Why You Aren’t Seeing Results When Strength Training

July 19th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

As a trainer, people often ask me how frequently they need to train to achieve results, and there isn’t one perfect answer: Our bodies are all different, which means they can respond differently to the same stimuli. But if you’re lifting and lifting and still not seeing results in your strength training routine, it’s probably because you’re lacking consistency in your workout or diet or both.

The process of getting stronger doesn’t have to be complicated, but keep reading for the three main reasons you may not be reaching your gains goals.

1. You’re mixing too many different modalities

To see measurable results in any fitness routine, you’ll want to stick with one primary training modality. If you’re only strength training one day a week (and spending your other sessions doing cardio), it’s going to be challenging to build muscle. The reason? Your muscle fibers won’t be exposed to the level of stress they need to grow. Muscle stress is imperative to building strength because it causes micro-tears of your muscle fibers, and when your body repairs these tears, they come back stronger. Most of my clients find success in 2 30-minute sessions with me weekly.

If your goal is to build muscle and get stronger, resistance training is your best bet. If you’re a beginner, working with your body weight is a great place to start, and as you begin to build strength,  you can add more resistance with weights. And to help maximize your results and save time, your workouts should consist of compound exercises, like squats presses, walking lunges with bicep curls, and deadlifts, that target multiple areas at once and force you to exert more energy than the isolated movements that target a single area.

2. Not sticking to a workout plan

Doing the same activities over and over can feel mundane, but it’s necessary if you want to put on muscle and increase your strength—which is why it’s essential to develop a workout plan. For example, let’s say your goal is to strengthen your legs. Doing four sets of 12 deadlifts once isn’t going to make much difference – but doing that same workout for four to six weeks and progressively increasing the weight will.

In addition to your nutrition, you’ll need to focus on your recovery. Properly warming up and cooling down will better prepare you for your training sessions, and help you prevent injury and burnout. Adding mobility work into your routine can also help maximize your performance as you train, improve your overall movement, and reduce and prevent pain and injury.

Another factor to focus on is getting quality sleep; it’s recommended adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night. A good night’s rest is essential for muscle repair and growth. As you sleep, your body secretes a muscle growth hormone, which works to repair the micro-tears that occur from strength training and make your muscles stronger.

And if you’re someone who likes to mix things up, schedule activities where you can do other modalities like yoga, cycling, biking, or running.

3. Not focusing on your recovery and nutrition

Lifestyle variables—like nutrition, recovery, and sleep—also impact your ability to get stronger. You’ll want to make sure you’re eating enough to support your energy needs when you’re training and in your everyday life. Your caloric needs will vary based on your lifestyle and goals, so you will want to work with your trainer on an individualized nutrition plan for you.

Because training is nuanced and individualized, use these tips as a starting point. If you have the access and means, consider working with a certified personal trainer who can provide you with more specific tips and tools to help you reach your fitness goals.

In part from our friends at Well+ Good


The 5 Best Strength-Training Moves For Your Hearts’ Health

June 22nd, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

There are certain types of workouts, like running and spinning, that we know are good for our hearts. They are, after all, literally called “cardiovascular exercises.”

But if you want to keep that blood pumping at peak capacity, those daily three-mile jogs can’t do the job on all on their own. So grab a set of heavyweights because cardiologists say that regular strength and resistance training is more important to heart health than you might have realized.

According to Satjit Bhusri, MD, board-certified cardiologist, heavyweight training is similar to sprinting in that you can only do both for a short amount of time because it requires such high amounts of energy exertion.

“Your heart doesn’t know what exercise you are doing—it’s a pump and it’s built to meet supply and demand—so the higher the demand, or intensity of the exercise, the more blood that is needed to meet those demands,” he says. The result? Increased heart rate and blood pressure, which help to strengthen the organ over time. If you need more proof, a 2019 study found that combination training (aka integrating aerobic and anaerobic workouts throughout the week) increased lean body mass, strength, and cardiorespiratory fitness better than an aerobic-only routine.

In addition to boosting your heart health, Dr. Bhuari adds that strength training also has the ability to build muscle, improve bone strength, and ultimately help you perform daily activities more easily. “The end result allows a person to be more active in their everyday life while improving their overall quality of life, too,” he says. “Also, the increased cardiac output correlated with strength training helps control and lower a person’s blood pressure.

