At home? Get strong!

By April 21, 2020May 7th, 2020Health

Even without the gym you can still improve your strength in the comfort and safety of your home.

While millions of people worldwide are under lockdown orders or are social distancing, everyone can still improve both muscle and bone strength at home with a simple MAF approach.

A strength-training program should be simple, safe and effective, one that should include bones too. And, without long waits for results as they begin after the first easy workout.

Our muscles are almost always ready for action, even ones neglected for years, including those severely impaired, even paralyzed. Use it or lose it is a myth when it comes to muscles. Most chronically weak muscles, even those withered away from neglect, abuse, injury or disease, are only sleeping. I call it muscular hibernation — they’re ready to wake up and work well, just needing the right stimulus and nutrients.

This article addresses the needs of most people, but not those in body building, and who are devoting significant time and effort weight training to bulk up.

For the majority of people, the goal is stronger muscles and bones, without the need to bulk up, in a simple, safe and time-saving approach. You may not even have to change your clothes.

Personally, strength training is dictated by my current lifestyle. When working outdoors moving rocks, dragging logs and other activities, natural strength training is very effective. Otherwise, I perform slow weights at home. Both were previously discussed with links below. But first, let’s compare the two basic kinds of strength training: Traditional vs. MAF.

 

 

Basically, MAF strength training is easier, produces faster results, takes little time, is healthier, helps muscles and bones, and won’t impair aerobic development and fat burning, or impair endurance.

Muscle weakness is a serious condition affecting both our health and fitness, not to mention reducing quality of life. In fact, it’s a well-known major contributor to both mortality and morbidity, and associated with the increased risk of all causes of death.

Building strength begins in the brain, which stimulates muscle fibers (cells) to contract. The more fibers stimulated, the more strength. Even a person with small muscles can have significant strength by contracting more fibers. This is not necessarily accomplished in a bulkier muscle.

Being sedentary, aging and poor nutrition can weaken muscles. However, even when they shrink, even atrophy, when stimulated the genetic materials in our muscles can quickly promote improved function at any age and under the most serious conditions.

The other half of successful strength training is nutrition. Virtually all nutrients are necessary and found in a natural, healthy diet, one that’s junk-food free. Two key nutrients needed to improve and maintain optimal muscle function are increased protein and vitamin D.

  • High quality dietary protein is so effective at improving muscle function that it can almost accomplish it without exercise. The best sources contain all amino acids and include whole eggs, meats and sea foods, and dairy.
  • Vitamin D is also essential for increasing strength, one reason it helps sports performance. The best source is regular sunshine, with supplements ensuring optimal D levels, especially when you don’t get enough sun.

Muscle and bone strength is essential for optimal health and fitness, and there is no better time to start this process than now.

Helpful links

Slow weights: Stronger muscles and bones without going for a workout

The secret of grip strength

Natural vs. artificial strength

Protein check

Muscle—consume it or lose it  

The vitamin D gap

 

References

English KL, Paddon-Jones D. Protecting muscle mass and function in older adults during bed rest. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care;13. 2010. doi:10.1097/MCO.0b013e328333aa66.

Schwartz LM. Skeletal Muscles Do Not Undergo Apoptosis During Either Atrophy or Programmed Cell Death-Revisiting the Myonuclear Domain Hypothesis. Front Physiol. 2018; 9. doi: 

10.3389/fphys.2018.01887.