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      FITNESS TIPS FOR 3/19/2001                  

Resistance Weight Training Exercise 
Designing a Resistance Strength Training Program 
By Tracy Anderson
Lifestyle Fitness and Nutrition

First off I would like to talk about some basic principles of 
weight resistance training , or for that matter, any type of 
exercise. There are three basic principles that need to be 
discussed. They are the principle of intensity, principle of 
progressive resistance and the principle of training 

The principle of intensity says, in order for a muscle to 
adapt, the exercise stimulus must be intense enough to 
represent a challenge. Now there are four basic ways to
increase intensity. First you can simply decrease the 
amount of rest you have between sets. Second, you can 
increase the number of reps you perform. Third, you can 
increase the weight or resistance, and fourth, you can 
use different angles to exercise the same muscle, 
using the same movement.

At the end of each exercise session, ask yourself " did I 
increase at least one of these intensity barriers". If not,
then you have already recognized a reason why your 
results are lagging. If you answered yes, then decide
which one you did not utilize, and work on that next time. 
Intensity is a relative trem, and will fit everybody 
differently.  You must exceed some threshold of intensity 
in order to elicit an adaptive response from your muscle.  
If you muscles do not get challenged, then how can you 
expect them to resond by getting bigger or stronger.

Next lets talk about the principle of progressive resistance.  
This simply means that as you get stronger, you have to keep 
progressively increasing the resistance to overload the muscle
and elicit an adaptive response.  Now this principle is closely 
related to the principle if intensity, but remember you can 
decrease weight while increasing intensity, but this is not true 
when applying the principle of progressive resistance.  
Obviously as you increase resistance, your intensity will raise 
accordingly.  So as you get stronger, increase your resistance, 
in order to continue getting results.  Now, you can increase 
resistance a few different ways.  First, you can slow the 
momentum of your movement down.  Try doing this while 
doing heavy bench press, and tell me how much heavier it felt.  
Second, you can increase your weight.  (Now that was a no 
brainer!)  Third, you can use, what I call leverage factors.  
You can shorten the lever, such as your arm, and this will
 increase the load felt.  For instance, try using the same 
weight on preacher curl, that you use on barbell curl.  What 
you did is isolated the upper arm, and by doing this you 
decrease you leverage advantage, and increased the load 
put on your biceps.  

The last basic principle I would like to discuss is the principle 
of training specificity.  This simply means that a muscle will 
structurally and functionally adapt to the type of training 
stimulus applied.  A simple example would be a marathon 
runner.  Now, they train their legs hard, but they are not very 
large, but they are muscular.  By training using endurance, 
they are hitting their type 1, slow twitch muscle fibers.  
However, look at a powerlifter, they have larger legs and 
can squat a ton, but could not run 26.2 miles.  Power lifters 
train their fast twitch fibers, type 2 a and b, and this is why 
their legs are bigger.  Fast twitch fibers are more likely to
 hypertrophy or increase the individual cell size.  I could 
go on, but I fell that you should have the basic idea by now.  
In later articles I will elaborate on the different types of muscle 
fibers and their action, but remember this is only the basic 
principles, and is intended to familiarize you so you will 
understand future articles.

Next month I will continue with the other Basic Principles of a 
Healthy Lifestyle.  The last two principles will cover aerobics 
and rest. 

As you read these articles, please don't think that changeing 
just one area in your life will make a world of difference.  The 
idea is to only change one thing at a time, this allows you the 
oppertunity to see if it works or not.  Then after you find an 
avenue that works for you, find another area that needs 
changed.  Then change only one thing, and decide if that 
worked, if not then go back to the drawing board, and try 
something different.  Always keep in mind the end result 
that you desire, and progress toward that goal.            


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