April 17, 2009, Newsletter Issue #373: Cardio Vs. Weight Training - Round 2

Tip of the Week

We have viewed the benefit of traditional 'Cardio' exercise, seeing how it is great for your heart and lung function.  Now we must give 'Weight Training' a chance to fight back.  Weight Training has some ammo to fire back ahout why it might be better for you to perform rather than traditional 'Cardio' exercise. 
Weight Training aids in your bodies ability to gain strength and size through stressing your muscles.  Too one should be able to function more properly during normal human movement if the Weight Training is done properly.  Let's figure out how Weight Training stresses our muscles:
As we flex a muscle it works based upon what kind of movement we perform.  Energy in our bodies comes from AdenosineTriPhosphate (ATP).  This essentially means that it takes 3 Phosphate molecules to create energy in our bodies, or functionality.  Our muscles have stores AdenosineDiPhosphate (ADP) in them, which does not make energy in our bodies since it only contains 2 phosphate molecules.  Our muscle fibers also have Creatine Phosphate stores...when the body performs short-term exercise, such as 6-10 reps of a shoulder press, Creatine Phosphate donates its Phosphate molecule to AdenosineDiPhosphate (ADP), creating AdenosineTriPhosphate (ATP).  This produces energy for the short term. 
During longer term exercise, Anaerobic Oxidation, or Glycolosis, which converts one molecule of glucose (essentially food) into two molecules of pyruvate, and makes energy in the form of two net molecules of ATP. Four molecules of ATP per glucose are actually produced. This gives our body energy through ATP, while at the same time producing lactic acid. The lactic acid is the intense burn we feel in our muscles when we lift for reps higher than 12.
So, we see how muscles work, but now how do they benefit the body.  Well, each time we exercise our muscles, we burn calories.  Not only that, but when we exercise our bodies in new ways, our brain also has to work to make sure that we can perform the movement.  ALso, the more frequently we visit the gym or just workout with weights, the stronger we can get.  Weight Training can improve our bodies' overall functionality.
Weight Bearing Exercise seems to be able to do some beneficial things that traditional 'Cardio' exercise can't.  Well I wonder if there is a way to get the benefits of both...

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