Exercise quality in the gym

When it comes to reaping the benefits of exercise, new research confirms the age-old adage that quality, not quantity, is the key.

As we all know, growth is triggered by training, and logic would suggest that more training equals more growth. Wrong!

And by quality, I am talking about a multi-dimensional program that includes resistance training, interval cardio sprints, yoga or pilates and endurance training.

Studies suggest the need to reassess national health guidelines around the world that currently make recommendations based on minutes or hours spent exercising a week, as opposed to the types of activities that people undertake.

The current guidelines for exercise can be seen at this link for the different age groups.

A study that was done in the Journal of Applied Physiology, divided three groups, the participants underwent a 16-week trial in which all the subjects consumed the same amount of whey protein — 60 g a day — but were put on different exercise regimens.

The exercise regimens included a sedentary group, a group that did intense resistance training and a group that did a mix of resistance training and intense cardio.

While all the participants recorded improvements, the last group, which undertook the most diverse exercise program, lost the most weight (2.6 percent) and the most fat mass (6.6 percent) and gained a greater percentage of lean body mass (2 percent) than the rest of the participants.

The findings also demonstrate the importance of protein in people’s diets and suggest upping intake to 35 percent to reduce body fat.

Similarly, a recently published study in the Journal of Nutrition also highlighted the importance of protein in our diet. To build optimal muscle mass, US researchers found that protein should be distributed evenly throughout the day, rather than being consumed primarily at night, common in Western diets.

An acronym that many are using now is “PRISE”: Protein, Resistance, Interval, stretching, and endurance.

Keep your eye on the “PRISE”.

How this relates to sport practice

This also holds true when you are practicing for your sport. Many athletes think that if they work harder and longer they will get better but that is far from the truth. It may sound like I am repeating myself but I will say that the quality of your practice is better than hours of just going through the motions.

You must realize that every time you train you are putting more wear on your body and those long unproductive session are just increasing your chances of a possible injury.

My suggestion when you go out to train for your sport is to go with a goal in hand in order to focus on that goal and get better. Once you master that you will then be able to move on to more difficult progression or a totally different scenario. This is better than just going out and messing around.

I understand that you may want to get friends together and play pick up, and there is nothing wrong with doing that. My suggestion to get the most out of it, would be to focus an certain amount of minutes, for example 4-6 min, and break and then repeat. This will allow you to be sharp in the allotted time vs just going through the motions for 30-45 min.


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