How To Stay Young: Fitness & Muscle Building

    Many people consider bodybuilding as a recent niche culture and are thus reluctant to work out. However, weight training or bodybuilding is a timeless and universal endeavor.

    Men and women, old and young have been lifting objects, sprinting and jumping to strengthen their bodies since time immemorial. Ancient civilizations like Greece and Rome valued physical strength and athletics.

    Up until recently, even in their daily lives people worked jobs that involved physical activities – whether it was out in the fields, in factories and cities. Many people also walked to work.

    Now, we live a much more sedentary life: most of us have desk jobs and we drive to work. And when we get home, many of us pass the evening sitting in front of the TV or the computer.

    We also encounter plenty of bad nutrition. The cumulative effect of all of this is that we have less energy, we get sick more, we’re more prone to injury, we age faster, we depend more on others, we move about the world less powerfully, we live with a lower quality of life and we are more likely to be defeated by the social and natural circumstances in our lives.

    When you think of aging, what comes to mind? Probably weakness and physical struggles. For those who have been inactive, who haven’t maintained good nutrition and haven’t exercised throughout their lives, the aging process is much tougher and limiting than it should be.

    They suffer from accelerated loss of strength, posture, health and fitness level. We all age biologically – there’s no denying that. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

    Your physical strength and quality of life are attributes of your life that you have control over. If you decide to take on strength training, no matter what age or gender you are – the strength that you will gain will literally make it harder for anything or anyone in life to defeat or kill you – physically, mentally or emotionally.

    If there is one truly effective and natural activity that extends youth and strength in the long term then it’s weight training. So, let’s explore why you can’t afford to neglect this activity if you want to live young and strong long and improve your quality of life.

    Let’s take a look at the benefits you’ll gain from bodybuilding:

    STRONGER MUSCLES

    Bodybuilding develops strong muscles. When you challenge your muscles through physical resistance, your body responds by regenerating progressively thicker and stronger muscle fibers.

    STRONGER BONES

    Bodybuilding develops strong bones. When you load your bones through physical resistance, you progressively increase the density of your bones and joints, strengthening them and reducing the risk of injury and risk of osteoporosis.

    LEANER BODY

    Bodybuilding keeps your metabolic rate high, allowing you to burn more calories. The lean muscles that you build burns up more calories. This allows you to stay lean while being able to consume more calories.

    BETTER POSTURE

    Bodybuilding enables you to maintain a strong posture. Strengthened muscles of the back, thighs, neck, shoulder and the core keep your posture erect and powerful.

    MORE STAMINA

    When you weight train you build more stamina. Having a body that is leaner and consists of stronger muscles and bones enables you to take on more rigorous physical activities with more ease. As physical activities become easier you will naturally become more active.

    IMPROVED BALANCE

    Robust joints and muscles as well as a strong mind to muscle connection increases your dynamic balance, stability and joint flexibility.

    INCREASED BRAIN POWER

    Recent studies have shown that weight training improves and increases blood flow to the brain; helps regenerate brain cells, improves your memory and focus and boosts your overall brain performance.

    IMPROVED GENE EXPRESSION

    Recent studies have also shown that weight training reduces oxidative stress in the body and moves back gene expression to more youthful levels – the genes becoming 10 years younger.

    INCREASED TESTOSTERONE

    For men, weight training has the added benefit of increasing your testosterone levels.

    LOWERED STRESS

    Weight training relieves tension, lowers stress, increases your endorphin levels and improves your mood.

    IMPROVED EATING HABITS

    Weight training motivates you to stick to a more nutritious diet – leading to a healthier, stronger, leaner, and both relaxed and energized you.

    ENHANCED CONFIDENCE

    When you weight train, you will gain more confidence and self-esteem. The combination of strong posture and confidence will show in the way you stand, the way you walk and your overall body language.

    Let’s take a look at how to start weight training:

    Firstly, it’s important to visit your doctor for a physical before you begin a weight training program. Tell your doctor that you’re about to start a weight training program.

    If you are unfamiliar with exercising, make an appointment with a trainer at your local gym to learn how to safely and effectively execute free weight movements, cables and machines at the gym.

    The principles to keep in mind as you get started on a program.

    1. Develop excellent training technique – Initially, start light and focus on building solid technique, especially on the free weight movements. Since the goal is to improve your strength and quality of life, minimizing the risk of injury is very importance.

    2. Select the most effective exercises – You want to build a training program that utilizes the most effective multi-joint exercises as your core movements so you get maximum results for the time that you devote to working out.

