terrific Fitness
- The potential for our bodies to progress and how to recognize when you want to make those group classes for your goals
- The benefits to the body of muscle growth and overall mass
- What you must know about heavier weights.
The differences in the classes:
Your familiar with the variety of classes including Tummy Hips and Thighs (THT), Core Connection , Resistance HIIT, Bootcamp, Luscious Legs, Upper Body Blitz, Kettlebell, Wildcard, Boxing, etc. All these classes cater for a particular taste or perhaps a time of day or in line with what your goals are with the recommendation from the coaches what is best suited to you or what you might like. The goals that are usually sort by the member is that of weight loss, getting fitter, moving better. All of these classes mentioned above provide an element of achieving these goals. Energy expenditure, higher heart rate, exertion and over the 45-minute period, an expenditure of energy through a system of exercise to drive your body through effort and encourages the body to change other than the normal efforts that you do at home, at work or leisure. Many of these classes use either body weight exercises or limited weights such as dumbbells, bars, plates that weigh 2kg to 5kg and dead balls that weigh up to 12kg, sand bags that weight 5kg. These are limited weight equipment that provide resistance to exert the body over a 45-minute period.
Kettlebell Strong U and Barbell Strong U are a step up in weight for those wishing to explore you bounds in exercise. They challenge the strength component of exertion. Actions are slower and movement regimes are more precise. There is more rest time between action phases because exertion levels are different. The only way to know is to try.
Why Kettlebell Strong U and Barbell Strong U?
Over the course of time, the body will adjust to this exertion, muscle growth will occur but only to the capacity to move the weight that you use. In the beginning, the muscle growth will grow rapidly but then slow down as it gets close to the exertion of the weight resistance it works against and then stop as it has no further reason to grow. There are certain mechanics that dictate muscle growth through load over time, but it becomes less and less the longer you perform the exercise at a constant rate under the energy system you have. The challenge to grow muscle more is to challenge the load of a set amount of time. The best example is the squat and how to develop leg muscle to make a difference that you’ll notice.
Perfect the squat movement (form is very important):
- Bend the lower body at the hip and knees
- Keep the upper body upright
- Keep the back straight and avoid too much curve (either way)
- Activate the abdominal muscles to stabilize and support the lower back
- Activate the glute muscles to stabilize the hip and knees
Once you have perfected this (it doesn’t take too much time to do so), challenge the movement with a weight, such as a 5kg weight close in or arms out stretched (ask the coaches the difference between the two positions and the benefits of their application). The body now has to respond to the extra load. If you can do 12 squats and keep form and control, increase the weight until you feel as those you are working the action to a high degree of effort to keep form and complete to 12 reps (this is not a standard rep count for any particular body part/area). Once 12 reps is achievable, up the weight again and train the body.
Frequency is the key to building and shaping the body. Over time, the body response the actions and environment you subject it to. If you are a brick layer, shifting bricks most days or a wood cutter, chopping or using a chainsaw, your body is going to change and shape according to action you do frequently. Subsequently if you work from home sitting all day and grazing on food to convenient pace of work, your body will be less active and subject to overeating and you’ll put on weight, have inactive muscles and develop bad posture through sitting badly on comfy chairs.
Which group classes to choose and when to change:
Most of you will find your taste in classes that best suit you over a short period of time. You may prefer high intensity and functional movement classes using such as Resistance HIIT and Bootcamp. You may have a preference of no equipment and body weight classes such as THT and Core Connection (however, occasionally these classes may use a chair, resistance band, or maybe a medicine ball). Some people are daunted by the kettlebell class but there must be a start point somewhere and trying it for the first time is merely a first step and you will quickly build confidence and dexterity with the weights and movements.
As before mentioned, the coaches are always correcting form, technique, and action. There will be a time for exploring new classes to challenge the body and most people find a challenge either pushing their exertion efforts higher and developing their cardio fitness or begin to choose heavier weights.
Kettlebell classes offer the opportunity for member to explore not only heavier weights but a new regime of training that includes different actions in movement along with choosing and progressing heavier kettlebells as their strength builds. Some will begin with 4kg kettlebells, most will begin with 6kg kettlebells and build the confidence to progress from there…8kg, 10kg, 12kg. Since the inclusion of kettlebells from the later half of last year, approximately a dozen members have progressed to using 12kg, 16kg and some using 20kg kettlebells for some exercise components of the class. This is a testament of exploring their capabilities once recognizing their discipline in maintaining exercise form (straight back, muscles engagement, breathing, tempo etc) and challenging themselves.
