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Shape The New Science of Strong

Shape The New Science of Strong

Shape The New Science of Strong

The New Science of Strong, the new special edition from the editors of Shape, is an all-inclusive guide to the importance of strength training for a fit and healthy lifestyle at any age. Drawing on the research and expertise of scientists, sports physicians and nationally-recognized physical trainers, The New Science of Strong focuses on and delivers guidance into High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), the strength-building and weight-control technique that offers transformative results in far less time than gained with conventional workouts. Separate articles and sections delve into the mechanics of building lean muscle, strategies for healthy weight loss, working out with (and without) a trainer, and the critical roles played by mood, your metabolism, the body’s hormones, and nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. The New Science of Strong also includes three scientifically-tested workouts, with detailed instructions as well as a primer on muscle and fat. Plus: We also provide you with our guide to the key equipment you’ll need for better training and “Words to Lift By”—quotations that will motivate you.

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United States
Meredith Corporation

in this issue

8 min
the super power of strength training

Strength is the key to fitness. As an exercise scientist who has studied the body for more than a quarter-century, I have probed the structure and functioning of muscle, the mechanics of movement, and the biodynamics of joints—all in pursuit of finding how we can each attain optimal fitness. I can say with conviction that increasing your strength, even incrementally, has the most powerful domino effect, not just on your athletic ability but in your daily life, too. Strength will help you last longer no matter what you’re doing, achieve the weight at which you are most comfortable, develop sturdier bones, and sleep more soundly. With strength training, you can also improve your motor skills—as well as your cognitive skills—so that you climb stairs faster, remember facts longer, and breathe…

7 min
getting strong—and much more

No disrespect to cardio, but if you want to blast fat, get in shape, and rock everything that comes your way—both in and out of the gym—strength training is where it’s at. Muscular physiques are a trending topic on social media, competitive powerlifting is becoming more popular among women, and fitness-forward celebs like Jennifer Lopez and Ashley Graham proudly flaunt their lifting skills—and lifting gains—on Instagram. How will adding weights to your workout routine help you meet your fitness goals? Part of the allure of strength training is obviously aesthetic. You’ll get a carved, more curvy, and muscular look as your body becomes fitter and stronger. “Recently, I’ve noticed an upward trend in women participating in our strength development program,” says Ruben Belliard, founder of the Training Lab in New York…

5 min
turn up the burn

You’re working to maintain your healthy new weight. But in order to be successful, there’s something important to know: Just as your size shrinks after dropping pounds, unfortunately so does your ability to burn calories. Learning what to expect and how to handle the predictable metabolic changes your body is likely to go through will help you stay slim over the long term, experts say. As you shed pounds, your body enters what scientists call a starvation state, slowing your metabolism to help you regain weight. This is what it looks like in the laboratory: Levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, were 20 percent higher in participants who lost weight, according to a study at the University of Melbourne in Australia, while levels of hormones associated with suppressing hunger were very…

8 min
fat and muscle: the power players

First, the basics. Everyone has two different types of muscle: type 1 (slow-twitch) fibers and type 2 (fast-twitch) fibers. “Slow-twitch fibers control endurance. They’re what you use for activities like running long distances and low-impact aerobic workouts like Zumba,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D., a professor of sport science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. Fast-twitch fibers are used for shorter, explosive movements like squat jumps and sprints. They fatigue quickly and require more recovery time. While type 1 fibers remain about the same size even after you tone, type 2s get larger as they get stronger, so working them is key if you want muscle definition. “If you only focus on training one type, you’re missing out on half the perks,” Olson says. Fat is a little more complicated. You have white…

3 min
good mood, better metabolism

A fast metabolism, a happy outlook—these are two things we can all agree are worth chasing. And now scientists are realizing that going after one may naturally deliver both. What we know for sure: The key to this connection is the hunger hormone leptin, which tells your brain that you feel full. “Leptin impacts not only your food intake but your mood as well,” says Paul Burghardt, Ph.D., an assistant professor of nutrition and food science at Wayne State University in Detroit. This is partly because of the hormone’s relationship with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls happiness and motivation. Generally, when leptin levels dip, the release of dopamine increases, says Stéphanie Fulton, Ph.D., an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Montreal in Canada. That’s when mood starts to rise.…

5 min
maximize your afterburn

By now you know that doing high-intensity interval training will earn you a big calorie burn that lingers post-workout as your body revs up its repair processes. But with infinite ways to approach a HIIT routine, the challenge is to find a surefire recipe for stretching out that bonus afterburn. At the boutique studio chain Orangetheory Fitness, the winning formula that has created devotees in 49 states involves alternating between cranking up your cardio over a seven-minute block of time and doing a sculpting circuit. “You need to work out at a level that keeps your heart rate at 84 to 91 percent of your max for a cumulative 12 to 20 minutes,” explains Orangetheory founder Ellen Latham, an exercise physiologist who calibrated her classes to do exactly that. (Latham dubbed that…