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The strength training content is your on-line "how to" manual. Everything you need to know about strength training and exactly how to achieve the results you desire, is taught in this manual.

The strength training content is 37 page long and can be viewed on your computer or printed out. All the examples in this content are linked to demonstrations that will enhance your understanding.

Below is a list of all the very important topics we'll discuss throughout the strength training content. Members receive full access to the strength training content (and all of the WF website). In addition, sample topics are provided FREE for non-members. Please refer to the chart below.

In the strength training component, you will find information on:

 

Strength Traing Exercies

Strength training program

Muscle Map

Ohter Components

 

 

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Introduction
 

Women pursue fitness for a myriad of reasons. According to WF, true physical fitness encompasses a three-tiered equation, including strength development, cardiovascular training and flexibility. An integral part of the fitness equation is strength training. Women are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that lifting weights provides them with a sleek, toned look instead of the muscle-bound physic of a body builder. Women, by nature, do not develop large muscles. This is because we do not produce enough male hormone, testosterone, to develop that type of musculature.
 

Weight bearing exercise builds sturdier bones. This is of particular importance to women who may be prone to osteoporosis due to decreasing estrogen levels during menopause or a genetic predisposition.
 

Similarly maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program during pregnancy can help a woman also maintain her self-esteem. Regaining muscle tone and losing weight after childbirth is also easier for those women who stayed active throughout their pregnancy. Unless a woman is experiencing complications with the progression of her pregnancy it is perfectly safe for her to continue an exercise program, with some adjustments like avoiding sports where she can easily fall. Pregnant women should not work out as hard as they might have before pregnancy.
 

Historically, gyms were the domains of men and the old bench and dumbbells in the garage only took up space where the car should be parked. But with increasing awareness, women have come to realize that strength training is an essential component of life long fitness-mind and body.

 

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  Benefits of Strength Training
 

Strength training is exercise that uses resistance for example, weights, to strengthen and condition the muscle-skeletal system, improving muscle tone and endurance. WF uses ‘strength-training’ as a general term synonymous with other common terms: “weightlifting” and “resistance training” as a general term synonymous with other common terms: “weightlifting” and “resistance training”. Physiologically the benefits of consistent strength training include an increase in muscle size and tone, increased muscle strength, and increases in tendon, bone, and ligament strength. Strength training has also been shown to improve psychological health as well, by increasing self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.
 

These improvements have a great influence on our physical performance, metabolic efficiency, physical appearance and risk of injury. We will go into each of these in detail, outlining some very exciting benefits of a good strength-training program that most people overlook or don’t realize.

 

Improved Physical Performance and Appearance


One important result of strength training is increased physical performance. Muscles quite literally utilize energy to produce movement, functioning as the engine or powerhouse of the body. Strength training increases the muscle size, strength, and endurance, resulting in improved physical performance in accomplishing a specific task. Stronger muscles enable us to lift or move something that is heavy, which is considered muscle strength, and to lift or move something that is light more times, which is called muscle endurance. Increases in both muscle strength and muscle endurance contribute to improvements in our work, our favorite sports and hobbies, and our general day-to-day activities.
 

Many studies have shown that strength-training beginners gain about three to five pounds of muscle and 25-45 percent more strength and endurance after 10-12 weeks of consistent weightlifting. This is wonderful news for anyone considering a strength-training program. Implement the principles and guidelines presented in this component and train consistently with the program designed specifically for you and you will achieve outstanding results.
 

Another benefit of a good strength-training program is its effect on our overall appearance and body composition, which can directly influence self-esteem, self-worth, and level of confidence.
 

Both our physical appearance and our physical performance can be improved by muscle gain or hampered by muscle loss. Research indicates that unless we strength train regularly, we lose more than one-half pound of muscle every year of our lives after age 25. Unless we implement a safe and effective strength-training program, our muscles gradually decrease in size and strength in the process called “atrophy”.
 

Strength training is therefore important for preventing the muscle loss that normally accompanies the aging process. A common misconception is that as we get older, it is normal to stop being active and to start using ambulatory aides like canes and wheelchairs. Many people think we have no choice; they think this is normal.
 

But this couldn’t be far from the truth. There is absolutely no reason why all of us can’t be physically, mentally, socially, and sexually active, living a healthy vibrant life until the very day we die. The reason many elderly people rely on ambulatory aides and become slower and fatter is simply that over the years their muscles are decreasing. So their physical performance and metabolism also decrease, becoming less efficient.

 

Metabolic Efficiency

 
That one-half pound of muscle loss every year after age 25 produces a one-half percent reduction in Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) every year. A reduction in BMR means that our bodies are less able to use the food we consume as energy thus more gets stored as body fat.
 

Everyone has an individual metabolic rate. “Basal metabolic rate” refers to the energy used by our body at rest to maintain normal body functions.
 

Our muscles have high-energy requirements. Even when we are sleeping, our muscles use more than 25 percent of our energy (calories). When you implement the principles that we teach, and if you are consistent in your strength-training program, you will achieve an increase in lean muscle mass throughout body and increase your BMR. In other words, you can actually condition your metabolism to work better and more efficiently even when you are at rest. An increase in muscle tissue causes an increase in metabolic rate, and a decrease in muscle tissue causes a decrease in metabolic rate.
 

Once again: adults who are not on a safe, effective strength-training program will experience an annual half-pound loss of muscle and half-percent reduction in metabolic rate unless they begin some form of strength training. The gradual decrease in muscle and BMR is related to the increase in body fat that most people gain as they get older if they do not strength train. With a decrease in muscle, less energy is used for daily metabolic function, so calories previously necessary to perform the activities of daily living now end up stored as fat.
 

You can see that anyone interested in decreasing body fat percentage and their risk of disease as well as in increasing physical performance and appearance, should be strength training to help condition their metabolism (BMR).

One of the biggest mistakes women make when starting a weight-management program is not including a strength-training program with their cardiovascular exercise and low-fat eating regimen. This is unfortunate because when we cut calories without exercise, we can lose muscle as well as fat. Many do not choose to do strength training because: 1) they mistakenly think they are going to make their body big and bulky, and 2) they do not realize how beneficial and important strength training is in a weight-management program. Whether it is strength, endurance, muscle size or muscle tone (or a combination) you desire, WF will show you exactly how to get those results.  

 

Decreased Risk of Injury


Our muscles also function as shock absorbers and serve as important balancing agents throughout our body. Well-conditioned muscles help to lessen the repetitive landing forces in weight-bearing activities such as jogging or playing basketball. Well-balanced muscles reduce the risk of injuries that result when a muscle is weaker than its opposing muscle group. For example, jogging places more stress on the hamstrings and calves than it does on the quadriceps, creating a muscle imbalance that often leads to knee injuries. So it is very important that runners be on a good strength-training program that includes training the quadriceps as well as the hamstrings and calves.
 

To reduce the risk of imbalanced muscle development, you should make sure that when you are training a specific muscle group, the opposing muscle groups are being trained as well (though not necessarily on the same day). For example, if you are doing strength training exercises for your chest you should include back exercises in your program as well. Of course, you will have no problem with muscle imbalance when using the WF Strength Training programs; we cover every group in the body, promoting well-balanced muscle development.
 

Please realize that a sound strength-training program that includes all major muscle groups is the most effective way to decrease risk of injury. For safe, effective strength-training programs work well not only for injury rehabilitation, but for injury prevention as well.
 

As a WF member you are now ready to begin the WF Strength Training content. We begin with basic terminology, safety precautions, and the necessary mind-set you need in order to be successful. We will then discuss the principles and guidelines of an effective strength training program, and then proceed to the intermediate and advanced techniques that will alleviate boredom, prevent plateaus, and produce new results, again and again.

 

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