Obesity is at epidemic levels resulting in a cascade of life threatening chronic disease, disability and dysfunction. Obesity is a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 above; according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). Of course, BMI does not take into account muscle mass so most of your professional football players bodybuilders and wrestlers would be classified as obese, despite having a percent of body fat in the near negative numbers. Unfortunately, the negative consequences to your health and decrease in your longevity can occur long before you reach the obesity level, some studies show that even 5 or 10 pounds overweight can decrease your lifespan.
Here is the good news, a study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) reported that the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of having insulin resistance, the major precursor of Type II Diabetes. Similar studies have shown, strength training reverses Type II Diabetes by increasing Insulin production and improving glucose sensitivity to cellular to glucose uptake, immediately following strength training exercise. One study’s senior author, Dr. Preethi Skrikanthan of UCLA stated: “Instead of focusing on losing weight our research suggest a role for maintaining fitness and building muscle. This is a welcome message for many overweight patients who experience difficulty in achieving weight loss, as any effort to get moving and keep fit should be seen as laudable and contributing to metabolic change.”
My own personal experience with obese patients clearly showed that their Aerobic Energy Systems were severely degraded and they were unable to maintain sufficient time to benefit from Aerobic Exercise. However, I found that their Anaerobic Energy Systems were still capable of an adequate level of functioning to sustain exercise activity for beneficial returns. The exercise prescriptions were a Modified High Intensity Interval Training Cardiovascular Exercise and a moderately-Intense Strength Training Program. Other studies have shown additional fat-loss benefits when Flexibility Training Program was added to Cardio and Strength Training Programs.
The Exercise Prescriptions for each Component of Fitness are prepared below:
Strength Training Prescription:
Frequency: 6 Days/week*
Intensity: 15 Repetitions
Time: One set the first week, 2 sets thereafter
Type: Machine (Preferable)
*Frequency is 6 days/week: Upper body Exercises on M,W,F: Chest Press, Seated Row, Push-Up, Lat Pull-down, Shoulder Press, Bicep curl, Triceps Extension, Shrugs. Lower Body Exercises: Squat, Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Heel Raise, Leg Press, Seated heel Raise, Crunches
Cardio Training Prescription
Intensity: Rest Intervals (R.I.) Low, Work Intervals (W.I.): High
Type: Start on a Recumbent Back to prevent pain.
Start with a 6-12 min. Low Intensity Warm-Up, then a W.I. of 15 secs, then a R.I. of 4 mins, alternating for 4 Reps (W.I.) building one Rep/workout to 8 Reps. With each workout, if the patient is progressing well, you can decrease the R.I. from 4 mins by a decrease of 30 secs with each succeeding workout down to 2 min R.I.
Flexibility Training Prescription
Frequency: Everyday up to 3 sessions/day approximately 4 hours between sessions
Intensity: Very Low, 30% of Maximum to a feeling of tight- NO PAIN!
Time: 30 secs, then into a slightly deeper stretch of 30 secs after you feel the muscle elongate. This is your Developmental Stretch.
Type: Static Stretching; PNF Stretching when an IFPA Certified Flexibility Specialist or other qualified professional is available.
Good Luck in Your Training and Health Goods,
Dr. Jim Bell