In order to reap the maximum benefits from your strength-training workouts, Dr. Bhuari recommends exercises that work multiple joints at the same time. “Multi-joint exercises help improve coordination, flexibility, burns more calories, and elevates cardiac output compared to simple movement strength exercises,” says Dr. Bhusari. Here are a few of his favorites.

1. Squat
2. Lunge
3. Bench press
4. Shoulder press
5. Plank

Click here to read the original Well + Good article

 


Are You In “Shape”?

May 10th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

Whether you are in shape or not is often based almost solely on how you look, or how your clothes fit. Yet, how your body performs with regards to strength and stamina as well as a range of motion is even more important. This is where I like to suggest you ditch your scale.

If you are seeing yourself as too lean or too pudgy, we can work on your diet. But weight alone is not the true story when discussing your level of fitness or health.

It seems counterintuitive but strength comes first. You may be thin but your engines may also be small thus weak. In the long run, you are not well protected from disease and aging. On the other hand, you may be “chunky” but have plenty of muscle to protect your organs and skeletal structure. I like to encourage strength and flexibility testing to establish basic fitness and better assess susceptibility to disease and age-related decay.

Strength training is my go-to for all clients. If you can lift heavy, complete 2 30-minute sessions per week aerobically and you are enjoying an active life, able to physically pursue your interests, then I’m confident you are fit. If your “shape” is not what you were hoping for, we can work together on your diet and nutrition.

It is true, we have a mental image of what “fit” looks like, but from my experience, not every client falls into that look.

 


How to Do a Lateral Band Walk

January 19th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

My personal training clients have noticed a new warm-up exercise – lateral band walks, and yes, they warm you up fast!

Bands allow you to apply resistance to your body where weights might otherwise be awkward. Each time you step your feet together, your glutes have to eccentrically control the motion of your knee, which can help correct knee valgus (inward collapse of the knees).

How to Do the Banded Lateral Walk With Perfect Form

  • Fit a looped resistance band around your legs just above both knees, and stand with your feet together.
  • Keeping your back flat and abs engaged, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat, shifting your weight toward your heels.
  • Maintain the squat as you simultaneously raise your hips several inches and step your right foot out to the right, then lower your hips fully.
  • Again raise your hips several inches as you bring your left foot together with your right, and lower again fully, maintaining tension in the band so that your knees don’t cave inward.
  • Repeat to the opposite side, alternating sides for reps. Perform equal reps on each side.

Benefits of the Lateral Band Walk

The lateral band walk strengthens the glute medius, which is an important stabilizing muscle that often gets overlooked and underutilized. By targeting this muscle (you’ll feel it fire after just a few steps), band walks can help improve your gait and promote better motor control, while helping to correct some injury-causing imbalances and movement dysfunction, including knee valgus, a.k.a. “knock knees.”

This simple yet challenging movement also gets bonus points for its booty-boosting capabilities. The lateral band walk is also a great way to build a fuller, firmer butt. As a warm-up, it targets the largest muscles in your body. This gets clients breathing deeper and their blood moving within minutes, and ready for our 30-minute strength training session!

Read more on OpenFit.com or watch their band walk video here. Contact me at DBM Strength Training in Cascade, MI, I’ll get you stronger!


Gyms Are Back In Business – But We Are Not All The Same

September 21st, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

Like me, you might be soooo happy that your gym has reopened with COVID precautions in place – or maybe not. Not all gyms are the same and if you had been a member of a large gym, maybe you are not ready to return.

We are all unique individuals and have our own comfort levels with handling this pandemic. If you are looking for a great, guided workout without the masses, maybe DBM Strength Training is right for you.

My training model has always been based on very personal training. My semi-private sessions consist of 2-3 clients at a time, for 30 minutes of intensely focused training. I direct the exercise plan, the weight used, form, and progress of each of my clients, typically twice per week. It is rare that there is ever more than 6 people in my studio at any given time, and typically fewer.

I do offer group classes twice per week for those clients that like to mix a class with a session weekly, but again and by design, those classes consist of less than 10 students in the studio (I do offer a Zoom link for clients who prefer to be at home).

If you are ready for a different training program and really miss working out, maybe not yet ready to re-enter your larger gym, let’s connect. I’d be happy to show you my studio and discuss your personal training plan!


Supporting You During Covid-19

March 24th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

My biggest priority is keeping clients safe and strong during this #Coronavirus stay-at-home order. The effects of this pandemic are changing the world and we can only control what we can control, so with that in mind…

I’m taking workouts virtual and bringing DBM Strength Training to you! Let’s stay strong together by joining with our friends and training as together as we can right now.

