Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier

October 15th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Want to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently? Strength training to the rescue! Strength training is a key component of overall health and fitness for everyone.

Use it or lose it

Lean muscle mass naturally diminishes with age.

You’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body if you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose over time. Strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass at any age.

Strength training may also help you:

  • Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Manage your weight. Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
  • Enhance your quality of life Strength training may enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Building muscle also can contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls. This can help you maintain independence as you age.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression, and diabetes.
  • Sharpen your thinking skills. Some research suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise may help improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.

Consider the options

Strength training can be done at home or in the gym. Common choices include:

  • Bodyweight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try pushups, pullups, planks and leg squats.
  • Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing is an inexpensive, lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. You can choose from many types of resistance tubes in nearly any sporting goods store.
  • Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools. If you don’t have weights at home, you can use soup cans.
  • Weight machines. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can invest in weight machines for use at home, too.

Getting started

If you have a chronic condition, or if you’re older than age 40 and you haven’t been active recently, check with your doctor before beginning a strength training or aerobic fitness program.

Before beginning strength training, consider warming up with brisk walking or another aerobic activity for five or 10 minutes. Cold muscles are more prone to injury than are warm muscles.

Choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions. When you can easily do more repetitions of a certain exercise, gradually increase the weight or resistance.

Research shows that a single set of 12 to 15 repetitions with the proper weight can build muscle efficiently in most people and can be as effective as three sets of the same exercise.

To give your muscles time to recover, rest one full day between exercising each specific muscle group.

Also, be careful to listen to your body. If a strength training exercise causes pain, stop the exercise. Consider trying a lower weight or trying it again in a few days.

It’s important to use proper technique in strength training to avoid injuries. If you’re new to weight training, work with a trainer or other fitness specialist to learn the correct form and technique. Remember to breathe as you strength train.

When to expect results

You don’t need to spend hours a day lifting weights to benefit from strength training. You can see significant improvement in your strength with just two or three 20- or 30-minute weight training sessions a week.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends incorporating strength training exercises for all major muscle groups into a fitness routine at least two times a week.

As you incorporate strength training exercises into your fitness routine, you may notice an improvement in your strength over time. As your muscle mass increases, you’ll likely be able to lift weight more easily and for longer periods of time. If you keep it up, you can continue to increase your strength, even if you’re not in shape when you begin.

By Mayo Clinic Staff


Don’t Let Pain Sideline Your Workout

September 24th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Life comes with pain, but that does not mean you have to miss out on the moments that make up your life story. Thanks to Green Roads Muscle and Joint Relief Cream, you don’t have to worry about the minor aches and pains of life holding you back.

If you know me, you know that I am very picky about what I eat and put on my body. I choose organic all the time. I want to use the best and “cleanest” ingredients and stress this to my clients also. When a couple of clients asked me about CBD for pain and muscle soreness, I did my research. A trainer is only as good as their advice and guidance, and their clients’ well-being must come 1st! I chose to carry the Green Roads Wellness product and am happy to offer their CBD Pain Cream in my gym.

Green Roads CBD pain cream is infused with menthol, lavender oil, vitamin E, pure CBD & more. It is the best CBD topical cream for pain relief & inflammation and offers a great solution for aches and pains. Simply rub into stiff, painful joints and muscles for fast, effective relief.

As always, every Green Roads product is infused with hemp-derived CBD, extracted from the hemp plant via supercritical CO2 extraction, then winterized to purify the concentrated CBD and purge all unwanted plant products/cannabinoids from the final product. In addition, their Relief Cream is infused with menthol, chamomile extract, and lavender oil to bring you the relief you need and the pleasant aroma you desire, without leaving a greasy residue behind.

Wow, we have been waiting for this CBD Pain Cream. In the past, there have been pain creams for muscle and joint pain, but they were far too weak to be effective. We couldn’t understand why manufacturers were making these creams too low of a CBD concentration. This cream does the job with the right concentration of CBD with the familiar menthol smell you are already know – highly recommended!

Green Roads’ mission is to offer users a safe, effective alternative to prescription painkillers, other toxic prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs that contain harsh chemical compounds alien to nature’s perfect remedies. Their vision is to bring our customers natural products and understand that, “There’s Always An Alternative!”

