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Outstanding and accurate health articles from AFTA partner and author Phil Campbell. 


Key weight training principle
There are three key principles in weight training that will multiply your results. The prinicples are; Isolation, Exhaustion, and Aerobic Tempo. During this newsletter, we'll look at the principle of Isolation.

Isolate the Muscle Being Worked

Isolation of the muscle being worked makes you focus and "zone in" on the targeted muscle. This helps to define the goal of the weight training exercise, and it leads to better results.

The Isolation principle means to isolate only one targeted muscle group at a time, and consciously leave the other muscle groups out of the exercise. The tough part of this principle is to position the exercise to minimize other muscle groups from assisting the targeted muscle.

Other muscle groups try to step in and help as the targeted muscle becomes fatigued, especially at the end of a set. If you allow other muscles to assist, the impact of training is decreased.

This is the most difficult aspect of weight training technique. You should focus on not allowing other muscles to assist when the targeted muscle gets tired

Correct Positioning Isolates Muscles

Countless times, I have talked with individuals, even serious bodybuilders and professional athletes, who cannot seem to build their biceps. This is an easy fix.

Invariably, bicep curls were being performed with the wrists bent "in" toward the body - rather than straight. Bending the wrists toward the body positions the forearms to do much of the work, rather than the biceps.

The Isolation principle means that you should slightly bend the wrist backwards during curls (away from the body) as shown below. This prevents the forearms from assisting, thereby isolating the biceps to do the work. And the biceps receive the full benefit of the exercise.

The following photos show the incorrect and correct wrist positions to isolate your biceps

Incorrect - wrist bent in.
Bicep not isolated,
forearm is doing too
much of the work.




Correct - the wrist is slightly bent back, or away from the body. The isolation is on the bicep, and not the forearm.




“Slow Movement” Weight Training?

Slow movement weight training is a new trend in some gyms. The idea is to lift weights very slowly. This method will assist in isolating the muscle group being worked. However, there is no scientific magic behind “slow movement” lifting.

If you are correctly isolating muscle groups during training (and keeping muscle groups isolated during the set), then a moderate tempo works well.

The Take Home

Whether it's your biceps, chest, calves, or abs, isolate the targeted muscle group and you'll get better results.

Have a great day!

Phil Campbell, Author Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness for Time-Crunched Adults



Synergy Fitness makes a big deal about target training

fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle, why?


  To reap the full benefits of Synergy Fitness training,

it's necessary to understand how your muscle fiber --
slow, fast, and super-fast -- are developed


You have three types of muscle fiber that make up your "muscles," and this is sometimes called muscle composition.


This is important because it's the fitness training that targets the super fast-twitch muscle that makes your body produce the most powerful body fat reducing, muscle toning, fitness hormone in your body - HGH  growth hormone.


  Muscle Fiber Types


The average person has approximately 60 percent fast muscle fibers and 40 percent slow-twitch fiber (type I).


The fast-twitch muscle actually has two types of fiber -- fast and super-fast.


The fast muscle (what the researchers call IIa) moves 5 times faster than the slow muscle -- and the super-fast (IIx) moves 10 times faster than the slow muscle fibers. And there can be swings in fiber composition, (Muscle, Genes, and Athletic Performance, September 2000, Scientific American, Jesper).

The following chart shows that while there are differences in muscle fiber composition, muscle types can be developed based on the way they are trained.


Muscle Fiber Composition


Muscle fiber




Sprint trained

Aerobic trained



(type I)









Super-fast (IIx)





Sprinters have a higher percentage of the super-fast (IIx). Endurance trained individuals have more slow muscle fiber (type I).  While we are born with slightly different muscle composition, the point is; super-fast muscle can be developed if exercised properly.


Why is this important?


Researchers show that anaerobic exercise (short, quick-burst, gets you out-of-breath fast exercise) is the type of fitness training that increases HGH growth hormone.  And HGH is, without question, the most powerful anti-aging, and anti-middle-aging, body fat-reducing, muscle-toning agent known. 


Yet, when we finish high school (perhaps with the exception of a few that compete in college and the small number that make it to the pros), we become slow-twitch exercisers at age 20. And this is a mistake!


