Fitness Fun Fridays #11

Posted by Adam | Posted in , | Posted on Friday, September 19, 2008

Wooooo.... lucky number 11. I can barely believe it. I've only got a couple more until 13, which is actually a lucky number of mine. (I know it's a bad luck number to everyone else, but I'm a different cat :) So we are slowly approaching a cross roads here at FFF, nope it doesn't mean I am done with it or anything, but we've finally covered most of the bases and preliminary material. So, I'm going to open the floor up to anyone who is interested. What do you want to see next? Are you confused on anything? Do you want a whole post on random tips and tricks? Does that weird pill on late night TV actually work? Ask away, and while I am not an expert on everything, I'll do my best to give my researched opinion on it. And if I don't know, I'll find out, because you can never learn too much, right? :)

A very clumbsy, but extremely creative and funny friend of mine had a question about breathing. I think this is a great concept to cover, because it can be quite tricky, and much like climbing monkey bars made of Jell-o, it's hard to get a handle on. So let's rock. Hahaha Twisted Sister is playing right now :)

When you lift weights, your blood pressure increases like crazy. Blood pressure, if you aren't entirely clear on it, is the amount of pressure placed on the arteries in your body. I'm sure you've heard the number 120/80 before, and know that is associated with a normal measurement of mmHg in blood pressure. The first number is the amount of pressure on your arteries during a heart contraction, while the second number is the pressure exerted during relaxation of your heart. The reason we want a low resting blood pressure, is because it is related to how hard our heart has to work to pump blood. Imagine if your TV remote was busted, and you had to JAM the numbers down to get them to work? Annoying right? Well your heart is annoyed if it has to pump harder to just push red gloop around :0

The reason I am getting all 8th grade sciency on you is because... you might be surprised at how high your blood pressure gets during weight training. For short periods during the lifting motion, blood pressure has been measured to be in upwards of 300 and beyond. Your muscles contract, your arteries have more pressure exerted on them, and more blood flow is needed because you are moving muscles. Does that number sound like alot? You betcha... but before you get all nervous know this... it is NOT dangerous to most people. The reason is because the amount of time this pressure is exerted is minimal. You lift for a couple of seconds at a time, and then it's over, and you rest. It is different from prolonged high blood pressure, which is hypertension.

So, to get back on task... this ties perfectly into breathing. Breathing relaxes, and more importantly, decreases the pressure in your body. When you hold your breath... your lungs, your heart, and your abdominal cavity increase their pressure immensely, for however long you continue to hold it. (Can any of the mothers help me out on this?... I uh, can't) This is something we definitely do not want to do. We want to place as little extra strain on our bodies as we can... because, honestly, just working out is tiring enough :)

So breathe out. Remember when I talked about the different kinds of contractions? During the lowering action (eccentric for all the smart kids out there), breathe in... and then as you contract the muscle (concentric) breathe out.

So for example... you are doing a pulldown. As you bring the bar towards your chest, you breathe out, and as you lower it away from you slowly, you breathe in. For a squat or leg press, you breathe out as you extend your legs and push up. Whenever you exert the force to move the weight in the direction you want, breathe out. This helps to keep the pressure in your body normalized and at a much safer level. If you can imagine, if a family member of yours has high cholesterol or high blood pressure, they need to be very careful and understand this concept. They should also see a doctor before starting to work out.

Alright, that's going to wrap up today. There's this chill in the air, and I really, really like it. It's crisp, and a little tart. Kind of like a good Crispin Apple or maybe a Pringle made out of Sour Patch Kids... wow that would be gross. Thanks for all the support with these, and don't worry FFF will be back on Friday again. Remember, take it slow and learn one cool thing a day. Have a good weekend guys and gals :)


Comments (27)

"There's this chill in the air, and I really, really like it. It's crisp, and a little tart. Kind of like a good Crispin Apple or maybe a Pringle made out of Sour Patch Kids... wow that would be gross." HAHA!!! You never fail to make me laugh out loud :0)

Happy Friday, Adam!! Thanks for yet another great FFF post. Oh and I vote for a FFF post on energy bars (which I think I've requested in the past, haha).

ooh, lucky charms! can we inhale those as we go through the eccentric motion? :)

I'm shocked about how high your blood pressure can get! Have a fantastic weekend! Oh, don't know if you caught my reply, but my grandparents are actually in Old Forge, and I grew up in Clifton Park...

Interesting! Didn't know that about blood pressure while lifting. Pringles and sour patch might be good...especially if you wash it down with a beer :)

So since you posted a picture of Lucky Charms, does that mean it's OK to eat moderation, of course? :)
You are such a sweet child. I'm so glad we've met ( online). I'm going to give that 5 pound weight another go, see if I can lift it this time!

Great article as usual, I'll try to ignore the Lucky Charms and Sour Patch flavored Pringles!? *shudder*

I'd love to know more plyometric exercises.

