Slow Weight Lifting vs Faster Reps

When lifting weights try and go slower and more controlled with lighter weights for more muscle mass.
With slower repetition speed you effectively increase intensity of the lifting (concentric) phase while decreasing momentum. While momentum may allow you to lift bigger weights, it basically reduces target muscle stimulation and intensity while also increasing your chances for injury. Researchers in Massachusetts, USA and in collaboration with the YMCA, looked at this phenomenon on middle-aged men and women (mean age 53). They divided these previously untrained people into two groups, all performing 2-3 days per week training in this 8-10 week program.

One group was performing weight training at normal repetition speed (7 seconds) while the other was performing it at slow speed or 14 seconds. To ensure that muscle time under tension was constant, the normal speed group performed 8-10 reps while the slow speed group performed 4-6 repetitions. They conducted two studied and in both, the slow speed group increased strength significantly more than their faster speed counterparts. In study one, the slow speed group showed a mean strength increase of 12 kg while the normal speed group showed an only 8 kg improvement. In the second study, the slow speed showed a 10.9 kg increase while the normal speed showed an increase of 7.1 kg.

This study shows the importance of repetition speed when performing resistance training and further cements the idea that weight must be lifted in a fully controlled manner. This holds especially true when training for strength increases in older adults.

Its the small things that matter

Okay so Ive lost almost 20kg now (guestimated because i couldnt weigh myself for the first couple of weeks i was doing this).
Now Im really noticing things, so i thought I would share a few things Ive noticed and appretiated about weight loss 🙂

  1. I can now hop into a full bath without overflowing it
  2. The towel fits ALL the way around me now with no big gaps!
  3. I can fit through stupidly small turnstiles at the gym and supermarket 😀
  4. I can fit into public toilets without having to have one asscheek up on the tampon/pad bin thing
  5. I can get INTO public toilets (those doors swing waaaay to close to the toilets).
  6. People can fit past me in the hallway, shopping isles, etc
  7. I have to pull my chair in at the table now before my stomach touches!
  8. I can fit on the couch seat without falling into the next persons ‘space’
  9. I look like one of those hip and trendy kids with my baggy clothes 😀
  10. My husband gives me more cuddles!
  11. When my husband cuddles me, we are face to face (instead of him bending over my monstrous stomach!)
  12. I can play with my kids for longer without getting tired (they love this!)

I will add more to this at a later date perhaps – its time for bed. I have to get up at 5.30am tomorrow morning for the gym :/

How to work out calorie content from Kilojoules

The difference between calories and kilojoules is that one calorie equals 4,2 kilojoules and vice versa. So, if you read on a food label that a portion of the food contains 100 calories, you can multiply that value with 4,2 to work out how many kilojoules the food contains:

Example: 100 calories x 4,2 = 420 kJ

Conversely, you can calculate that a portion of food that contains 420 kJ (metric system) will contain 420 divided by 4,2 = 100 calories The same applies when you want to work out how many calories or kilojoules a diet contains. Multiply calories by 4,2 to obtain kilojoules and divide kilojoules by 4,2 to obtain calories.

Although we use larger numbers when working with metric kilojoules this does NOT mean that kilojoules contain more energy, just that we are using a different system to express energy content.