Strength training classes are scheduled every Tuesday at 6 pm and Sat at 9 & 10:30 am EST. Cost is $10 per person, my preferred payment app is Venmo. You can pm or text me for details and the Zoom link.

With the mandated at home order, watch for exercise videos and virtual classes! Three weeks is a long time to be away from the gym.

While we are at home temporarily here are a few ideas;

Look for opportunities over the course of every day to put your body under some kind of brief resistance load. Even if you only work hard for one minute (or less) at a time but are relatively faithful to incorporating these “micro” opportunities into your daily routine, the cumulative effect will still be incredible.

If you don’t have exercise equipment in your house, there is still a lot you can do to stay fit, active, and sane during these trying times. Online streaming services, the internet, and mobile app stores are loaded with a variety of free and low-cost at-home workouts for all fitness levels and workout preferences, and many don’t require any equipment.

Turn up your favorite tunes and dance like nobody is watching! Whether you are solo or with your fam, this can be such fun. Challenge yourselves to keep adding one more song and keep moving longer every day.

If you have the luxury of a yard (and many do not right now), get your rake out and clean up from winter. Your spring yard will thank you and so will your body.

Hit your local trails! Many of them are pretty quiet right now so dress for the temp and go exploring. Maybe meet a friend at the trailhead and keep a 6′ distance while you hike together. The app Alltrails is great for exploring.

Staying socially engaged during a stay-at-home order requires creativity! Some good ideas are being shared on social media and this article has several.

Watch your diet! Eating nutritious food is best during times of stress. Let’s support your immune system with great recipes that will also support your fitness goals.

How many ideas can you share with the DBM community? We welcome your suggestions and tips.


There Are No Short Cuts to Your Fitness Goals!

February 5th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

In order to see any kind of progress in your health and fitness journey, you must show up for a 30-minute, high-intensity workout, twice a week and eat a clean, high protein, low carb diet! There are no short cuts, just say’n…

Let’s get real. Sure, you can cut your calories in half, or spend your mornings or evenings doing cardio to lose some pounds, but I can promise you your results will not last nor will they give you a healthy, functioning body.

When it comes to weight lifting for weight loss, it is important to keep a few key points in mind.

  • First, you will not get BIG from lifting weights. You get “big” from overconsumption of energy (calories), which can be converted into fat or muscle based on the types of foods you eat and the exercise you do.
  • Second, you can lift more than you think—and you should (with the help of a personal trainer).
  • And finally, if weight training is done properly you may be sore the day or two after your workouts (especially if you are new to resistance exercise). This is called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, and it is a normal response to weight training. Be sure to stretch, drink plenty of water and incorporate sound nutrition to help your body recover quickly between workouts.

Watching the scale too closely is another issue for clients. I’ll hear, “So the scale is up and I’m doing everything right, my clothes are even fitting better! I don’t get it?!” Then we measure and sure enough, their inches are down. Muscle is denser than fat and it also takes up less room. That’s why you can look leaner yet actually weigh more than someone without muscle definition.

Again, if your goal is to be strong, healthy and have a fully functioning body, proper diet and lifting heavy weights with the guidance of a certified personal trainer will get you there!

in part from ACEfitness


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


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


Resistance Training Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Young Overweight Men

February 5th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

New Findings:

Short duration resistance training results in early and progressive increases in muscle mass and function and an increase in insulin sensitivity.

Short bursts of high-intensity resistance training improved insulin sensitivity for relatively young, overweight or obese men.

A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow recruited 10 overweight men to carry out three sessions per week of 15-20 minutes of resistance exercise. The trial lasted for six weeks. Each session involved a single set of nine exercises which were performed until reaching muscle fatigue.

The participants were aged between 28 and 44 years old with BMI between 26 and 32 kg/m2. Their fitness levels, insulin sensitivity, and muscle strength were measured at the start and after each week of the study.

Insulin sensitivity is a marker for whether a person is at risk of type 2 diabetes. If the body becomes less sensitive to the effects of the hormone insulin, blood glucose levels can rise leading to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

A 16 percent improvement in insulin sensitivity was recorded along with improvements in muscle strength.

The study indicates that short bursts of exercise through the week, carried out on a regular basis, can have substantial effects on improving insulin sensitivity which could help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It will be interesting to see how a similar exercise regimen could benefit insulin sensitivity for people of both genders who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The findings have been published in the journal Experimental Physiology.

diabetes.co.uk