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Don’t Resist Resistance

By on January 1, 2019

If you’re age 30 or more, read this

By: Siphiwe Baleka, Founder, Fitness Trucking

Last month, you learned about using the Montague Paratrooper fold-up mountain bicycle to enhance opportunities for exploring and to achieve greater job satisfaction. However, there’s another piece of fitness equipment that I highly recommend—resistance bands by Bodylastics.

The Importance of Muscle & Metabolism

Starting about age 30, physically inactive adults can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade. When you lose muscle, you lose powerful mitochondria—the energy-producing factories found in cells. Muscle cells have the most powerful mitochondria because they have one of the most difficult jobs. Muscles are responsible for generating the power to overcome the force of gravity, so your body can move. The more muscle you have, the more energy producing capacity you have.

However, if you don’t “use it” you will “lose it.” When days of driving and not exercising turn into weeks, then months and possibly years, a lot of muscle is lost, and a lot of fat is stored. As a result, you’ll have less and less energy available to move around more and more “dead weight.” This results in an energy deficit called “driver fatigue.” The more years you drive, the more muscle you lose, and the more fat you gain, the less energy you have. This can become deadly when driver fatigue becomes a factor in an accident.

Resistance is Your Friend

A quick, convenient, effective way to maintain your muscle mass or even increase it is to use a set of resistance bands. The resistance from the bands causes your muscles to strain, and this causes little micro-tears in the muscle. When you go to sleep at night, and the body goes into repair mode, your body will fill in these micro-tears with new muscle cells. This is why resistance training builds bigger muscles and increases strength. With more, new muscle cells, you have more powerful mitochondria.

For professional truck drivers, resistance bands are ideal for muscle building, strength training, and fat burning. Bands are much more convenient to store in your truck and carry around than a set of dumbbells. You can use them inside your truck, attach them to a bumper or deer guard, or attach them to doors. Anything you can do in a gym with free weights or weight machines, you can easily do with resistance bands. And they’re much safer. Again, I recommend Bodylastics, because they’re made to be the best, and they won’t snap.

Using Resistance Bands

When beginning a new exercise routine, you’ll want to start with lighter resistance and more repetitions. Choose a resistance that will allow you to do three rounds of 12-15 reps where you start to struggle to finish the last three reps. Choose a few different exercises that will give you a total body workout—some upper body exercises, some core exercises, and some lower body exercises. Any internet or YouTube search for “resistance band exercises” will show you numerous exercises for each. Here is a link to a great exercise reference chart: http://low.onvacations.co/resistance-bands-workout-routine-pdf/

To build strength alone, increase your resistance and do three rounds of 8-12 reps. Finally, to maximize strength and muscle building, use maximum resistance and do three rounds of 6-8 reps, where it is difficult to complete the final two reps.

To build strength, muscle and burn fat—all at the same time—try this. Pick one upper body exercise, one core exercise, one lower body exercise, and one total body exercise and do each one with moderate resistance for one minute as fast as you can for a total of four minutes. In this way, as you’re creating the micro tears that will be repaired later, you’re also creating such a high demand for energy that you’ll be creating the conditions for maximum fat burning.

After the workout, it’s important to allow time for your body to repair and recover, so you want to do the resistance training every other day at most. Allow a day of recovery in between and make sure you are getting proper nutrition, especially right after the workout to ensure that the body has all the nutrients it needs to do the repair work.

Remember, don’t lose your muscle. Use it.

About Warren Eulgen

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