Thanks for the info. I always get confused with breathing so good to know.

Man you know so much stuff!!! I had no idea lifting weights would raise blood pressure! I have extremely low blood pressure so I should be fine. Maybe I should allways keep a weight in my purse and start lifting whenever I get dizzy! Lol, that would be funny! Thanks for answering, you're the best! Have a great weekend and don't eat many pringles!

You know everytime I go to my doctor's he takes my blood pressure, and everytime he does this it's high. It's crazy high because he and the whole hospital setting makes me super nervous. (white coat syndrome--heard of that?) I have just about convinced him that I do not have high blood pressure, only have it when I see him, hospitals, and dentists (all those creepy needles make me anxious). So, I had to keep a paper log of my BP readings throughout the day for like a few months just to show him that it only raises when I see him. LOL. He is pretty much convinced now, thank God.
Thought you'd get a kick out of that.
I would love to see a segment on stretching: all over body stretching and lower back. My lower back always needs a good stretch or I like to hang upside down to decompress it; doesn't always work though. What do you think of those hang up tables? I see them everywhere? Are they safe? Is this a long post? lol!

I love Lucky Charms - now I am craving them. Anyway, I'll have to check my breathing the next time I lift weights - I think I do it wrong.

I think you should do posts on tips and tricks!

Nice job (from a nurse's perspective). Breathing is so important, belly breathing is really good for ya too. I like these posts.

Maybe you could talk about aerobic vs. anaerobic - and why/when they happen, why one is important for fat burning - why the other is important to push your limits. That can often confuse people. :)

Most people think breathing is just a natural thing that we do - effective breathing is a whole other kettle of fish. It's really important to manage the blood pressure - I mean the sodium in the pringles will shoot up the blood pressure without you even breathing :)

Hi, if you have a chance can you post something for youths wanting to start weight lifting. My son is 14 and he is be bugging me to start. Waiting for your advice.

I just finally accepted some free weights that my mom has been trying to pawn off on me for years. I have decided the time has some for serious exercise! Much in thanks to these FFF. :)

Lol, pilates tells me to breathe out on the work and in on the recover, yoga tells me to breathe in and out my nose's interesting how it's tied up with everything. Love the idea of blood pressure as a TV remote - great analogy. I love analogies, they help me understand things :D

It's good you brought it up because I had no idea how important proper breathing was before I started doing some pilates.. the right way. Would you like to teach me some physics.. haha. You make learning fun, not to mention I like your pics better than vectors.

I love your analogies and the way you explain things. It's so great! I have wondered about breathing too, so this was great.

I started my hip hop class on Tuesday! All of my previous experience {dancing in front of the mirror or watching my reflection in the window while clean dancing {cleaning and dancing done together}}, would have led me to believe I should be VERY good! Nope! Wow, it really kicked my butt! It was really hard! I guess I've been humbled. But I'm going to stick with it because it was fun and a great way to exercise!

Great post, and one I desperately need now.
I just copied some of your previous FFF posts because I ate too much in Bangkok. Obviously. It would have been wrong not to, you know. Now it would wrong to be seen in public in my jeans.

Great post! I look forward to all of your information! I used to go to the gym six days a week but my job switched to four days a week, 10 hours. It is hard to fit in a workout! I have to be at work at 7 so the morning is out and I am tired and want to cook dinner and relax with my hubby at nights. Any ideas on how to get in a good workout? I am running at nights, it is fine now but as soon as the snow comes I am done for!! We might buy an eliptical. Any recommendations? Thanks!!!

Hi Adam! I have missed reading 5 of your previous FFF series, and I have to catch up, soon. The carrot apple cake looks so yum and just the perfect colour. Will read through your posts before any further comments:-)

Great Post, I know I really love your posts! (I learn a lot!) xGloria

keep these coming, Adam!! Will breathing ever become second nature during my working out?? I always remember to start breathing on my 3rd or 4th rep and that's no good... especially if my bp is skyrocketing to 300!!
hmm... maybe you could touch upon proper gym etiquette in a future FFF? I think that's something we all need a reminder of every once in a while : )

A lot of things I didn't know about breathing! Thanks for filling the blanks for me :D

oh adam your FFF never fails to put a smile on my face :-) well my dad and I consider 13 to be a lucky number too. we used to bet on lottos every 13th of friday unfortunately we never won hahaha maybe a i need a lucky

I believe it about the personality. I do love sauerkraut (although how much I love non-cured cabbage depends on how it's cooked and for how long). Pork and sauerkraut are a heavenly pairing and you really have presented a great cool night warming dinner.

Ummm, that picture of Lucky Charms got me all excited!

I like how you included that "usually" at the end of the comment. LOL :D

Oh the breathing. I swear I am never getting it right. My mom said if you were breathing incorrectly whilst doing an ab routine it would make your muscles grow funny and make you look fat. I'm starting to believe that while breathing correctly IS important, perhaps that was an old wives tale...