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Understanding Muscular Fitness

The concept of muscular fitness is important to understand when you first start an exercise or weight training program.

There are five components of muscular or physical fitness that should be considered when making a program or deciding on a pre-made program.

These five components will help you develop a well-rounded program that improves your fitness in every area.

Read on to learn about these five physical fitness principles and how they can help you!

The first component of physical fitness is cardiorespiratory endurance. This can be defined as the ability to perform prolonged, large muscle, dynamic exercise at moderate to high levels of intensity.

There are many ways to develop cardiorespiratory fitness – running/jogging, cycling, sports, dance, swimming, etc. performing these activities will improve heart function, decrease your resting heart rate and blood pressure, and help you body become better at extracting oxygen from your blood.

Muscle strength and endurance are considered to be the second and third principles of physical fitness. Not surprisingly, both can be developed by starting a weight training program and doing regular resistance training.

Strength training is great for individuals of all ages, and can help you increase muscle mass, decrease fat, improve your metabolism and posture, and fight osteoporosis and joint pain. When looking for a weight training routine, be sure that you look for ones that match your goals and preferences.

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For example, if you want to improve for a sport, you likely don’t want to start a powerlifting program. For strength gain, try to stick within a lower repetition range (3-8) and around 3-5 sets for each exercise. Muscular endurance will be developed by working within the 12-15 repetition range with around 3-5 sets for each exercise.

The fourth principle of physical fitness is flexibility. This is a principle that many overlook when starting a new exercise program. Improving your flexibility helps prevent injury, reduce stiffness, and maintain your posture.

Working on your flexibility can be a simple as stretching for 10 minutes each day. Another great way to improve your flexibility is to join a yoga or pilates class.  Whatever your plan of action, be sure not to neglect this important component of physical fitness and practice everyday!

Last but not least, you need evaluate your body composition. This is defined as the ratio of fat and fat-free mass (bone, water, muscle) in your body. The amount of fat you have compared to the rest of the mass in your body can have a significant impact upon your health and physical fitness.

Too much fat, and you can risk heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, obesity, and joint pain. Reducing your body fat percentage comes from a combination of regular physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet.

Keep these principles in mind while designing or picking your next exercise routine. Also, make sure to set clear goals, start slowly, warm up and cool down completely, use proper form and technique, and listen to your body. Starting a new lifestyle certainly isn’t easy, but by following these simple concepts you can have success faster than you ever would have thought!

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