Imagine jumping rope three times as fast as your usual routine. You might just be trying to achieve the freestyle promotion in your weight training program. As you reach speeds greater than 100 miles per hour, it’s likely that your body will register an influx of fast-tracked oxygen, which has been linked to a high gain in muscle mass. This burst in muscle can also help to increase strength and cardiovascular endurance.
Jessica Kalapat, M.D., a weight trainer at Lenox Hill Hospital, recommends launching your routine at an appropriately slow rate. “Include 10-second seconds of more moderate intervals than the standard time span and make sure that you use the tempo you have most adapted to.” She advises beginners to engage in more and moderate-paced workouts for 12 weeks to “develop a muscle-building habit.”
When it comes to sculpting an ideal form of muscle, experts say that using weights adds an additional dimension to the exercise. “Your core is going to be engaged, especially at high-speed intervals,” said Dr. Kalapat. “Overshoot your target goal with heavier weight so that your core is actively engaged.”
Getting started is the hardest part. Anand Prasad, M.D., of the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University says, “It’s easier to do at an easier pace but the outcome is the same.” He recommends walking around the block to get comfortable and then walking for five minutes per day, 10 times a week. “The goal is to ensure that the distance is lengthened,” Prasad says.
Dr. Amanda Radda, a bariatric surgeon, says that while a sudden surge in blood oxygen can spur muscle growth, it can lead to strain in your joints. Instead, she suggests focusing on increasing aerobic conditioning, concentrating on powerful combinations of fluid-loading exercises and toning exercises. The Benefits of Weight Training With Aerobic Balances and Physical Exercises will help guide you in the process.
Much of the latest research has focused on optimal weight control for bariatric surgery. Despite research efforts showing that the body can effectively control weight loss and even resist weight gain after surgery, the common belief is that the body may be better off, as for many of us, losing weight is the important goal. Well-rested, muscle mass, which is predominantly muscular, has many positive benefits, especially as it relates to a healthy heart. Some weight loss studies even suggest that over time aerobic exercise may help maintain the weight loss.
Study author Daniel Levine found that while changing the type of exercise performed decreases weight-loss from bariatric surgery, the ability to increase muscle mass increases health benefit. Moreover, you can tap your natural body for even more benefits by conditioning your body to burn more calories without overtraining your joints and muscles. Dr. Levine recommends 60 minutes of regular aerobic exercise five days a week.
First published in February 2016.