Health Articles & News Update
Giving You Instant Access To The World's Health Experts!
|Home | Disease & Conditions | Diet & Nutrition | Fitness | Healthy Living | Recommended Products | Contact|
Fitness >>> Running Articles & News
Is Weight Lifting Good For Runners?By: Jerry Hopkins
Weight lifting is not compatible with running. You like most people probably run and lift weights. After-all almost all the books you pick up on running teach that lifting weights helps to improve running, and prevent injuries. Your personal trainer also gives you this advice.
Letís look at weight lifting and running. Because, there is a lot of confusion even among trainers. I believe that some of the confusion is caused by terms being mis-applied.
Aerobic vs. AnaerobicRunning is an aerobic and endurance activity. What is an aerobic activity? Aerobic means that the work that your muscles have to do needs oxygen. You suck in oxygen through your lungs and this gets transported by your blood to your muscles, which soak up the oxygen. It then converts this to energy and sends waste products to back into the blood, which then transports it back to the lungs, where you exhale it.
Weight lifting is an anaerobic activity. This means without oxygen. Your muscles are asked to do some kind of work, like lift something heavy and your muscles use a chemical process to generate energy. In exchange for this, your muscle will go into oxygen debt. I.e., you muscles says I can do this for a short time, if you give me oxygen later. If it doesnít get oxygen, then your muscle gets tight and sore, because of the waste products that built up into the muscle.
Letís compare and contrast these two. You can improve your anaerobic conditioning by doing weight lifting routines. This is called strength endurance. The ability to do heavy lifting for a bit longer. However, you can only increase this by a small fraction of time. You are not going to be able to lift heavy weights for hours on end. Your body will just collapse from all the waste products that have built up. In fact, if you try and lift a weight repeatedly, you will find that no matter how hard you try, your muscle will just not move.
As you can see, this doesnít seem to do much to help your aerobic ability. However, it can help to improve your sprinting, or for a short term boost to your run, say to the finish line.
Slow-twitch vs. fast-twitchA second point is that running uses slow-twitch muscle fibers, while weight lifting uses fast-twitch muscle fibers. Each muscle in your body has two types of fibers. Slow twitch fibers which use oxygen and therefore are used for aerobic activity. These produce lower levels of force, but can do it for a longer period of time.
Fast twitch fibers are, you guess it, used when you need anaerobic energy. I.e., you need to produce more force to move a heavier object. Again, these are used for a relatively short period of time.
Unless you are sprinter, exercising your fast-twitch fibers isnít going to help improve your running too much.
Yes, but I want to protect myself from injuries and my personal trainer put me on a weight lifting program to do it.The problem with most weight lifting routines is that they are body building routines. Well whatís wrong with that. Several things.
In the 1960ís and 1970ís body building started to get pretty popular. We all see images of people with large muscles and think that they must be pretty strong. Yes, most body builders are stronger than the average Joe, but they are not the strongest people around. The reason is, is that body builders do not lift weights for strength, they lift weights for large muscles and for a well sculptured body.
Here is how body building works. Body builders do several exercises per muscle to get as many fibers involved as possible. Their routine also breaks down the muscles, and with plenty of protein and a good diet, their bodies build the muscles back up, by resting, larger than before. This is why you feel tired all the time, if you are following a body building routine. Your body is basically needing to repair itself all the time.
Home | Disease & Conditions | Diet & Nutrition | Fitness | Healthy Living | Recommended Products | Contact