Many may continue developing slow-twitch muscle (less than half of your muscles) with weight training and cardio at the gym, and with jogging.  If you think about it, we start the muscle atrophy process (the wasting away of muscle) on half of our muscle fiber ... AT AGE 20! 


No wonder we have an obesity epidemic and this year, 650,000 Americans will hear their physician say, "you have diabetes." 


The cure for the national obesity crisis, the cure for the middle-age somatopause, the cure for insulin resistance and (in many cases) diabetes, and the cure for the high cost of healthcare--is so simple, that we keep missing it. 


The cure is natural. It's free. But it can't be done overnight because the muscle fiber needed to perform high-intensity anaerobic exercise has atrophied (wasted away).

There's great news?

You can build back your fast-twitch muscle fiber (slowly at first) by performing plyometrics to build the fast muscle (IIa) and performing sprinting types of training to build the super-fast (IIx) to the point where you can release HGH growth hormone through fitness training.

                  The Take Home

You may need to be doing more than working your slow muscle fiber with weights, cardio, and jogging. But don't neglect slow-muscle because this is 40% of your muscle fiber, and to a degree, it serves as a base for the development of the fast and super-fast muscle fiber.

Have a great day!

Phil Campbell, Author Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness for Time-Crunched Adults


High-intensity exercise
reduces the risk of heart disease

The American Heart Association, in a recent news release, cited research showing high-intensity exercise can significantly lower the risk of heart disease.

Simply, as exercise intensity goes up, the risk of heart disease goes down.


New research

The researchers compared the impact of different levels of exercise intensity. The study subjects (men average age 66) in the high-intensity exercise group produced a 31% risk reduction for heart disease. And this was 14% better than those who performed "less intense" exercise.

"The harder one exercises ... the lower the risk of heart disease," said lead researcher Dr. I-Min Lee, associate professor Harvard Medical School.


Relative Intensity

This study also proves another important point concerning fitness training during aging. Exercise intensity is relative to one's fitness level.

In other words, an older individual can reach high-intensity exercise with effort that might be considered low-intensity for someone young
and fit.


What does this mean to you?

Personal trainer, triathlete, or just starting a fitness program, the goal of the Ready, Set, Go program is to help you discover the benefits of releasing your "fitness hormone" through high-intensity exercise.

This new study confirms the need for higher intensities, but it also shows that beginners and older adults can reach the more productive levels of exercise intensity with less effort than a triathlete, for example.

The Sprint 8 Workout described in Chapter 8, Accelerating HGH Release with Anaerobics may be performed by power walking or by actual sprinting - running, swimming, cycling, skiing - depending on your age, current fitness level, and training experience.

Newcomers to high-intensity exercise may get great results initially by performing the Sprint 8 Workout with power walking.

A fine tuned triathlete however, may need to add an additional 4 X 150 meter sprints (on run days) and 4 X 50 meter swim sprints (on pool days) to their Sprint 8 Workout to reach the desired high-intensity level.


The proper perspective of fitness training during aging

When you see an eighty year old participant running a 10-K or working out in the gym, don't think that it's unfortunate that she can't run as fast, or lift as much as her younger counterparts.

It's the intensity of exercise that produces results. And exercise intensity is relative to current fitness status.

A goal worth considering

Ever thought about hiking the Appalachian Trail, running a marathon, or climbing Everest? But you know you don't have the time.

Here's a very realistic goal worth considering.

If you're over 50 and not participating in masters and senior games events, check out these programs;, State Games listings &

If you're over 30, training for a master's competition can be very motivating. And it's certainly a middle-age somatopause buster!

Ages brackets; age 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, continue on up in five year increments. Some Masters Web sites are listed below in the MORE INFO section.


The Take Home

* If you're not exercising regularly now, this research shows that you don't have to workout for hours to get results. Get physician clearance, and get started.

* If you're a pro and want to help others improve fitness, it's important to remember that newcomers may get great results initially from what you might consider a warm-up.

* If you're an X-jock, maybe you can't run a 4.4 any more, but I think you'll be amazed at how the body responds to a slow, progressive, wise, buildup program to high-intensity fitness training.



Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE
Author Ready, Set, GO!
Synergy Fitness for Time-Crunched Adults



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