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Some Helpful Books ...


Serious Training for Endurance Athletes

Serious Training for
Endurance Athletes

Learn how to design, schedule, execute, and monitor endurance training.

Anatomy of Movement

Anatomy of Movement

More than a thousand graphic drawings of muscles, bones, ligaments and joints of the arms, legs and trunk. The books helps you to understand how muscles work together to cause motion.

Muscles Testing and Function

MUSCLES
Testing and Function

A classic text of manual muscle testing gives an excellent account of muscle insertions and origins and action.



Joint Structure and Function

Joint Structure and Function
Details of the the human skeletal structure, emphasizing the type and function of joints, the function of ligaments arount a joint, and the functions of the muscles around a joint.

 

Functional Training for Sport

Functional Training for Sports
Details of the the human skeletal structure, emphasizing the type and function of jo

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Keep it simple and have a good workout now! Do you workout first thing in the morning? Right before lunch? ... or after work? Is your real world interfering with your workout world? Or are you a professional athlete or workout pro that spends an enormous amount of time training, fueling up and resting to workout again tomorrow? Supposedly about 33% of people know that exercise is good for their bodies' for feeling good, living healthier and maybe even for living a little longer .. AND they are doing something about it. They are exercising 3-5 days, even 7 days, per week for at least about 30 minutes per session. Another 33% believe that exercise is a good thing, but just can't find the time to squeeze it in their schedule. And the final third of the population don't believe it, don't care about it ... or just plain hate exercise. As one firefighter joked, 'You only get so many heartbeats in life, so you don't want to use all yours up too fast while exercising.'

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Check below for information you need to know about endurance training, strength training, functional training, flexibility and balance.

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Endurance

Endurance is your ability to continuously perform a repetitive action or a combination of actions by moving your body weight or moving objects repeatedly. Moving your body weight usually involves traveling a distance (running, cycling and swimming), but may involve a stationary action (jump rope, treadmill running, stationary cycle, etc.).

Endurance training is important in health because the metabolic adaptations that occur in the body cause better use of fats as fuel, improve blood lipid components and improve body fat storage in ways that may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Endurance training can improve bone density. Endurance training can enhance the immune system, but excessive endurance training can harm the immune system and lower resistance to disease and infections. Endurance training also improves your ability to handle stress.

The physiological limit of endurance is different than the limit of strength. Endurance activity stops because of any of the following: depletion of nutritional components: carbohydrates and fats, water and electrolytes; a buildup of metabolic byproducts that include the lowering of pH (increasing the acidity of blood and tissues); the associated discomfort associated with failing physiological processes; and the psychological play of boredom and time. Strength activity stops when the ability to contract a muscle or combination of muscles fails to overcome the resistance applied and motion is impossible in a very short time frame from start to finish.

Strength

Strength is your ability to exert force to move your own body's weight or to move external objects. The skeletal system, the muscular system and the nervous system are the systems of the body that are most important in determining strength. Some components of these systems are changeable; some are not. The length of your bones (as a lever) and the distance outward from a joint that a muscle is attached to a bony lever, such as the upper arm, has significant effect on the strength of certain activities. For example, a person with long upper arm bones with chest muscle insertions that are closer to the shoulder joint will have a harder time with a bench press than a person with short upper arm bones with chest muscle insertions that are further along the arm bone away from the shoulder joint. These are anatomical features of leverage advantages that are a result of genetic determination and cannot be changed. But the nervous system and the muscular system can be changed to dramatically improve muscular strength.

Everyone will agree that when you exercise with weights, you get stronger and muscles grow to varying measures. The muscle growth is called hypertrophy. Most initial strength gains actually come from nervous system control and coordination of the contracting muscles -- before significant hypertrophy occurs. Physical training conditions the nervous system to learn what muscle intensities and combination of muscles best move your bones to exert force. Hypertrophy results from the longer term, repeated stress of weightlifting and exercise. People are born (again genetics plays a part) with varying muscle fiber types. Muscle fiber types (Slow Twitch Type I, Fast Twitch Type IIa, and Fast Twitch Type IIb, the fastest and strongest) are classified according to features of muscle fibers, such as contractile force and speed, capillary density, glycolytic capacity (the ability to get energy from sugar or carbohydrates during exertion, especially under conditions of limited oxygen), mitochondrial density (the primary function of mitochondria is to convert energy from food into cellular energy in the form of ATP, usually under conditions of high supply of oxygen). Usually a certain fiber type predominates in an individual or in specific anatomy of an individual. Some people are at the extreme of some features and lack other features. They could be a very good sprinter with high strength to quickly move the body (with a fast 100 meter time), but a very poor endurance runner because of poor ability to deliver continuous oxygen and fuels to the working muscles (resulting in a slow mile time or 10K time) . Most of us are somewhere in between. Training for speed and strength tends to develop Type IIa and IIb. Endurance training tends to develop Type I. Many sports have endurance and strength components, so training for these sports becomes very interesting. Many sports even have variable endurance and strength components according to the player position on the playing field or court. Muscles work better when they are conditioned to use fats (triglycerides) and carbohydrates (glycogen) with or without the oxygen delivered by the blood. This conditioning is acheived by training at high and low intensities.

