Dumbbell Combo Exercises
Hey, Coach Tim here. This video is dedicated to the concept of the COMBO exercise (IE, total body integration) using dumbbells. Most have access to at least a basic set. Use the time stamps below to toggle between exercises, and for future reference! They are not in any particular order, but are labeled with the recommended weight type for that particular exercise. Some patterns are basic, some are more advanced - challenge yourself to try them out, and come up with combos of your own. I do start the video with 5 minutes of detail about the benefits and expectations of total body integration. Enjoy!
I am starting a dumbbell exercise library! Starting this week with shoulders.
The shoulder joint sacrifices stability for mobility, so it is vitally important we keep them strong and well balanced. I demonstrate over 30 exercises in this video that hit all major muscles (anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid), and the rotator cuff. Best of all, most of these exercises are effectively done with dumbbells 10 pounds or less!
Watch the blog for more dumbbell videos coming up soon!
This video accompanies THIS FLYER detailing the stretches, posture reset, and breathing exercise that can easily be done from your desk
Programming Strength: LUNGES
This week I lead you through a shallow dive of one of the most functional and effective exercises: the LUNGE. I summarize the benefits of why EVERYONE should incorporate them into their routine, and guide you through a video progression, which includes many variations (not all, there are still several that I did not go into). Enjoy!
Hey everyone! This week on the blog/vlog I'm talking reps, sets, rest, and frequency. I don't go into a lot of the science, but these recommendations are certainly backed by it! If you have 15 minutes, consider giving it a listen, and then put it into action!
In my last entry introducing the Programming Strength series, I went over the basic (classic) strength movements - deadlift, squat, flat press, overhead press, and vertical pull - and associated goals with each lift relative to body weight. I also highlighted the importance of making these lifts the backbone of your strength program. The purpose behind this series is to establish the value of these lifts among all of the noise out there with fitness fads - strength training doesn't have to be complicated! These lifts are scientifically proven to be superior in building strength and muscle when, applied appropriately! But before we dive into the lifts and strength program parameters, I'd like to provide some insights that underscores the importance of patience in any training program. Not everyone is uniquely suited to see huge gains right out of the gate- these factors underscore the need to temper expectations and infuse patience into your strength programming. Here we go!
1) Mastery of the lifts
There is a very large skill component to mastering a lift: You have to get your muscles to work in a very powerful yet precise manner to lift heavy stuff as effectively and efficiently as possible. This comes with practice – the more specific, the better. Because of this, practice aimed at mastering the lifts you want to use to express your strength is incredibly important. Those new to lifting weights will spend a lot time here, so patience and dedication is key! Further, it is RIGHT HERE that most lifters quit- they don't reserve the patience required to properly learn and adapt to proper lifting techniques. For a new lifter, the first month at least of a program should be regarded as a "learning phase" - both for hammering home technique, and any mobility corrections or workarounds needed for optimizing each lift. Think of it as building a strong foundation on which to build, including healthy joints and connective tissue! Speaking of which:
2) Healthy joints and connective tissue
The less wear and tear you have on your body, the more you’ll be able to lift, all other things being equal. Your tendons have to be strong enough to transfer force from your muscles to the bones they’re trying to move. They have a built-in “strain gauge” called the golgi tendon organ that sends a signal to your spinal cord, back to your muscles, telling them to stop contracting as hard, in an effort to prevent a tendon rupture.
Nerves called mechanoreceptors in your ligaments function similarly. And as you damage or wear away your joint cartilage, it generally heals slowly or not at all (depending on the joint), and once you’ve worn it away, it's not coming back. Over time, this can lead to osteoarthritis. Acute injuries to these tissues generally take a long time to heal (serious ones, at least), and excessive stress to your tendons over time can lead to inflammation (tendonitis), which can progress to degeneration (tendinosis) if left unchecked.
Both of these generally require quite a bit of time to recover from. What’s more, it’s not uncommon for a soft tissue injury to turn into a long-term headache and impact your training for a long, long time after the initial injury, as collagen generally repairs itself very slowly and often incompletely.
There are three key advantages to being young:
Central Message: no matter your age, NOW is the best time to start!
4) Muscle composition
You’re probably already familiar with fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers. Slow-twitch muscle fibers have a slow rate of shortening, but they’re also highly resistant to fatigue. They’re primarily called into play during aerobic exercise and endurance training. In contrast, fast-twitch muscle fibers can generate force 3 to 5 times faster than slow-twitch fibers, but they fatigue more rapidly. Fast-twitch muscles are the ones called into play when you need to generate large amounts of force to lift a large load such as a heavy weight.
