Your Fitness Goals
How Our Personal Trainers Help You Achieve Your Goals
At Pro Fitness, your workout will be customized to your ability, and you’ll move ahead as your ability progresses. You’ll perform a variety of exercises under the direct supervision of a certified personal trainer. Whatever your fitness goals are, let the expert trainers and staff at Pro Fitness help you successfully achieve them.
Benefits of Exercise
Exercise is the silver bullet for a better quality of life. Research confirms that the right amount of the right kind of exercise, at any age, is beneficial. It can help prevent or ward off heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, back pain, osteoporosis, cancer, and other health problems, and it can be a major help in rehabilitation from such ailments. It improves your immune system functioning, and it also improves your outlook and self-esteem.
Resistance exercise is a great way to round out your workout. It is any exercise in which muscles contract against an external resistance with the objective of increasing strength, tone, mass, and muscular endurance. The resistance can come from dumbbells, weight machines, elastic tubing bands, cinder blocks, your own body weight (for example, pushups), or any other object that forces your muscles to contract. Results occur when you train consistently over time.
Weight training plays a vital role in body transformation, injury prevention, and overall health and well-being. Weight training achieves muscle toning, which increases resting metabolism. If you increase your muscle tone by just 5 pounds, you increase your resting metabolism by approximately 200 calories per day (1,400 calories per week!). You also burn approximately 200 calories during your weight training workout, so three such workouts per week burn an additional 600 calories. In total, you will burn approximately 2,000 calories per week from weight training and its metabolic response.
Weight training also provides these benefits:
- An increase in your bone density, which decreases the risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Increased strength, which decreases your risk of injury, especially back, shoulder, and knee problems, which are commonly caused by weakness.
The benefits of muscle toning and endurance training are maximized when you keep the weight light enough for you to lift in sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. Be sure to increase the weight when 15 reps become easy.
Beginners, because of their wide adaptive window, benefit significantly from two or three days of training per week. Advanced lifters need at least three days per week and typically more for significant gains. Because they are already so strong, it takes more effort to achieve more benefit. Bodybuilders and other strength athletes often train four or five days per week.
Free Weights vs. Machines
Dumbbells and barbells are free weights. They are “free,” not tethered by cables to cams and pulleys like the weight stacks of a weight machine, which ensures that the weights move only in one direction. There are advantages to both styles of lifting. These are advantages of weight machines:
- Weight machines are easy to learn and use.
- There are some exercises you can do with a machine that you can't do with a dumbbell. For instance, cable rows would be difficult to replicate with free weights. You could do bent-over dumbbell rows, but they wouldn’t be quite the same. To us, cable rows feel smoother than any exercise in the gym!
These are the advantages of free weights:
- Free-weight training requires balance and coordination, so if you are involved in a sport that requires balance, or if you just need balance training, free-weight training might be more effective.
- Free-weight training may use more muscles than a machine because you have to stabilize your body when you lift a dumbbell, instead of having the weight machine to support you. For example, a biceps curl feels more natural and uses more muscles in your torso (to support the weight) than a seated biceps curl at a machine where the machine does some of the work and you can lean against it for leverage.
- There is a wide variety of exercises that you can do with dumbbells but that you can't do with machines. Lunges, step-ups, and many upper body exercises can be performed with free weights if you're creative.
There is no evidence to suggest that either method is superior to the other.
The Order of Your Exercises Matters
Research shows that the order of exercises can significantly affect strength development, so it is standard practice to set up a resistance-training routine to work large muscle groups before smaller ones. A small muscle group that fatigues first will be the weakest link in the chain and prevent large muscle groups from working to full capacity. For example, if you isolate and fatigue your biceps muscles with curls, and then try to do lat pull-downs (which use biceps, shoulders, and back), you won't be able to do as much work for your shoulders and back because your biceps will already be fatigued.
Rest and Recovery Get Results
Rest for one to three minutes between sets if muscle toning and endurance are your priorities. Benefits are not discreet, i.e., there is carryover from one style to another. So whether you rest just one minute between sets or three minutes between sets, you will still gain muscle tone and endurance. The number of days that you rest between workouts can also affect your results. The standard advice is to rest two days between workouts. This makes sense if you push hard, since the muscles need time to recover and grow. In fact, it can take up to five days for muscles to fully recover from a tough workout, and if you push too hard, you might experience symptoms of overtraining.
It's okay to lift two days in a row if you split your workout. Experienced lifters do it all the time so that they work one muscle group per day. For example, they might work their upper body on one day and legs on another, or back muscles on one day and chest muscles on the next. Experiment with different splits until you find what works best for you. The golden rule to remember is that muscles recover and grow during downtime, not when you train, so it's important to take time off.