Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More Muscle Groups, Higher Dividends

Boy, was I glad when I read the article below in the July-August 2012 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. The article states that using multiple large-muscle groups creates a larger after-burn with your muscles. 

By expending more energy (which translates to calories), your burn more calories. This leads to more effective muscle-sculpting and weight loss.

As I have said repeatedly, keeping the body off-balance gives us better results, and we need to learn — and apply — new techniques and practices in our workouts. It also reinforced the message I bestow on my clients: Don't be afraid to try something new in your workouts. More often than not, it will pay off.

What's your favorite multi-muscle workout? 

Energy Expenditure During 1-Set and 3-Set Training Protocol

Many fitness professionals incorporate strength training routines into clients’ programs in part to incite postworkout elevated energy expenditure. But how many repetitions and sets are enough to generate extended periods of afterburn? Probably many fewer than you think.

A small study of eight young overweight males pitted the traditional 3-set strength training protocol against a 1-set program. Participants completed 1 set of 10 exercises, at 10-repetition maximum (RM), targeting all major muscle groups. During a separate intervention, they completed 3 sets of the same exercises, also at 10-RM. Exercises included leg press, leg curl, calf raise, bench press, lat pull-down, shoulder press, biceps curl, triceps extension, abdominal crunch and back extension. 

Movements were divided into three circuits, with 4 minutes’ rest between them. Energy expenditure was then tested 24, 48 and 72 hours after the exercise session.

The researchers discovered that the 3-set protocol resulted in significantly more energy expenditure during the workout than the 1-set protocol. “However, within protocols, both the one-set and three-set protocols were significantly elevated for resting energy expenditure expressed in absolute amounts at 24 hours post, 48 hours post, and 72 hours post, compared with baseline,” said the authors. “The results of this investigation support the current American College of Sports Medicine recommendation for resistance training, which is one set of eight to 10 exercises focusing on the major muscle groups. 

Although this recommendation is most often cited for overall muscular fitness, the fact that a single set can elevate resting energy expenditure for 72 hours may be an important modality for weight management.”

The study appeared in the European Journal of Applied Physiology (2011; 111 [3], 477–84).

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