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COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Updated information and resources from IDEA

Strength/Resistance

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Periodization for Maximizing Hypertrophy

By Len Kravitz, PhD | May 13, 2020 |

Much of the periodization literature to date has centered on the strength outcomes and sports performance of athletes striving to balance the needs of practice, conditioning and competition (Bartolomei et al. 2014). But many recreationally active clients seek to gain muscle size in personal training sessions, and few studies have evaluated whether a periodization model should be used in a hypertrophy-focused resistance training program for these fitness enthusiasts. This article highlights the best research available to help answer an important question: Should you periodize a client’s RT plan to maximize skeletal muscle hypertrophy?

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Women and Strength Training Factors

Women and Strength Training

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | March 30, 2020 |

Women do not respond to weight training the same way men do. University of New South Wales researchers in Sydney conducted a comprehensive search of the literature on resistance training and found only 24 randomized controlled studies that focused exclusively on women. Lead study author Amanda “Mandy” D. Hagstrom, PhD, lecturer in exercise science at UNSW Medicine, said, “I was surprised. I knew there wouldn’t be many [studies], but I thought there’d be more than that.” The selected studies included almost 1,000 women.

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Training women over 40

Training Loads for Women Over 40

By Amy Ashmore, PhD | March 11, 2020 |

Personal trainers often have female clients over the age of 40 who have similar complaints about losing muscle mass and gaining body fat. Although these changes aren’t unexpected and can be a normal part of the aging process, they are not inevitable. In fact, the right resistance-training program can positively affect body composition by reducing fat, maintaining and building muscle, and increasing strength in this population.

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Gender equality and spotters

Gender Equality Among Spotters

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | January 28, 2020 |

A spotter’s gender does not influence bench press performance during a 1-RM testing protocol, according to a 2019 report in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2019; doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003156) This is true whether the weightlifter is male or female.

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Focal Strategy for Weightlifting

Best Focal Strategy for Weightlifting

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | January 17, 2020 |

The mental aspect of strength training is often given short shrift, but now a systematic review has analyzed relevant research to determine which most benefits weightlifting performance: focusing externally on the intended weightlifting result, focusing internally on the body or having no specific focus.

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HIIT and Weight Training Sequence

HIIT or CWT: Does Sequence Matter?

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | January 16, 2020 |

A new study, conducted under the leadership of IDEA author and presenter Len Kravitz, PhD, compared cardiovascular and metabolic responses to two exercise protocols: (1) six bouts of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) followed by three rounds of circuit weight training (CWT) and (2) CWT rounds interspersed with HIIT bouts. Fourteen trained young men (ages 25.7 ± 4.4) participated in the study, completing each of the two programs 3 days apart.

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Resistance training and weight loss

Strength Training and Weight Loss

By IDEA Editorial Staff | December 19, 2019 |

Did you know that resistance training does much more than build strong muscles and bones? Research in the past few years has confirmed that lifting weights changes your metabolism in ways that improve health and well-being. That’s good news for people with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol levels.

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Strength training with a spotter

Presence of Spotter Improves Bench Press Performance

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | December 18, 2019 |

New research shows that the presence of a spotter during bench press training is enough to improve training performance by reducing perceived exertion and enhancing feelings of self-efficacy. Leeds Beckett University researchers from the Centre for Human Performance in Leeds, England, conducted the study to better understand why exercisers perform better in the presence of personal
trainers, coaches or training partners.

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Resistance training older adults

Resistance Training for Older Adults: New NSCA Position Stand

By Len Kravitz, PhD | December 18, 2019 |

Fitness professionals know that resistance exercises are pivotal for maintaining and increasing muscle strength and mass as well as thwarting the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, particularly as we age. The National Strength and Conditioning Association recently addressed these issues in the organization’s first position stand on resistance training for older adults (ages 65 and older).

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Sample Class: Seated Exercises for Older Adults

By | October 21, 2019 |

Older adults are more susceptible to deficits in cardiovascular fitness, muscle mass, strength and power, which may ultimately lead to losses in physical function. The following chair-based format focuses on improving outcomes for older participants, especially those who may need the support of a chair during exercise. Ready, Set, Sit! offers the variety of three 15-minute training segments (cardiovascular, high intensity and strength/power), while targeting important components that boost overall function.

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Muscular Strength and Mental Well-Being

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | October 15, 2019 |

In a study of midlife women in Singapore, weak upper- and lower-body strength was associated with depression and anxiety. Researchers analyzed data from 1,159 healthy women ages 45–69 for physical activity, physical performance, lifestyle choices, reproductive health, sociodemographic characteristics, and depression and anxiety symptoms. Weak handgrip strength and poor lower-body strength were associated with elevated symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Fifteen percent of participants reported depression and/or anxiety.

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High-Volume, High-Intensity Exercise Is Safe for Men

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | October 15, 2019 |

No need for concern about increased death risk from heart disease among experienced middle-aged exercisers who engage in high-intensity activity, at least if they’re male. Findings from a 10-year study of 21,758 generally healthy, very active men—like marathon runners, cyclists and swimmers—showed that even for those with higher coronary-artery calcium levels, athletic pursuits did not elevate risk of death.

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Men’s Health Research Review

By IDEA Authors | September 24, 2019 |

Men: Are you exercising and eating healthfully but not losing the weight you want? The good news is that there are more benefits to these two habits than just weight loss.

Megan Senger, professional fitness writer/editor and fitness instructor based in North Carolina, has summarized a few studies that center on men’s wellness, with comments on what the findings may mean for you.

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IDEA Fitness Journal

IDEA Fitness Journal

Current Issue:
December 2019

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