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Strength Training at Gyms in Santa Monica: Benefits You Can Achieve

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered yet another benefit of strength exercises: better memory retention. A Medscape Medical News overview of the study reported that two groups of participants were each given a set of photographs that they were then asked to recall after a few days. One group was asked to use a strength exercise machine, while the other wasn’t. A couple of days later, the first group remembered the photos better than the second group:

"These results are consistent with the theory that acute stress during consolidation can be beneficial to memory for emotional but not neutral information," the researchers write.

Other research has linked enhancement of memory to acute stress responses, usually psychological stress, such as public speaking.

Studies have also linked the release of specific hormones and norepinephrine in rodent brains to better memory."

Regardless if people value their memory retention abilities or not, this study nonetheless demonstrates just how working out at gyms in Santa Monica, CA can have a significant impact on people’s lives. The only things holding most people back are a lack of motivation to exercise and lack of knowledge about where to start—things that can a personal trainer can help with. Strength training exercises, in particular, call for close supervision, as poor form can lead to serious injury.

The main goal of strength straining is to toughen up the musculoskeletal system, which can be achieved by subjecting the body to progressively heavier resistances. This usually involves lifting weights or performing calisthenics (i.e. pushups and crunches); the latter pits the person against his or her own body weight. Aside from developing stronger bones and muscles, strength exercises also lead to better resistance against injuries by improving metabolism and joint function. With the new findings from the Georgia Tech study, memory retention can be added to this list of benefits.

However, these benefits follow the assumption that strength exercises were done correctly in the first place. Improper lifting techniques, for instance, can inflict unwanted strain upon muscles and result in injuries, which is another reason why anyone who’s serious about getting into shape and onto the path to lifelong fitness should seek a strength training coach at a Santa Monica gym like 34 North.

 (Source: Strength Training Boosts Memory in a Single Session, Medscape Medical News, October 10, 2014)

How Overall Strength Affects your Workout

by Orion Lee

In the movie Enter The Dragon there is a saying: “Sparta, Rome, the knights of Europe and the Samurai, they worshipped strength... for it is strength that makes all other qualities possible.” 

This statement is profound, simple, and true. Strength by definition is a body’s ability to apply force, but physical strength is not the only manifestation of strength. Willpower, concentration, dedication, and discipline are qualities that originate from having a strong mental disposition.

Regardless of your chosen discipline, the pursuit of strength is of great importance to the athlete. Physically, strength is important because without a strong foundation you cannot possess more advanced attributes such as: speed, power, coordination, agility and endurance.

Strength is also important because it enhances the base abilities that make movement possible and improving this base can lead to game changing improvements.  For example: in order for a person to have stability and proper movement patterns, the individual must have strength in the muscles and ligaments for the system to handle the load.

If an individual is hypermobile, adding strength allows greater control over range of motion, which equals better movement. If a coordinated athlete gains more strength they enhance the ability to move more efficiently. The bottom line is that higher levels of strength increase your other athletic qualities, resulting in superior performance.

Just because an individual chooses to get stronger doesn’t mean stability, mobility and flexibility can be neglected or ignored. Quite the opposite, the stronger a person gets the more mobile and flexible they should strive to be. These attributes are hugely important to having a healthy body and moving efficiently. For the serious athlete, mobility and flexibility is akin to brushing and flossing your teeth at night. It’s a necessary thing if you want to perform at your highest level. Don’t want cavities?  Brush your damn teeth. Don’t want injuries? Do your damn mobility work. Period.

Physical attributes are essential but I believe mental strength separates the moderate from the truly elite. Look at the Army Rangers: those men are put through absolute hell so that they can attain the mental toughness necessary to perform in action.

Just like its physical counterpart, mental strength must be trained and honed daily. With constant practice and the help of a Santa Monica personal trainer, your mind can attain an “iron will” and your body will perform the tasks you demand of it. The daily training and stress of being an athlete can be mentally exhausting and wear you out. This grind will tax your willpower, and for the record willpower is NOT an infinite resource. It’s a disciplined sacrifice most people never consider. From waking up early, to eating healthy, not drinking, not having a social life, having to train even when exhausted, to getting the crap kicked out of you in practice, athletes must to have a strong mind in order to keep up with the demands of their lifestyle . . . and their competitors.   

Focus during your chosen activity and meditate about it on your off time to build a strong mind. Have a clear goal, perhaps even one that you’ve developed with the help of personal training coaches in Santa Monica. A clear plan of action will help you to build a strong mind and improve the results of your training efforts without pushing you to exhaustion. You will notice that you’re improving your movement with each repetition and training session.

Engage yourself during the activity, feel your muscles activate and visualize yourself correctly performing the movement before you do it. Synergize mind and body in this manner and you will become better at what you do, regardless of the discipline.

It’s about training smarter not harder.  In the end, the choice to get stronger is yours.