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Resistance Training: A Physical Elixir

When I first paid for personal training sessions many years ago, I remember specifically telling my trainer that I wanted to focus only on my upper body, with maybe a little core work sprinkled in.

Legs? No way!

Na├»ve and shortsighted, to be sure. I remember this coach giving me a sideways “We’ll see about that” kind of smirk. Naturally, he managed to get plenty of leg work into sessions in what I deemed to be regular bouts of purposeful torture. In all the years I’d trained as a swimmer, I had somehow escaped doing lunges, squats, frog jumps and land-based sprint work, so adding these exercises to my program woke me up. Though I still don’t relish the idea of leg-focused days, I grasp the importance of challenging my largest muscle groups, and I embrace the importance of doing functional resistance training for my whole body.

The two features in this issue will bring the absolute necessity of strength training—for both you and your clients—into sharp relief. First, Len Kravitz, PhD, and colleagues catch us up on the science surrounding the metabolic effects of resistance training. As the authors point out, research in the past few years has confirmed that lifting weights changes human metabolism, improving health and well-being in multidimensional ways. So lifting is not just for building strength, hypertrophy and endurance anymore. There’s a lot more to it. As the research suggests, that’s good news for clients with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol levels.

Next, Derrick Price, MS, vice president of the Institute of Motion, dives into a functional resistance training topic focused on deadlifting and deadshifting—that is, lifting and/or shifting load from a point of absolute rest with variability and integrity and without injury.

As he writes, “Our life and sporting endeavors rarely require lifting a maximal load in the classic gym motion. By contrast, we often need to lift—or shift—light loads from odd positions to accomplish various everyday tasks. The key word is ÔÇÿvarious’: Sometimes our training doesn’t match the variables that life throws at us.”

Derrick coached me here in San Diego for many years. His sheer joy at inventing new moves for our small training group and his explanations of the “whys” behind the drills helped us to understand and respect the miracle of our bodies beyond just exercise. We were all ninjas as far as he was concerned—and he made us believe we were. Check out some of Derrick’s ingenuity yourself by reading the article and trying the 10 deadlifts and deadshifts he describes.

We are just about 4 weeks out from the IDEA® World Convention in Anaheim, California, where Len—along with about 225 other elite educators in the industry—will be presenting for your learning pleasure and inspiration. The IDEA team is putting final touches on the details that make this event the greatest fitness celebration on the planet!

We look forward to seeing you at IDEA World or hearing from you in the meantime,

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster





Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

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