I’m Jonathan Slaven, the developer of the SMG Personal Training App. I believe traditional weight training is the best mode of training for transforming your body. Whether transformation for you means losing a lot of weight, building muscle, getting toned, or getting stronger, weightlifting is the training tool of choice.
Weightlifting offers numerous health benefits beyond just weight management, some of which include…
- Muscular: Increase muscular endurance, power, size, and strength
- Enzymatic: Increases levels of anaerobic enzymes stored in muscle
- Endocrine: Increases testosterone levels and body’s sensitivity to hormones
- Cardiovascular: Induces new capillary growth
- Body Composition: Increases body’s lean-mass, and decreases body-fat percentage
- Metabolic: Additional muscle mass increases basal metabolic rate (burn more energy at rest)
- Connective Tissue: Strengthens ligaments and tendons
- Skeletal: Increases bone mass density
- Neurological: Neuroplasticity (form new connections between neurons, improving critical thinking, learning, and memory)
- Psychological: Releases dopamine, endocannabinoids, endorphins, and serotonin, which improves mood, mitigates stress, and fosters habit formation.
The basic business model for any business boils down to this: problem – solution. If you have a problem you can’t solve on your own, you can pay someone else for a solution. Hungry? Go to a restaurant. Leaky faucet? Call a plumber. Feeling sick? Go to the doctor. So when your personal fitness level isn’t where you’d like it to be, you hire a personal trainer to help you solve this problem.
When I worked as a personal trainer in a commercial gym, I noticed something interesting. Personal trainers (myself included) developed a workout plan and administered it incrementally. Personal trainers, with clipboards in hand, would meticulously track clients’ data and tweak things as needed. Clients didn’t take part in tracking data and didn’t have regular access to it. Thus, over time, clients began depending on the personal trainer more and more for direction.
Though it was good for job security, I realized that my clients’ problem wasn’t really being solved. Improving and maintaining personal health and fitness cannot be done with a quick fix. It is ultimately achieved by adopting long-term, intrinsically-enforced habits. Clients were never given the tools needed to take charge of their personal fitness and develop training autonomy.
That’s why a personal training app is so powerful. It puts everything at your fingertips. Easy data-tracking, self-scheduling, complete training programs to choose from, exercise video library, nutrition planning, weight loss education, muscle building education, etc. It’s the experience and knowledge of a personal trainer that can help you solve your personal fitness problems.
That is why I left the commercial gym and exclusively train clients through the SMG personal training app. From the very onset of your fitness journey, you see the ‘big picture’ and have a clear understanding of what’s required of you, how to do it, and what your end goal is. Here’s an overview of the personal training app training programs and some common fitness problems you can solve.
Is Weightlifting Really All That Important?
All your life, you are subjected to the Earth’s gravitational pull of 9.807 m/s². At the age of 30 you stop growing. At some point in your 30’s you begin to lose muscle mass and into your 40’s begin to lose bone density. Once you get into your 50’s the decline of muscle mass, bone density, and production of key hormones (i.e. testosterone, growth hormones, etc.) accelerates even further. This age-related degeneration is called sarcopenia.
If nothing is done to mitigate muscle mass and bone density loss, then gravity and time will wreak havoc on your body. According to WebMD, old-fashioned weight training is the number one prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.
Making consistent weight lifting a normal part of your life is one of the best and healthiest ways to reduce overall mortality rate. Weight training is even more forgiving than cardio work in that you can take up to 14 days off at a time from lifting and have little to no detraining (regression). If you feel you can commit to at least 45 minutes for 3 or more times a week for a majority of weeks in the year, then the SMG personal training app will be highly beneficial to you.
Not Running, But Weightlifting For Weight Loss?
Most people associate vigorous cardiovascular work, like running, as the best means for losing unwanted body fat. Prolonged running usually rates 12+ METs (exertion level from a scale of 1-20) and uses a lot of energy during exercise. Cardiovascular programs can develop some very beneficial, chronic health adaptations, but…
It primarily develops type-I skeletal muscle fiber. This skeletal muscle type is termed ‘slow twitch’ muscle since it is associated with prolonged, synchronous movement (2+ minutes of continuous exercise, i.e. running), and has low energy utilization when at rest.
Traditional weightlifting is nowhere near as vigorous as a bout of prolonged cardiovascular exercise. It usually comes in at ~6 METs, burning only a moderate amount of energy. However, you will be developing anaerobic, type-II skeletal muscle fiber.
This muscle type, developed by high-intensity, quick movements, is termed ‘fast twitch’ and has a high energy utilization when at rest. In total, the increased type-II muscle fiber developed by weightlifting increases your resting energy expenditure (REE), causing you to burn more total calories at rest.
Can I Do Weightlifting For Weigh Loss If I’m Already Dieting?
Almost any health factor can be directly affected by diet. This is especially true when it comes to body fat. When a person eats more calories than they expend during the day, the extra energy is stored in the vacuoles of adipocyte cells as white adipose tissue (fat).
