The health and fitness industry has progressed to the point that instant supply of information on the internet has made it possible for people to read up on any topic. Inasmuch as this has been very positive for people in the health and fitness industry, it still amazes me how much misinformation – downright incorrect information – is put forth by those with some quick fix commercial venture. They promote what they think people are interested in to instantly get in shape. Most of this is downright fraudulent and is just being promoted for the profit potential. regardless whether it’s a fad or not.
To debunk some of these common misconceptions, we reached out to Canada’s John Cardillo Premier Fitness workout expert who was most recently featured on TheHealthKing. The following provides some meaningful insight as to the truth behind these misconstructions:
The most dangerous repetitions of a set to perform are the last hard to complete, when the muscle is fatigued. The first few repetitions of a set are the safest to perform.
FACT: John Cardillo: Some exercise authorities contend that training to muscular failure is dangerous, and suggest that the muscle fibres become so weak that injury is more prevalent while straining to lift a weight. The exact opposite happens to be true. As a muscle performs more reps it warms up and it becomes less dangerous to perform more repetitions. Conversely, it is the first few repetitions of a set that are the most dangerous on a muscle structure. Injury risk does not have anything to do with how heavy a weight feels or how fatigued a muscle is, rather, the involved forces in the exercise. Your connective tissue where the muscle meets the tendon (which is an area that is vulnerable) suppose it can withstand 100 pounds of resistance, and would rip if it was forced to work against 105 pounds. The ability of the tendon to withstand 100 pounds will not vary throughout the set of repetitions, regardless of its the 1st or 10th repetition in the set. Muscles however vary in strength and can exert more than 100 pounds of force, which would cause an injury. Every rep performed the muscular ability and force diminishes.When you perform 10 reps causing the muscle to exert 90 pounds of maximum force, it causes the muscle to fatigue and the tendons can withstand forces they can tolerate. Conversely, the beginning of performing a set when the strength of a muscle is greatest, is most dangerous because this is when you are able to exert the greatest amount of force. The last reps of a set the muscle fibers are fatigued therefore they contract very slowly moving the weight. This keeps the force within a level that is manageable. Lifting the weight in a sloppy, quick, bouncing action should not be done. As such, by moving the weight in a controlled fashion you generate the required force in a controlled manner which will not cause injury. The risk of Injuries can occur when workout form is lost. However, losing mental concentration because of fatigue, leading to improper form can cause strain to the muscle fibers.
A highly experienced lifter needs more exercise than a beginner.
FACT: John Cardillo: This situation is the exact opposite. Although a person can increase his or her strength by upward of 300%, recovery ability and the ability to tolerate intense exercise, only increases by not more than 50%. Also we have to factor in the following:
- Aging diminishes how much strain we can tolerate.
- Due to aging our growth hormone and testosterone production decrease. These hormones influence workout tolerance and recuperation.
- Extra nutrition is required by a stronger larger muscle for contraction. As such replenishing requires more time, and more rest. Therefore the stronger you are and the greater muscle tissue you have the more rest and recuperation time is needed. In this situation your body can tolerate less sets of exercise, not more.
The reason why some people believe otherwise, is that fitness magazines publish “apparent” routines of bodybuilding champions – routines that anyone not on anabolic steroids could sustain, and likely these routines that are fabricated to make the bodybuilder appear more super-human.
Weight training cannot help people improve their cardio respiratory and cardiovascular ability.
FACT: John Cardillo: Yes, you can! When you weight train in a high intensity manner, the heart beats and the lungs respire. The harder you train, the harder these organs work.
Strength training exercises can raise the heart rate much higher than steady-state aerobic activity. By performing a weight training workout properly with high intensity, you can keep your heart rate at a much higher level than steady state aerobic activity you could engage in. By moving from exercise to exercise without rest, you will maintain a high pulse rate for the entire duration of the workout (maximum 45 minutes).
However, a word of caution. You must work up to this type of intensity slowly. A period of break-in training, performed at a much slower rate and lower intensity must first be done. As the trainee improves in his/her conditioning, increasing their intensity while also decreasing the amount of rest between exercises. A highly experienced individual performing high intensity workouts is able to work continuously from exercise to exercise for 45 minutes without rest, thus keeping their pulse rate at a near maximum level for the whole workout.
We must remember that the heart is a muscle, and therefore as we increase our lean skeletal muscle mass, we also want to increase our cardiovascular conditioning by performing work which affects the heart to get strong and grow. This is critical because a heart that has poor conditioning will have a difficult time pumping oxygen and blood to stronger and bigger muscles.
It is not unusual for very large bodybuilders (the ones who take a lot of anabolic drugs and weigh in excess of 250 pounds) to have breathing problems, and to get winded even clinging to a set of stairs. This occurs when a bodybuilder’s cardiovascular condition is so poor that they cannot supply the oxygen and blood needs to their large muscles. As extreme as these cases are, they do prove that there is a connection between a strong heart and larger muscle mass.