The majority of people have roughly equal quantities of fast and slow-twitch muscle fibers, but people who excel at sports that involve strength may have a higher ratio of fast-twitch to slow-twitch muscle fibers. Having more fast-twitch muscle fibers is one factor that contributes to muscle strength.
Another factor that determines strength is muscle mass. People with larger muscle cross-sectional areas can generate greater amounts of force. This should come as no surprise. If you have more muscle mass, you have a larger number of muscle fibers that can produce force.
5) Other anatomical factors
If you have two people and one has long arms and the other short arms, the person with the shorter arms will be able to generate more force assuming both have equal amounts of muscle mass, bony tissue, and connective tissue. The person with shorter arms has an advantage because the weight is closer to their body. So leverage is a factor in muscle strength. Muscle strength is also partially determined by where the tendon of the muscle attaches to the bone. These are all factors that are genetically determined and ones you have little control over.
6) Muscle Strength and neural efficiency
The nervous system also plays a role in muscle strength. Your brain and nervous system have the power to activate more motor units when they need to generate larger amounts of force. Through strength training, your body learns to recruit more motor units and increase how often these units fire. This is one of the ways you gain additional strength through resistance training.
7) Muscle strength and gender
Men have greater absolute muscle strength than women. In fact, men have 50% greater muscle strength in the upper body and 30% more in the lower body relative to women. But when you take into account muscle mass, the strength differential between men and women becomes almost non-existent. When you measure bench press strength in men and women, the strength differential between the two sexes drops to only 2.5% when you divide strength by body mass. So men are stronger primarily because they have more muscle mass.
You don’t have control over all of these factors, but a regular strength training program that progressively overloads the muscles builds strength no matter where you start from. Everyone can benefit from resistance training regardless of their age and gender.
Thanks again for stopping by the blog! Stay tuned for more on PROGRAMMING STRENGTH, coming soon!
Bye for now!
Hey - coach Tim here again, excited to introduce a new series in the blog. All about strength training! I discussed some basics in mistakes to avoid in programming in my previous series "Training goal sabotages for weight training", and I thought this series would be a great follow-up to that. There are some many elements and components to strength and resistance training. My primary goal with this series is to direct a firm starting point and foundation for those who are overwhelmed by how to start, and also for those looking to change it up to a new routine and bust out of a plateau.
Topics will include movement selection, programming parameters (reps, sets, tempo, rest, and frequency), strength VS hypertrophy, manipulating the strength curve with different equipment, importance of tracking, and more. Stay tuned!
For this first post, I would like to start off by introducing exercises that serves to benefit universal movement patterns, that EVERYONE should include in their routine. I challenge you to try each exercise on your own - if any of these are a challenge for you, trust me it will be worth your time and effort to figure out ways to overcome it! If you struggle to do the minimum suggested, see if you can identify a clear reason why (muscular/joint pain, unfavorable strength-to-bodyweight ratio, etc). Your inability to perform these is a reason to fill your list of strength training exercises!
Well, those are the big lifts around which we begin to frame a strength training program. This is just the beginning! I will be exploring each of these lifts as we go along, and suggest work-arounds and sub-exercises that will assist in being able to perform them properly. Be sure to follow along, and as always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, or if I can help you with a personalized program!
Races are EVERYWHERE these days! Never has there been so many to choose from. Most of them require training and preparation. Whether you are training for your first 5K, or 10th marathon, chances are you have been held back by at least one of the sabotages I discuss in Part 4 of my series - endurance training for race day. If you have 15 minutes, give it a listen!
Following up on my weight loss sabotages from last time, this one is on strength training! I discuss common mistakes in mindset, programming sets/reps/rest, and tracking, while setting straight some often-confused terms (IE, hypertrophy VS strength, and how to get to get the best of both). I also give some common starting goals for the big 4 dynamic compound lifts (squat, deadlift, press, pull). Lastly, I point you to resources for tracking your workouts. Enjoy!
Chances are you have, or have had at some point, a weight loss agenda. Give this a listen to avoid key mistakes in goal-setting and including flawed training methods in trying to achieve your goal!
Broad Scope Narrow Focus Blog
Welcome to the Broad Scope Narrow Focus Blog! I hope you find a lot of useful and applicable information as we explore the broad world of Wellness together. Check in often, as there will be new posts weekly! Enjoy