Building your strength isn’t as simple, however, as just using the machines at the gym. Good muscular strength—the kind that can best lower your weight, risk of disease and premature death—takes a workout program that incorporates frequent and appropriate changes, has variety in the specifics of what you do, and takes you along a proper progression for optimal results.
The importance of this progression is well illustrated in the GREAT2DO trial, an important study published in 2013. The study was one of the biggest to look at the benefits of progressive strength-training compared to those who did strength training but didn’t make their workout harder over time. The researchers compared participants who worked out three times a week and did progressive strength-training (they gradually increased the amount of weight they lifted over the course of a year) to participants who also worked out three times a week but didn’t increase the amount of weight they lifted. Specifically, the researchers looked at the effect on insulin resistance and average blood sugar of progressive resistance training. What they found was eye-opening. Participants in the progressive group who gained muscle had significant reductions in insulin resistance and average blood sugar, compared to those who worked out but didn’t make their routine harder over time. I want to emphasize that the people who gained the most were compared to others who were also spending the same amount of time exercising. In addition, the positive changes were independent of body weight. Even the people who were overweight saw benefits when they went to progressive training. The very basic progressive strength-training program used in the GREAT2DO Trial provided remarkable benefits. But what if you varied the exercise choices, order, speed, and techniques? Not only would the program be a lot more interesting and fun to stick with, it would give you even better results. And that’s exactly what the YOU%2B program does. The YOU%2B techniques lead to definite improvements in muscle tone, muscle strength, and weight loss—and also in insulin efficiency. With a properly sequenced program of progressive strength training, you can avoid being one of the people I often see at the gym doing the usual uninspired, unchallenging routines.
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