Training, conditioning and competition reveals your muscle feature components. With physical stress and adaptive improvement, you can optimize your results by training to find the best combination and use of your genetically determine features.

Strength training is important in health because you are able to move more safely in the world for job-related activities and just plain old activities of daily living. Although exceptional strength abilities may lead individuals to taking greater risks, having a stronger body helps individuals understand physical risks and certainly makes day-to-day activities easier and safer to perform. Strength with intelligence also helps you to adjust and overcome opponents and the stress of your sport. Strong, balanced muscles help protect joints from injuries of joint instability. Strength training through progressive resistance exercise helps reduce strain on the heart, because gradual resistance stress is better than a sudden heavy stress that raises blood pressure during straining. Strength activities also improve bone density. Strength and balance is extremely important in the elderly to prevent falls and incapacitation.

Fx/Flex/Balance

Fx/Flex/Balance involves several components important to conditioning and well-being -- functional replication of a sport action; flexibility of muscles and joints for optimal joint range of motion, balance or fine tuning of antagonist and synergist muscles force coupling, and balance of the body on earth. Fx/Flex/Balance Training is one step beyond functional training, because simply mimicking functional activities can promote overuse and injury risks.

Functional training involves motion patterns that are realistic to activities of daily living, job-related activities and sports-related activities. Movement in realistic patterns can wake-up fundamental and primal motion of the body and improve performance, but, in excess or if done mindlessly, it can promote overuse injury. Functional Training is important in sports action, but its use should respect any risks of overuse that already occur in sports practice and actual competitive events.

Flexibility of a joint means that the joint is able to move in a reasonable range of motion. Joint motion can be limited by genetically determined joint structure; joint damage, such as arthritis; shortened, stiff muscles; and unbalanced muscles (usually caused by repeated overuse of a certain muscle action or position). Flexibility exercises keep muscles pliable and prevent shortening. An important part of flexibility training involves the recent effort to understand the relationship of antagonist (oppositely acting muscles) and stretch receptors in the muscles and tendons. Sometimes stretching a muscle can make it temporarily weak (too long with too much slack or even too short and tense!); but, can make the antagonist muscle temporarily strong. For example, careless overstretching of a chest muscle before the bench press may actually weaken the chest muscle and hinder the bench press effort.

Flexibility and muscle balance is also important to reduce deficits in muscle strength and power across joints (think wheel alignment of an automobile). Deficits can occur regarding flexion and extension of a joint (e.g., knee), internal and external rotation of a joint (e.g., shoulder) and right and left leg comparison (e.g., gait is uneven or twisted from out-of-sync locomotion). Common deficits include quadriceps being much stronger than hamstrings (risk of hamstring strain or knee strain), synergist imbalance of hamstrings (risk of hamstring strain), internal rotator muscles of the shoulder overpowering the external rotator muscles of the shoulder (risk of rotator cuff injury), hip flexor muscles shortened with weak abdominal muscles and weak hip extensor muscles (pelvis hangs in an anterior pelvic tilt and the low back suffers with excessive low back curve (hyperlordosis and risk of possible disc degeneration).

Another area of training for balance is using unstable platforms to develop the sense of balance (for the inner ear and nervous system) and to develop core muscles to react to the dynamics of a changing platform. Some unstable training also involves multitasking. For example if you can learn to swing a bat or a racquet accurately on an unstable platform, accuracy can improve as the body's core and sensory skills are fully developed to handle surprises in the sports environment (think curve balls, unexpected holes in the ground surface, wind gusts). Concentration can improve, too, when you're in a stable environment without the distractions.

Fx/Flex/Balance is important in health and sports injury prevention because sudden unexpected occurrences are detected more quickly and motor control responses with internal stabilization and primary action are performed more quickly and safely, which may reduce injuries to the neck, low back, shoulders, knees and ankles. Maintaining good sensory perception related to balance and motor control can also help prevent falls.

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BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW EXERCISE PROGRAM

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