Basal Evolution Challenge Week #18

I hope everyone had a blessed holiday- I know mine was spectacular.  Nick and I returned, today, from a beautiful 7-day long Christmas Cabin Extravaganza in the Great Smoky Mountains with both sides of our family. It brought great joy, laughter, and memories never to be forgotten.

Getting up to the mountains is so refreshing. There is something so special about the outdoors, and in my opinion, something even more special about the Smoky Mountains.

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They truly speak to my soul….in short, it is the way the clouds gently pillow into the valleys and hug every peak…. it is the colors that could never be replicated by man…the bright kelly green moss, the rich sage colored lichen, the multiple varieties of fungi that are so beautiful… on a closer examination you forget what they even are…for they contain a beautiful pattern….it is the the presence of the natural environments, as they are supposed to exist, and the organisms amongst it….I could go on forever…

Here is a great quote by John Muir

“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.” 

Basal Evolution Challenge Week #13 talks about the importance of getting outside and breathing in the fresh air. Check it out, if you haven’t already. Vitamin N. Nothin’ like it.

Anyhow, back to the point of this post!

The Basal Evolution Challenge Week #18! It is SO hard to believe the 20 week challenge is almost over! I continue to hope that these challenges are speaking to you in some way or another, even if it is in small doses here or there.  I’ve had a spectacular time hearing all of the stories and ways lives are evolving into cleaner, healthier ways. Keep up the great work!

The Basal Evolution Challenge for Week #18 is simple for those that are already consistent gym-goers. It is SO important for all of us. The Challenge for this week is to try to strength train (weight lift) 3 times a week!

Eventually, my goal is to get more workouts up on this blog. In the mean time, here is a great workout I have previously posted to get you started.  Click here for a 30 Minute Strength Training Workout.

So why should you strength train? I have previously posted about the reasons here, but I will re-post them below because they are so great (ok, I am a little biased). 🙂

 

There is truly nothing in this world like the feeling after an amazing strength training session.

You may or may not have felt a “runners high” before. I truly believe there is a weight lifting high. After you do a good lifting workout, you walk away feeling the blood flowing through your muscles and it feels GOOD!

Your adrenaline is flowing. your muscles are fatigued…but in a good way….. you feel unstoppable.

(or like you are going to fall over)

regardless, it really is great.  🙂

So here are a few reasons (and explanations) as to why I am a huge advocate of strength training (fyi-there will be many future posts that go into greater detail about the topics below).

What is strength training?

The use of resistance to build strength, anaerobic endurance, and skeletal muscle (i.e. lifting weights or using resistance to build muscle).

What is the purpose of strength training?

To manipulate the repetitions, sets, resistance, and tempo to cause a desired change in strength and/or muscle size.

What are the benefits of strength training?

Increase strength, flexibility, tendon and ligament strength, bone density, posture, tone, andincrease your metabolism.

Can anyone do strength training?

Yes! The beauty of strength training is that you can begin with whatever weight works best for you. as with anything in life, if you work hard and dedicate yourself to strength training, you will see great improvements.

What is the most important element of strength training?

Form! If you do not begin or maintain good form you can quickly injure yourself. More later.

How many days a week should I strength train?

If solely employing high intensity training, three days/week.  No more, no less.  For HIT, recovery is critical.  If you choose a more conventional moderate intensity training regimen where you employ a split (less than full-body in each session), you should aim for 4-5 days/week max. Stay tuned for a specific guide.

What is happening to my muscles when I strength train?

In order to build muscle, you need to tear your muscle fibers. In order to “repair” these torn muscles, it is critical to eat 15-30 grams of protein within 45 minutes after an intense resistance workout. More on this later.

What is a H.I.T. workout?

High Intensity Training is where your muscles are worked until failure.  The goal is to have an intense yet brief workout where muscles are worked at a very HIGH level of effort. More later.

What type of strength training workouts will be posted?

It is common for your muscles to acclimate to the same exercise. so with all things in life, I believe a variety of strength building exercises is best for your body. Therefore, expect a wide variety of workouts.

Some basic strength training lingo:

What is form?

The proper way to lift a weight- to maximize results and minimize injury of the muscles being used.

What is a rep?

Using proper form, going through one  ”lifting and lowering of a weight” cycle (i.e. one bicep curl= one rep).

What is a rep maximum (RM)?

The number of reps a person can do at a certain weight (i.e. if a person can lift 20 reps at 35 pounds, their RM for the weight would be 20RM. or 1RM would be the max a person could lift a weight).

What is a set? 

Several repetitions (i.e. compete 3 sets of 8 reps of bicep curls).

What is tempo?

The pace in which a person lifts a weight- different tempos have certain results with different weights, reps, etc.

Summary:

  • Strength training is a fundamental (basal) element in evolving into a healthier person.
  • Strength training will help…

(1) Increase your metabolism

(2) Tone-up

(3) Lose fat

(4) Increase bone density

(5) Help posture

  • It is important to replenish your muscles with a high protein snack no later than 45 minutes after an intense strength training workout.
  • Stay posted for strength training workout suggestions (uLift to myTunes).

Cheers and happy evolving! See this link for further details on the Basal Evolution Challenge!

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