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The difference between muscle strength and muscle endurance

Muscle strength is the ability to exert force against resistance, whereas muscle endurance is the ability to exert sustained effort over a long period of time. Muscle endurance relies on muscle fibers called type 1 (slow twitch). Muscle strength relies on type 2 (fast twitch) muscle fibers. Fast twitch fibers come in two varieties – type A and B. Type A help you pick up a couch and carry it across the room. Type B help you bench press your 1 rep maximum.

It is important to train all types of muscle fibers and systems, as you use them all in your everyday life (e.g. lifting and carrying small children or groceries). It’s also important to keep in mind that genetics play a large part in which types of fibers you will have a larger proportion of; whoever, this shouldn’t hold you back from attempting to improve your weaker areas (e.g. getting stronger if you are actually better with respect to endurance).

Talk to your trainer for more information.

Fitness File – June Issue

fitness files

The June issue of our monthly e-newsletter – The Fitness File – came out this week! This issue covers the following:

  • HEALTH: healthy eating and living through habit
  • summer special available now
  • fitness tip: balance training
  • nutrition tip: focus on addition (not subtraction)
  • club news: studio closure, summer training, cardio package and waitlist
  • staff spotlight: Scott Hallam (Personal Trainers)
  • Q&A: will exercise help with my arthritis?

Check it out here.

Fitness Tip: landmine twists

Great for working the obliques and stabilizing muscles while also preventing the lower back pain that many people experience with traditional core exercises such as planks and sit-ups. Keep your shoulders down (retracted and depressed) and make sure that you are pivoting on the back foot and not twisting through the hips and lumbar spine. Happy training!

Check out our Instagram video for this fitness tip!

The importance of a good night’s sleep

Many people don’t realize it but when it comes to your health and fitness, ensuring you get a good night of sleep is key. If you tend to struggle with sleep, you may find that it actually negatively impacts your workout program (specifically your performance) as well as your goals (i.e. you may overeat or eat poorly, thus affecting weight related goals).

To help you get a better night of sleep, we urge you to consider the following:

  • Establish a routine. Try to get into the habit of going to bed at a set time each night. Depending on when you need to get up each morning, consider when might be an ideal time to go to bed based on how many hours you need to get through the day.
  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption in the afternoon and evening as they can negatively affect your quality of sleep.
  • Consider low-key activities before bed. Reading, for instance, is a great pre-bedtime activity as it helps your mind and body relax. Conversely, something like watching television or using your smartphone can actually negatively affect your sleep quality.
  • Make sure the temperature of your bedroom is nice and cool, especially as the weather warms up.
  • If possible, try to reduce the amount of light in your bedroom – the darker, the better.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t expect a single night of good sleep to significantly impact your health and fitness; however, it’s a step in the right directions!

Do you monitor your HR during your workout?

You don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from wearing a Heart Rate (HR) monitor. A HR monitor can be a useful tool in helping control weight, build endurance, and assist in finding the right pace and intensity to achieve your goals more efficiently. Body & Soul Trainers use this tool during the initial assessment and often during subsequent sessions to keep their clients on track.

Monitoring your HR during your workout is important because it is highly correlated with how much oxygen your body is utilizing. As the intensity of exercise increases, your active tissues need to use up more oxygen to be able to maintain the same work output and as a result your HR will increase to help your tissues meet their oxygen demands.

Being aware of your HR can also help you choose which energy system to workout. Heart rate max (HRM) is calculated as 220 – age. Exercising approximately at 50-70% of HRM challenges the aerobic system, 70-85% challenges the glycolytic system and exercising above 85-90% challenges the anaerobic system. To receive the health benefits from an exercise, it is appropriate to exercise at 50-70% HRM. However, if you want to improve your fitness level it’s important to exercise at 70-85% HRM and above.

Keep in mind that sometimes as you exercise you may feel fatigued, but your HR can always confirm how hard you are really working.