Debbie Martilotta, Owner and CPT
DBM Strength Training


Strength Training Builds More Than Muscles

April 17th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Most of us know that strength training (with free weights, weight machines, or resistance bands) can help build and maintain muscle mass and strength. What many of us don’t know is that strong muscles lead to strong bones. And strong bones can help minimize the risk of fracture due to osteoporosis.

A combination of age-related changes, inactivity, and inadequate nutrition conspire to gradually steal bone mass, at the rate of 1% per year after age 40. As bones grow more fragile and susceptible to fracture, they are more likely to break after even a minor fall or a far less obvious stress, such as bending over to tie a shoelace.

Strength Training builds bones and confidence

Osteoporosis should be a concern for all of us. An estimated eight million women and two million men in the United States have osteoporosis. It is now responsible for more than two million fractures each year, and experts expect that number will rise. Hip fractures are usually the most serious. Six out of 10 people who break a hip never fully regain their former level of independence. Even walking across a room without help may become impossible.

Numerous studies have shown that strength training can play a role in slowing bone loss, and several show it can even build bone. This is tremendously useful to help offset age-related declines in bone mass. Activities that put stress on bones can nudge bone-forming cells into action. That stress comes from the tugging and pushing on bone that occur during strength training (as well as weight-bearing aerobic exercises like walking or running). The result is stronger, denser bones.

And strength training, in particular, has bone benefits beyond those offered by aerobic weight-bearing exercise. It targets bones of the hips, spine, and wrists, which are the sites most likely to fracture. What’s more, resistance workouts — particularly those that include moves emphasizing power and balance — enhance strength and stability. That can boost confidence, encourage you to stay active, and reduce fractures another way — by cutting down on falls.

by Harvard Medical School


5 Important Facts About Sarcopenia

March 11th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Sarcopenia is a relatively new term for the most insidious health crisis in the world. Sarcopenia is a disease that impacts all of us as we age. And there is only one known way to prevent it and treat it.

Here are the 5 most important things you need to know about Sarcopenia:

  1. Sarcopenia is the loss of skeletal muscle mass due to aging
    The functions of skeletal muscle include control of movement and posture; regulation of metabolism; storage of energy; acting as a primary source of amino acids for the brain and immune system; and acting as a substrate for malnutrition/starvation, injury/wound healing, and disease. Maintaining skeletal mass is critical not only for remaining physically independent but also for survival.
  2. Sarcopenia affects half of all older adults
    More than 18 million Americans suffer from sarcopenia. One in three adults over 60 have the disease, and that number increases to over 50 percent by the time they reach age 80.
  3. Muscle loss from Sarcopenia begins in our 30s
    Beginning in our 30s, every single human being on earth develops sarcopenia. Every year we get weaker and weaker unless we proactively work against the muscle loss. The erosion of strength accelerates in our 50s and continue to increase as we move into our 60s. By our mid-70s, there is an exponential increase in the loss of lean tissue.
  4. Sarcopenia can cause muscle weakness, frailty, and loss of independence
    The loss of strength that accompanies sarcopenia will dramatically impact your physical health. This loss of strength makes it hard to recover is we lose our balance. As we become weaker, we become more cautious and less physically active. When we are less active, we are weaker. The downward spiral continues.
  5. Strength training is the only treatment for Sarcopenia
    You can counteract this loss of muscle tissue with strength training, which will also have a positive effect on many other chronic diseases. We’re living longer. Strength is critically important to enjoying the extra four or five decades that we each have been given through medical science advances over the last century.

Strength training, as you age, is the recognized treatment for combating the devastating effects of sarcopenia.

Of all of these important facts, the last one is the most important. Medical scientists at Harvard Medical School, Tufts University, the Academy of Royal Colleges, and dozens more respected medical research institutions have all concluded that intense strength training is the only way to combat the downward spiral of physical health and loss of strength that Sarcopenia causes.

by StrongPath


Rev Up Your Metabolism

February 19th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

A recent article by Health.com (Jan/Feb 2019) has some great advice that I agree with as a personal trainer, here are the highlights.

Your muscles are in charge

A pound of muscle burns 7-10 calories/day compared to 1 lb of fat which burns only 2-3 calories/day. We all know that after you hit your 20’s, you lose muscle as you age. That muscle loss can slow your metabolism by 15% (your calorie burning power). While building new muscle can help counteract this trend, it is even more important to engage the muscle you already have. Every time you challenge your muscles by strength training, you burn calories by working out and continue to burn calories after you put your weights away.

Do 2 30-minute sessions of resistance training each week and in 3 months, your resting metabolism will be about 6% faster. When you exercise, focus on major muscle groups and do not shy away from heavy weights (60 – 75% of your maximum lift).

A lack of Protein can slow your metabolism

If you are not already on the protein bandwagon, get on board! Your body needs amino acids to stay functional. Without enough protein, your body will be forced to tap your muscles. When you lose valuable muscle, your resting metabolism slows.

Make sure you are putting protein in every meal and snack – starting your day with 15 grams (about 2 eggs) is a great idea. Don’t overlook whey, one of two proteins found in milk. Whey protein is rich in the amino acids muscles thirst for and can aid in recovery after workouts.

Dieting is the enemy

Any weight loss diet can leave your metabolism slower than when you started. We highly recommend a lifestyle diet of plants and proteins (no grains, sugar, highly processed foods or processed starches) and eat enough calories to satisfy your resting metabolism. The easiest way to do that is to multiply your body weight in lbs by 10.

Your metabolism likes sleep

Lack of sleep tends to slow your metabolism, in part because that’s when your body repairs itself (which burns calories). Sleep well, eat well and exercise hard for 2 30-minute sessions each week and your metabolism will thank you.


Strength Training Tied To Better Heart Health Than Aerobic

January 21st, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

A survey of 4,000 adults revealed that static activity, such as strength training, had stronger links to reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases than dynamic activity, such as walking and cycling.

The researchers point out, however, that any amount of either kind of exercise brings benefits, and that it is probably better to do both than to increase either.

Recommended amounts and type of exercise
According to the AHA, guidelines recommend that adults in the United States should be physically active for at least 150 minutes each week.

This activity should consist of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, or a combination. It is better to spread the exercise across the week than complete it all in 1 or 2 days.

The guidelines also advise doing exercise that strengthens the muscles, such as resistance or weight training. People should do this on at least 2 days per week.

Even greater benefits accrue from 300 minutes of exercise per week, says the AHA. They also recommend breaking up prolonged bouts of sitting — even getting up and doing some light activity is better than just sitting, they add.

National Institutes of Health (NIH), advises older adults to do four types of exercise:

  • Endurance, or aerobic, exercises that increase breathing and raise heart rate.
  • Strength, or resistance, exercises that strengthen major muscle groups in the upper and lower body and improve their function.
  • Balance exercises to reduce the risk of falls and the disabilities that they can cause.
  • Flexibility exercises that stretch the body and increase a person’s range of movement.

Aerobic activity includes walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, gardening and all forms of sports, such as golf, tennis, and volleyball.

Push-ups, static rowing, resistance training, dips, arm, and leg raises, and hand grips are all examples of strength-building exercises.

Practicing Tai Chi and yoga can improve balance and flexibility as can simple exercises that involve the use of the body or everyday objects, such as a chair.

Only around 1 in 5 adults and teens in the U.S. meet the recommended 150 minutes per week of “heart-pumping” activity. With this in mind, perhaps the more pressing message  is that clinicians should encourage people to “exercise regardless.”

Dr. Maia P. Smith


Ground Beef & Broccoli

January 16th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Healthy Ground Beef and Broccoli is a quick and easy skillet recipe that comes together in 15 minutes in just one pan!

Ingredients
• 1 pound lean, grass-fed ground beef
• 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
• 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon fresh minced or grated ginger (OR 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
• 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen broccoli florets
• 2 tablespoons arrowroot (replacement for cornstarch)
• 2 tablespoons cool water
• 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
• Riced cauliflower

Instructions
1. Set a large skillet, saute pan, or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, breaking apart and stirring as the meat cooks.

2. While the beef is cooking, combine the beef broth, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes in a bowl or large measuring cup; set aside.

3. After the beef is cooked, push it to the edges of the pan, dump the garlic and ginger in the center, and stir for a minute or two until fragrant. Drain the grease from the pan. Add the sauce and the broccoli to the pan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for several minutes (using the cooking time on the package of frozen broccoli as a guide) and stir occasionally until the broccoli is cooked to your desired tenderness.

4. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk the arrowroot/cornstarch into the water until dissolved. Slowly pour the arrowroot slurry into the pan while stirring the beef and broccoli. Bring to a boil and cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the sesame oil, if using, and serve hot over cauliflower rice.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


DOMS: Reducing Inflammation Through Diet and Recover Quicker

November 5th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

You know that moment. You wake up a few days after a workout and think to yourself, “Ah, now I feel it.” The technical term for this post-workout evidence of hard effort is delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.

 

DOMS happens when you work your muscles harder
than they are used to working. 

That’s the simple explanation, but on a biological level, there’s a lot more going on. When we work our bodies harder than they are used to, the response is inflammation. The next natural step is an immune response. When our bodies can’t deal with exercise-induced muscle damage, we experience DOMS. While the exact mechanisms are not well understood, DOMS appears to be a product of inflammation caused by microscopic tears in the connective tissue elements that sensitize nociceptors and thereby heighten the sensations of pain.

Smart recovery can prevent DOMS from derailing your training.

  • The best recovery foods to eat after an intense workout are raw, organic whole foods containing healthy amounts of carbs and protein
  • Some of the specific foods shown to soothe muscle soreness include bananas, cacao, coffee, eggs, salmon, spinach, sweet potatoes, and watermelon, as well as spices like cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric
  • Two substances you should avoid combining with exercise are alcohol and sugar, both of which cause inflammation

Muscle: The Organ of Longevity, a Broken Brain Podcast

August 22nd, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

We use our muscles every day, from our brain to our quads, for the smallest and the biggest tasks. Muscles make up an impressive 45% of our body mass. Did you know that muscle is an endocrine organ and regulates metabolism? Did you know that using your muscles can actually help reduce systemic inflammation?

Today on The Broken Brain Podcast, Functional Medicine practitioner Dr. Gabrielle Lyon joins our host, Dhru Purohit, to talk about muscles and optimizing our body composition by eating protein, strength training, and more. Dr. Lyon specializes in muscle-centric medicine and works with her patients to fine-tune metabolism, balance hormones, and transform body composition.

If you want to learn all about protein, and what it can do for your muscles, how it can increase your energy, and increase your longevity, I hope you’ll tune in to our podcast.

In this episode, we dive into:

Muscle: The organ of longevity (2:18)
Obesogenic sarcopenia—what does that mean? (5:08)
Brain and muscle health in the aging (8:13)
Importance of maintaining muscle (10:18)
Everything you need to know about protein (13:21)
Sources of protein (15:58)
Plant-based protein (18:04)
Dr. Lyon’s personal daily diet (20:18)
Aging healthfully (25:26)
Building muscle—where to start? (27:51)
How do I prioritize protein correctly in my daily diet? (32:55)
Dr. Lyon’s favorite protein supplements (36:06)
How can the right protein change my life? (37:43)

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD


The Best Workout Ever, According to Science

August 6th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

It seems like every other week there is a new study touting the best way to work out.

Since my clients are reading these, I like to check them out too. Imagine my smile when I read a “top 10” article and found that several of our “DBM” moves were included.

1. Dumbbell Front Squats
Set your feet hip-to-shoulder-width apart. Holding dumbbells above your shoulders, elbows bent and close to your sides, inhale as you sit back deeply while keeping your chest high, into a squat. Exhale and press the floor away to come back to stand.

2. Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
Start with the dumbbells in your hands, fingers facing forward, just above your shoulders by your ears. Soften your knees. Inhale, then exhale as you press the ‘bells above your head, together but not touching. Resist the weight as you bring them back down.

3. Bentover Rows
Begin bending down by sending your hips back so your torso is hinged at the waist; lightly bend your knees. Let the weights hang in front of your legs, fingers facing them, but don’t allow your shoulders to droop forward. Inhale, then exhale as you row the barbell up, pulling your shoulder blades together at the top. Slowly lower it back to start.

4. Dumbbell Squats 
With dumbbells on your shoulders, squat slowly to the floor. Exhale as you push up to standing. Repeat, slowly down, pushing up and breathing throughout.

6. Wide-Grip Pull-ups (assisted if needed)
On a bar or assisted pullup machine, place your hands so they are each 6-8 inches beyond your shoulder width, fingers facing away from you. Inhale, then exhale as you pull your body up, chin above the bar. Inhale as you lower down with control.

Read the complete Men’s Journal article here