For every issue, we draw from the members of the Atlas Fitness staff and team of health and fitness experts to answer your questions on: diet and nutrition, strength and triathlete training, general conditioning, powerlifting, kettlebell sport and conditioning, yoga, and much more.
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By Betsy Poos
The magnitude of change a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy and the postpartum period is enormous – mind blowing stuff really! It’s enough to qualify all mamas as super heroes, though truly feeling fit and healthy in mind and body to own your super hero status can be tricky.
A common question we trainers often get asked is what is the difference between hypertrophy and strength and why is it necessary to work on both? Hypertrophy simply put is the increase of muscle fiber size. Muscle hypertrophy should not be confused with muscle hyperplasia, which is an increase in the number of muscle fibers. Muscle hyperplasia is thought to cease at an early on during development. The increase in muscle tone one undergoes through resistance training comes primarily from hypertrophy, or the increase in muscle fiber size one already had. Strength is how much force that specific muscle or a muscle group can exert in a single effort.
By Garrett Giles
To understand muscle groups and how training certain muscle groups can be advantageous to your workout and increase efficiency, we must first understand muscle contraction and muscle recruitment. Skeletal muscle is made up of very small contractile units. There are two types of units: thick filament called myosin and thin filament called actin. These filament slide over each other thus causing a muscular contraction. Myosin has finger like structures that grab onto the actin, and then pulls the actin to cause a contraction. In order for the myosin to attach on the actin a few other processes must happen first. First, an action potential, also called a nerve impulse, is sent to the muscle via the T- tubules, which then releases calcium from the Sarcoplasmic Reticulum. The calcium then binds onto a structure which sits on the actin called troponin. Once calcium is attached to the troponin, tropomyosin, which acts like a cover keeping myosin from attaching, moves allowing myosin to complete the cross-bridge and grab ahold of the actin to then perform a muscle contraction.
On the first, second, third, fourth and fifth of January, you’re committed — so devoted to making real change. 2017 will be the year you start exercising. You’re going to eat healthier and you’re determined to lose weight. You’re excited. You’re ready! But by the ninth, or January 10, the post-holiday slump sets in, and you’re already feeling overwhelmed.
By Dr. Marc Luko
With the start of a new year comes new fad diets, weight loss programs, and sparked interest in “finally using that exercise bike I bought two years ago.” As a strength and conditioning coach, I am all about individuals meeting their health and fitness goals. With that said, I find that there are some out there that may be looking at the wrong metrics when it comes to determining whether or not they are “fit”, or, losing fat.