    3. Train to promote a transformative response in the body – As you gain confidence in your technique and training environment, condition yourself to lift relatively heavy weights for an 8 – 12 repetition range with sufficient amounts of volume and intensity in your workouts.

    4. Incentivize your body to continue transforming – To keep making progress in strength training, you want to progressively overload your muscles with more resistance than they are used to. Do this by lifting heavier weights and / or increasing the level of intensity of your training.

    Suggested Weight Training Routines:

    Your body is generally composed of the muscles that push weight and the muscles that pull weight. The major weight pushing muscles are the quads in the front of your thighs and chest, shoulders and triceps on your upper body. The major weight pulling muscles are the hamstrings in the back of your thighs and the back and biceps on your upper body.

    ROUTINE 1: PUSH / PULL ROUTINE:

    Time duration: 45 minutes
    Sets / Reps: 3 sets of 8 – 12 reps
    Rest between sets: 2 – 3 minutes

    Mon: Push Muscles

    Barbell Squat or Leg Press
    Barbell Bench Press or Dumbbell Bench Press
    Barbell Shoulder Press or Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    Triceps Pushdown or Triceps Dips
    Seated Calf Raises or Standing Calf Raises
    Optional: Finish off with two push muscle machines.

    Wed: Pull Muscles

    Barbell Deadlift or Dumbbell Deadlift
    Barbell Bent-over Rows or cable Seated Rows
    Pull Ups or Lat Pulldowns
    Dumbbell Bicep Curls or Cable Bicep Curls
    Optional: Finish off with two pull muscle machines.

    Fri: Push Muscles

    Dumbbell Lunges or Leg Press
    Barbell Incline Bench Press or Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
    Dumbbell Shoulder Press or Barbell Shoulder Press
    Triceps Pushdown or Dips
    Optional: Finish off with two push muscle machines.

    Week 1: Mon (Push) Wed (Pull) Fri (Push)

    Week 2: Mon (Pull) Wed (Push) Fri (Pull)

    Repeat the routine cycle.

    ROUTINE 2: UPPER BODY / LOWER BODY:

    Time duration: 45 minutes
    Sets / Reps: 3 sets of 8 – 12 reps
    Rest between sets: 2 – 3 minutes

    Mon: Upper Body

    Barbell Bench Press or Dumbbell Bench Press
    Barbell Bent-over Rows or cable Seated Rows
    Barbell Shoulder Press or Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    Pull Ups or Lat Pulldowns
    Triceps Pushdown or Triceps Dips
    Dumbbell Bicep Curls or Cable Bicep Curls

    Wed: Lower Body

    Barbell Squat or Leg Press or Dumbbell Lunges
    Barbell Deadlift or Dumbbell Deadlift
    Seated Calf Raises or Standing Calf Raises

    Fri: Upper Body

    Barbell Incline Bench Press or Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
    Dumbbell Rows or cable Seated Rows
    Dumbbell Shoulder Press or Barbell Shoulder Press
    Lat Pulldowns or Pull Ups
    Triceps Pushdown or Triceps Dips
    Cable Bicep Curls or Dumbbell Bicep Curls

    Week 1: Mon (Upper Body) Wed (Lower Body) Fri (Upper Body)

    Week 2: Mon (Lower Body) Wed (Upper Body) Fri (Lower Body)

    Repeat the routine cycle.

    Listen to your body: While it’s normal to feel sore after working out – and you will likely be very sore when you initially start strength training – but you should not feel pain and exhaustion from your training.

    As you push your body to transform, monitor how you feel in the process and back off a little give your body extra rest when you feel like you need to.

    Stress: Address any stress in your life and actively avoid stress. Get in tune with your mind and body. An optimal breathing pattern is important in reducing stress, staying relaxed and performing well.

    Sleep and diet: It is important that you maintain an excellent sleep schedule and a nutritious high enough calorie diet. If your body is not able to recover from the physical stress of training, you will snowball effect into exhaustion and increase the risk of injury.

    Weight training is the number one way to live young and strong for long. However, to truly maximize the benefits – be sure to also stretch your muscles to keep them supple, do some cardiovascular work to keep your heart and lungs strong, maintain a nutritious diet and live a generally active lifestyle.

    Get started with weight training, build strong muscles and then maintain those muscles for the long term through consistent training and nutritious eating – you will find that it will be one of the most empowering activities that you can commit to in your life.

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