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Melissa Smit answers questions in this week’s Woman’s Day

  A Conversation with my Body

Your body responds and adapts to what you tell it to do so be careful of what you are saying.

Consider what  your day-to-day lifestyle is telling your body to do:

  1. Regularly load up on calories and your body will think “I guess I am going to need this later so I better store it up.”

  2. Lead an active lifestyle and your body will think “I had better develop and maintain the level of fitness to cope with our level of activity.”

  3. Decrease the physical demands and your body will think “Ok, I guess we don’t need to be that fit anymore – probably don’t need as much muscle or bone either.”

Every system in your body works together towards a single goal – ‘Staying alive in the most efficient way possibly.” So, do you want to be fit and look healthy? – then make sure you tell your body!

While you decide on what your next “body conversation” will be – let’s get some insights from Melissa Smit at 101 Fitness about the body conversation questions she gets the most often at her Fitness studio in Newmarket.

Is it true that one heavy weight training a week will burn fat for the rest of the week?

Yes, and that is the beauty of what the past 20 years of research is now pointing to. Sure, aerobics helps you burn calories while you’re doing it, but the mainstream fitness industry is only now starting to catch onto some basics truth about heavy weight training – also called Resistance or High Intensity Training (HIT).

Firstly, HIT places a lot of energy demands on the muscles during the session – ie calories burnt.

Secondly, over the next 3-5 days of recovery your body works hard to repair the muscles which requires what . . .? You guessed it . . .calories, which you would not otherwise have burned.

Thirdly, very soon your body thinks to itself  “hey, if she is going to keep doing this workout I better start making this muscles stronger so I don’t have to do so much repair work each week” and hey presto, now you start getting stronger and more lean muscles.

Everyone knows lean muscle consume energy (or calorie) just to stay alive, so now have increased muscle tissue and increased your metabolic rate – your muscles consume calories all week long even when you are not active.

Therefore using the proper scientific based HIT training methods means that 1 heavy weight training a week will get your body burning fat – all week long. This is what a personal trainer at Concept 10 10 will help you achieve every week.

As a woman, will doing weights turn me into a body-builder?

The simple answer is no – There is no natural way for a woman’s body to take on the shape of a body-builder with health orientated weight training. If you want bulky muscles like the boys, you will have to do some very specific supplementing because the female body simply is not programmed that way.

It is called testosterone, you don’t have enough of it to naturally grow bulky muscles. What you do have is estrogens – and loads of it – which specifically tells your muscles to grown lean. So weight training will have you growing lean muscles. Now beware, your muscles are likely to increase in size a bit but again, this will not happen to the extent it happens in men.

Women of New Zealand here my cry . . . weight training will NOT accidentally turn you into a body-builder – but the health benefits of correct weight training cannot be over-estimated. Every part of your body is connected to every other part  – being fit and health translates into benefits for every single part of your body.

Why is Weight Training good for osteoporosis?

Our bones are made up of a densely interwoven mesh of collagen with small open spaces. Osteoporosis actually means “porous bones” and is the result of these open spaces having become larger over time, which means the bone is more brittle and prone to fractures (breaks or cracks).

Research shows that bone mass can be regenerate by using the correct weight training under supervision which is why weight bearing exercise is the number one prescribed treatment to at-risk individuals. Once osteoporosis has set in, other treatments start but weight training remains the foundation.

Unless genetic in origin, a person’s bone density can naturally start to decrease from as early as the mid twenties, however the effects will usually not be noticed until much, much later. This drop in bone density is because we start placing less demands on the body so the body thinks it needs less bone mass.

Prevention is better than cure and the earlier we start to actively tell our bodies to maintain our bone mass the better. Research shows a sustained and science based exercise program such as the 101 Fitness system will have bone-health benefits  – not to mention the health benefits for every part of your body.

Will resistance training stop me ageing?

That would be great!!  . . .wait lets think about that. . . . if it did, it would mean guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger would be around forever . . . eeegggh . . . that’s a scary thought.

Every cell in our body serves a specific purpose for a specific period of time so our bodies are constantly renewing its cells, making new ones to replace the worn out ones. In this process the body creates only what it thinks it needs.

As time goes on, a couple of things happen – 1) you start demanding less physically of your body than when you were younger, and 2) over time your body becomes less efficient at replacing cells with new ones or the new cells are not as great at their job as their predecessors. This is scientifically know as de-generation and occurs everywhere in the body. We experience this as ageing.

Eating healthy (at least most of the time J) gives your body the building blocks for cell regeneration and resistance training is the best way of telling your body to maintain its strength, health and vitality.

The human body was never designed to live forever so eventually your body’s ability to renew itself will run out, but through your lifestyle you get to tell significantly influence how long the body’s regeneration process stays on top of its game.

Can resistance work help with co-ordination?

Think about what it takes to stand on one foot. It requires hundreds of muscles all up and down your leg, in your core and possibly even in your arms to be tensed and relaxed in various direction every split second. They required very precise and controlled movements to achieve the goal and need to be strong enough to move the required body part precisely and quickly enough to be effective.

Resistance training improves muscle strength and tone which is exactly what is needed to move body parts accurately. Strong muscles makes it easier for your body to support and move itself around and hence will naturally help increase general and specific co-ordination.

The science behind 101 Fitness’s training system (both techniques and equipment) means that you get the best possible weight training experience every time. With a personal trainer dedicated to you every during every session, you know you are getting results.

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