News You Can Use
From
Janet Alexander and Chris Maund

August 2012
 
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 Electron Free Sleep
Welcome to the August 2012 issue of our newsletter. This month we continue our discussion of resistance training and we explain how to make sure that the environment in your bedroom is conducive to quality sleep.
This month's photo was taken in Sudan in 2007. This is one way to ensure that sleep quality is not affected by electrical or electronic devices!
Getting Started With Resistance Training Part 3
Last month we discussed how to develop strength versus power and how to target type 1 and type 2 muscle fibres. This month we will consider resistance training frequency.
Generally speaking, the weaker you are the more frequently you can re-expose your body to the same exercises. For example, a 50 year old female with no previous history of front squats might be capable of lifting 30lbs 10 times for 3 sets with good form. Assuming that she is eating properly, getting enough sleep and is otherwise healthy, she can probably do this exercise every other day. Since the load is so small the degree of tissue destruction created by doing 3 sets of 10 reps with 30lbs is so small that recovery in under 48 hours is assured. Contrast this with a 21 year old rugby forward who can front squat 250lbs 10 times for 5 sets with good form. The degree of damage to his soft tissue caused by a load of this magnitude is so great that he will probably need at least 4-5 days before he can perform this exercise again using the same (or larger) loads.
The larger the load the longer you need before you repeat the same exercise.
Another principle of resistance training concerns how much muscle mass you have. If you weigh 200lbs and your body fat is 10% you have much more muscle mass than somebody who weighs 200lbs but has 25% body fat. The more muscle mass you have, the larger the loads you can lift (because you are stronger) and the longer you will need before you can repeat the same effort again. This is also why females (who tend to be lighter, weaker and carry less muscle) can usually be exposed to the same exercises more frequently than their heavier/stronger male counterparts.
For complete beginners to resistance training it is usually a good idea to use just one exercise program consisting of 5-8 exercises which is repeated 3 times every week. As the beginner gets stronger it will eventually become necessary to use two different programs and to alternate these so that exposure to the same exercises before recovery has occurred can be avoided.
Areas of the body that are very weak might respond best to daily training. An example of this would be a female who has recently had a Caesarean section and now has to rehabilitate her abdominal wall. In this case part of the problem is that the surgery has created a neurological inhibition of the abdominal musculature. Overcoming this lack of neuromuscular control usually requires daily exercise designed specifically to re-establish command and control over the affected muscles.
Next month we'll look at what equipment you need to set up a resistance training program.

Sleep Hygiene          

Does your bedroom contain a computer, a TV, a cell phone or a radio alarm clock? How about a fridge, a coffee maker or an ipod? Do you use electric blankets? Does your bed have an electrically powered adjustability? We have ceased to be amazed by the amount of electrical and electronic garbage that people have in their bedrooms. We have news for you...if it requires electrons to flow through wires in order to function...it does NOT belong in your bedroom! Your bedroom is a place for SLEEP...it is not an entertainment centre or a kitchen or an office. Over the years we have seen many clients improve their sleep quality by removing all the electrical and electronic nonsense from their bedrooms.  

The bottom line is this...if you don't sleep as well as you'd like, remove ALL these devices from your bedroom for 2 weeks and see if it makes a difference.  

If you find that this seems to help you sleep better and you'd like to know why then read this book:

 

Electromagnetic Fields and Circadian Rhythmicity edited by Martin C. Moore-Ede, Scott S. Campbell and Russel J. Reiter.

 

The animal studies written up in this book show alarming effects on neuro-endocrine function in many different species due to exposure to various types of elecromagnetic fields. Once you have read this book you will understand why there are no similar studies on humans...given the trends in the animal data no ethics committtee anywhere would approve studies like this using human subjects. Don't be surprised if you decide that your cell phone is not such a good idea after you have read this book!  

Next month's topics will be titled "Getting Started With Resistance Training Part 4" and "When Is Stretching Not A Good Idea?" Now get some strength training done by moving all the electronic gadgets out of your bedroom...