Each pound of fat stored on a person’s body represents ~3,500K/calories of stored energy. If one consumes fewer calories in a day than they use up, then their body will tap into their white adipose (fat) reserves for fuel. If a person is consistently in a calorie deficit, they will consistently burn off fat…among other things.
As stated earlier, muscle mass has a higher resting energy expenditure than other body mass-types. When in a calorie deficit, the human body seeks homeostasis (equilibrium) and will take certain steps to achieve it. Since lean mass is high-maintenance and is not vital to self-preservation, it is catabolized (used as energy) right along with fat in order to fuel your body’s energy needs.
Once a person comes off a diet-only program, they often experience a ‘yo-yo’ effect and gain the weight back, if not more than what they originally lost. This is because they lost lean mass, so their baseline metabolic rate is now lower than when they began dieting.
Consistent weightlifting for weight loss will help a person maintain lean muscle mass, even when restricting calories. Regular overload of the skeletal muscle with resistance training signals to the body that the extra muscle is vital to homeostasis and self-preservation, and thus the body will more heavily rely on white adipose tissue (fat) for fuel. So when a person does weightlifting coupled with specific types of calorie deficit diets and specific cardio strategies (like in the personal training app), they still have a high base-line metabolic rate after they come off the diet.
How About Running and Weightlifting For Weight Loss?
- Skeletal muscle
- Smooth muscle (i.e. intestines)
- Cardiac muscle (heart)
The body converts chemical energy to mechanical energy using three bioenergy systems (metabolic pathways):
- Phosphagen System (anaerobic)
- Glycolysis (anaerobic)
- Oxidative System (aerobic)
Cardiovascular training utilizes the Oxidative bioenergy system and focuses primarily on developing cardiac muscle. It synergistically develops skeletal muscle to be more efficient in converting oxygen to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for sustained, low-intensity activities (i.e running, jogging, etc.) It does this by adapting the type-I muscle fiber to increase mitochondrial density.
Weight training utilizes both the Phosphagen and Glycolytic bioenergy systems and focuses primarily on developing skeletal muscle. The energy demand of short-duration, high-intensity resistance training is too great to be supplied aerobically. Anaerobic fuel substrates, such as skeletal creatine phosphate and glycogen must be stored in skeletal muscle for immediate use. To handle increasing weight demands in training, the body will adapt with hypertrophy (enlargement) of type-II muscle fiber and a greater storage capacity of anaerobic fuel substrates.
Though both resistance (anaerobic) and cardio (aerobic) training develop skeletal muscle, their respective adaptations lie on either end of the exercise spectrum. You cannot develop both to maximal capacities concurrently. Aerobic training will override anaerobic training.
Exercise is a physical stressor on the body. When subjecting the cardiac and skeletal muscles to progressively greater stresses, cardiac muscle supersedes skeletal muscle. If you want to reap all the benefits of weight lifting, you need to specifically focus your training on it. The SMG personal training app will help you to know what to do in order to increase your exercising heart rate for fat loss without compromising your hard-earned muscle gains.
Is The Personal Training App For Women?
Adaptation to resistance training is the same for both sexes. The only difference is that females only have a fraction of the testosterone males have and have less muscle mass in their upper body shoulder girdle. As for the lower body’s muscle mass, women’s legs are just as strong as men’s – pound for pound. Women, if you think lifting weights is for guys only, think again. In fact, you could give some guys in the gym a run for their money on leg day!
The before and after picture is of a 32-year-old female client, April. She was formerly a runner. Due to a knee surgery, running became too painful for her to continue. She decided to try the SMG personal training app for weight training. She stuck to a specific program for 12-weeks and experienced this body transformation. Weightlifting for weight loss and for building a fit, toned physique with the training programs on the personal training app is ideal for women, too.
SMG Personal Training App For Muscular Development
If you’re wanting to build a muscular physique, then you are probably already training by the means of traditional weight lifting. If you’ve been training for a while and your desired muscular development goals continue to elude you, don’t panic.
It could be due to exercise form and/or technique. For instance, if you’re focusing on hypertrophy (muscle size), are you performing a slower eccentric than concentric movement? Are you handling weights that are at least 65 to 70% of your 1RM or APR 1RM? Is your diet including healthy HDL-c’s?
The same goes when trying to develop muscular power, strength, or tone. There are so many factors and variables to include and exclude. Once you learn them, have a chance to experiment with them, and begin implementing the right things in your training, you’ll begin to progress towards your muscular development goal again. If you’re an experienced lifter, the SMG personal training app allows you to build your own workouts and track them over time.
Determining Your Fitness Goal
Here’s a simple way to help you determine your weight lifting goal:
This uses the equation of body weight in kg / height in meters² (BWT kg/ HEIGHT m²). Please note that if you’ve been lifting and have above average muscle mass, this equation will be very inaccurate. You should use the skinfold test method as I demonstrate here.
If you have a BMI of 25-29% you are considered overweight, and a BMI of 30%+ is considered obese; you should focus on weightlifting for weight loss.
12-Week Muscle Size and Strength
12-eek Muscle Size and Strength
12-Week Muscle Size: Bodybuilding
12-Week Muscle Strength: Powerlifting