Strength training gets a makeover from yesteryear's body building

Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:38am EDT
 
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Strength training, traditionally favored by body builders seeking to bulk up, has become the go-to regimen for athletes, weekend warriors and exercise enthusiasts determined to slim down.

Fitness experts say metabolic strength training, a high-intensity, full-body interval workout, can add definition to the shape of runners, cyclists and other cardio devotees willing to put some muscle into it.

Florida-based trainer Nick Tumminello believes strength training should be the primary form of exercise for everyone except beginners.

"If you're looking to lose fat, go with strength training," said Tumminello, author of "Strength Training for Fat Loss." "Watch your diet to reveal your shape, and strength train to improve that shape."

It is not your grandfather's body-building program.

While traditional strength training uses free weights or weight machine to build endurance and muscles, metabolic strength training combines high-intensity interval circuits with changing combinations and repetitions using free weights, kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells and resistance bands to increase the metabolic rate after and during the workout.

"The body-building model is great for maximizing body building, but for the average individual looking for fat loss, or to feel better, or to improve general fitness, this creates more of a metabolic disturbance," he said.

Because the combinations are intense, Tumminello recommends starting at once or twice a week and building up gradually to three or four times.   Continued...

 
A man lifts weights as he trains at the Kachalka outdoor gym on the banks of river Dniper in Kiev June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich