I Want to Start Working Out… butt Where Do I Start?

By Joshua Trentine,

Another mistake of the novice trainee is to make steady state activity (jogging, swimming, bicycling, etc.) and recreational activities their focus, with the hopes of using exercise to burn fat away. There is no exercise or activity that “burns fat”; fat loss is a product of caloric deficit. While activity can affect overall energy balance, the greatest factor in achieving fat loss is controlling what goes in your mouth. True exercise is done in order to create a biological need to hold on to or increase muscle mass. If this is done on a weekly basis and the subject maintains a moderate calorie defi cit, there will be discriminate weight loss and fat loss.

True exercise stimulates skeletal muscular strengthening. All reasonable expectations from exercise are accessed through the skeletal muscles by strengthening or attempting to strengthen the skeletal muscles. These expectations include improvements in bone density, vascular efficiency, metabolic efficiency, joint stability, muscular strength, and cosmetic. Strength exercise is the only exercise that can change the body’s architecture. The cornerstone of your exercise program should be an emphasis on strengthening the muscles and the movement synergy pattern that give you the most bounce to the ounce.

Every comprehensive exercise program should include exercise for the Gluteus Maximus (the buttocks). This is the biggest, densest, most powerful musculature in the human body. Due to their sheer size, the glutes have the biggest impact on global metabolic rate, more so than any other muscle. Intense work for this muscle will produce the most profound chemical and hormonal impact from exercise. Exercise for the glutes will have the greatest impact on your overall functional ability: to walk, run, jump, climb stairs, get out of a chair, or pick up heavy objects from the floor. This musculature gives the greatest indication of overall fi tness and produces the most desirable aesthetic effect when developed.

In order to exercise this muscle effectively, we must know the primary function of the Gluteus Maximus, which is to extend the hip, the action one makes when climbing stairs. The next step is to find exercises that include hip extension as part of their movement synergy pattern. The best exercise for this purpose resembles a squat pattern or mimics the movement that occurs when we go from sit to stand. Historically, this movement has been performed with resistance (a barbell) placed across the back or held in the hands at arm’s length. Both of these applications present practical and biomechanical limitations.

If I had to choose just one exercise for a new subject to focus on it would be the leg press. It meets the requirements of training the biggest muscles in a safe and effective manner and has the most profound cardiovascular, muscular, and hormonal impact. The Leg Press will produce the greatest overall exercise effect. If all people did this exercise intensely for 2 to 3 minutes, to muscular failure, one time per week, we would see large scale jumps in human functional ability, especially as we advance in age.

The leg press exercise should be done no more than 1 to 2 workouts per week and performed in a slow and controlled fashion, keeping continuous tension and meaningful load on the muscles for 2 to 3 minutes. The attempt should be to fatigue the muscles as thoroughly as possible.

Whether you are a professional athlete, a man or woman trying to maintain or improve their shape, a person who is in need of physical rehabilitation, or simply a person wanting to maintain or improve their overall functional ability, the best overall exercise to focus on when starting to workout is the leg press.

If you are interested in more details with regard to performing this exercise, please contact an exercise specialist at OVERLOAD FITNESS 216.292.7569.


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