The benefits of the muscle growth and more muscle mass in the body:
If you were to classify muscles as an organ mass, then it would be one of the largest constituents in the human body, next other large tissue bodies such as skin and bone. But muscle is unique in that it consumes energy (like all other organs) and so has a specific caloric burn rate, dependent on its active use and amount in the body. It even consumes energy whilst not in use and even when you are sleeping. But let’s not leave out other tissues in the body that consume caloric energy also, such as the brain, the involuntary actions of the heart and lungs, your digestive system and other mechanisms that go on during the day. All of these combined tissues working have a base rate of consumption that is calculated whilst you are at rest (as if you were laying in bed all day or in a coma) and is known as the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). For a female, with a height of 170cm and of average weight and build of 70kg and moderate activity level of working in an office accounting job, her BMR would be approximately 1,700 calories a day. If she would include exercise on that day, it would increase to 1,950 calories for that day. There are other factors involve, but we’ll keep it simple for now.
I did say average weight and build. If her build was to be larger in the manner of more muscle, then her BMR would be higher. More muscle consumes more energy, even at rest. The higher muscle mass and greater turn over of energy also translates to more efficient energy return system through the cells; turning the gears of life better compared to someone with a low muscle mass and lesser activity levels, the gears will turn slower. These gears are turning better similar to that of a young person. Slower turning of an older person. This can be measured by certain electronic devices that measure now electrical impulses pass through body tissues and cells and return a signature and is called a Metabolic Age, compared to your chronological or biological age. It is possible to have a younger Metabolic Age than that of your real age. But the same can also be said in the other direction. Have a Body Composition Analysis completed with one of our coaches to find out what Metabolic Age you are.
Other caloric consumers of the human body:
I must make mention of the other activities that consume energy in the body. BMR typically constitutes approx 50-55% of caloric consumption. Then you have your normal movement that doesn’t include exercise (I’ll get back to exercise shortly) which includes your seated activity, walking, steps you count, or any activity that doesn’t require exertion. This activity is referred to as Non-Exercises Activity Thermo-Genesis or NEAT in short. This constitutes approx 20% of calorie burn. Then there is the thermogenic effect of food. In other words, the energy you use up to digest your food. Some foods use up more energy than what is contained in the food, but some (most really) contain more energy in them that what it takes to consume and break down in the body. This is known as TEF or Thermogenic Effect of Food which constitutes about 5-10% caloric consumption. And finally, there is exercise. Exercise is defined as ‘a level of exertion that gets your heart rate up to a point of effort or requires a level that improves your fitness either by cardio fitness standards or strength standards’. The best examples which are your efforts in the group classes, PT sessions or your own sporting activities to the degree of cardio and strength exertions. It constitutes approximately 15% caloric consumption.
What you must know about heavier weights.
The human body has 3 functional lower body movements. Lunge, Squat, and Lift. And for the basic purpose I will stick to these as the basis of what you must know as these movements and accompanying techniques effect most of the population.
Primal humankind lunged up hills to get a view of their land, and they lifted rocks and animal carcasses by hinging at the hips. And to this day, most of South America, Asian, Arabic countries, and Africa squat when the toilet. It’s been the Western lifestyle over the course of the few centuries that has disrupted this primal pattern and made us lazy in performing the movement in the proper form. Sitting at work, driving, at home, has switched off our lower back, glutes, hamstrings and quad muscles. We need to switch these back on to lunge, squat and lift properly.
All classes at Terrific Fitness have a protocol of promoting good posture through the back and movement of the lower body. This will be essential for such classes such as Kettlebell and Barbell Strong U. The experience in other classes and 3 months of group sessions on the floor are necessary pre-requisites for Barbell Strong U class, as the lead up gives you the application of movement to do the exercises that you can expect in Barbell Strong U. It also builds you into a better moving person in general, not just in a studio gym or any exercise environment.
The coaches at Terrific Fitness will guide, correct, and encourage you to pursue your goals and will be with you to support your endeavors to improve form, technique and progress so that there is something for filling in your efforts.
Listen to your coaches. Follow their examples. Do what they do and the frequency they do it and you’ll become like them. You begin to set the example to others and be part of the top percent in society that has the edge in health and fitness that enables you to do the things you want to do, for longer.
- Coach Stephen