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Muscle Is The Key, by Matthew Romans

We have been bludgeoned over the head by the medical and exercise establishment since the late 1960s about the importance of the heart and the cardiovascular system. We're often told how we need to perform activities that raise our heart rates and that we need to "do cardio." In truth, the running craze and the Aerobics philosophy originated from a flawed understanding of how the aerobic and anaerobic metabolic pathways work. These two pathways are always running; while they may function to greater or lesser degrees depending on what activity you are performing, you cannot completely turn off one at the expense of the other (this is why the Aerobics moniker is misleading, to say the least). To paraphrase Ken Hutchins, the founder of the Total Results exercise protocol, the heart is a very important muscle, but you can't just cut your heart out of your chest and put it on a treadmill. While your heart is a very important muscle, your skeletal muscles are really the "engines of the body."

The human body has three types of muscle: cardiac, smooth, and skeletal. Cardiac muscle constitutes the tissues of the walls of the heart; smooth muscle makes up the tissue of the internal organs and the digestive system; skeletal muscle produces force to enable movement. This could be gross motor movements like those involved with performing sports activities, or it could be fine motor movements like typing or playing the piano. Only skeletal muscle contracts voluntarily, while smooth and cardiac muscle contracts involuntarily. Skeletal muscle is involved in almost every activity that you do, even in breathing (the abdominals, intercostal muscles, and the musculature of the neck assist the lungs). Skeletal muscle has the most plasticity of any tissue in the human body, which means that it has the greatest capacity for positive change. What is the most effective way to maximize your skeletal muscles' capability? Total Results exercise.

There are many people who shy away from weight training because they fear becoming "too big" or "muscle bound." These fears are largely unfounded. Most people do not have the genetics to grow muscles like bodybuilders; they do not produce enough testosterone (this goes for men as well as women). The truth is that without working to strengthen muscle, other physical improvements that we seek , such as improving bone density, increasing cardiovascular and metabolic conditioning, and rehabilitating and protecting against injury are not possible.

In order to improve bone mineral density, the skeletal muscles must be mechanically loaded and fatigued to the point that a stimulus is created which induces bone remodeling to begin. Calcium supplements and osteoporosis medications are not nearly as effective as proper weight training, and these medications can have nasty side effects.

Cardiovascular conditioning can only occur if there is movement performed by skeletal muscle, since the heart, lungs, and blood vessels function to serve the muscles, not the other way around. While this happens to a degree in traditional steady-state activities, it happens to a much greater degree in Total Results exercise, since there is a much greater demand being placed upon the skeletal muscle. This will enable you to perform low-level activities and tasks more efficiently and with less effort.

Strength training will have a much greater impact on your body's metabolism, since the changes that strength training stimulates are very metabolically expensive for your body to produce.

Injuries occur when force exceeds the structural integrity of a muscle, bone, or connective tissue. The purpose of rehabilitating an injury is to reduce pain and restore functionality; the stronger a muscle or joint is, the better it will function and the less it will hurt. The more muscle you have, the more resistant to injury you will be. The muscles can act as shock absorbers; being stronger means being able to produce more force, which also means you can withstand more force and not succumb to injury.

What else can building muscle do for you? It can help you to maintain insulin sensitivity, which is a key in being able to stave off Type 2 diabetes. By pushing to momentary muscular failure, you empty the glycogen (stored form of carbohydrate, and the primary fuel source for intense exercise) out of your skeletal muscle; this (in addition to eating a diet low in sugars and processed carbohydrates) helps the pancreas to be able to use less insulin to help the food we eat to enter the cells for nourishment. Building stronger muscles will also help to reduce low back pain, which is still the leading cause of missed days from work. Strengthening the spinal erectors will help to improve posture, restore a natural lumbar curve, and open up the space between the vertebrae, which can relieve compression and impingement of the intervertebral discs. All of this will lead to greater physical independence as we age.

However, just moving weights around haphazardly won't accomplish all of these things. You need an exercise philosophy that emphasizes safety, structure, attention to detail, and is based on the classical sciences. You need a clinically-controlled environment to minimize distractions and foster concentration, with intelligently engineered exercise equipment that tracks muscle and joint function properly and facilitates easy and safe entry and exit for each exercise you perform. You need professional and experienced exercise instructors that will take the time to explain the hows and whys of what is necessary to accomplish your goals and keep you on track.

In short, you need Total Results. Schedule an appointment today.

Posted March 12, 2020 by Tim Rankin