Improving the Quality of Life in Individuals Fighting Pulmonary Diseases

3-Tips to Programing Strength Training

Oct 17, 2019 | Uncategorized

Strength training can be a powerful tool to daily living.  Strength training helps improve respiratory function, muscular strength and endurance and it supports your ability to live with using less effort. The musculoskeletal system moves the body’s joints so that you can breathe easier, get up and walk around each day, play sports, as well as participate in more general/basic tasks like hanging out with friends. The muscles move the body and the respiratory system fuels the system. If you can optimize your strength training in the gym, or at home, you can increase your potential to improving your strength. The key is to be strategic with how you pair your exercises together. Here are 3-tips that have helped our clients improve their overall strength.


1. Pair a Heavier Strength Exercise with a Lower Intensity Exercise.

Upper Body Strength and Lower Body Activation

For example: 1-Arm Dumbbell Row with Mini Band Lateral Steps

Lower Body Strength and Upper Body Mobility

For example: Lunges and 90 Degree Pec. Stretch


Pairing an upper body strength exercise like a 1-arm dumbbell row with a lower intensity lower body drill like mini band lateral steps, allows the upper body time to recover and get ready for the next set. Your body only has so much energy it could burn at one time. This also goes for pairing a heavier lower body strength exercise with a lower intensity upper body exercise. You want to make sure you have enough in the tank for the next strength set. The recovery is going to help you increase the weight and repetitions overtime. It also adds density to your training, so that you do not have to spend 2-hours in the gym.


2. Pair Heavier Compound Lifts with Lower Intensity Breathing Drills

Compound strength exercises such as deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, push-ups and loaded carries use multi-joints, which allow you to utilize more weight, causing a higher demand on your neuromuscular system. Recovery is very important after a heavy compound exercise. Your energy expenditure is high, and your body is looking to recover. Integrating an energy system recovery exercise, such as the side-lying lateral ribcage expansion, allows your body time to recover and recharge. Your body thrives off of oxygen and if you put it in a good place after a heavy lift, your body’s ability to optimally recover will increase.


3. High Quality Reps Under Control

When you perform a heavy resistance training exercise, it will challenge you to keep your technique. As the weight goes up, your brain will recruit more muscles to help and will change your body’s position as additional help. If your form is breaking down, the targeted muscles are reaching their limit.  We have all been there at some point. Keep true to your form and control the movement. Your muscles do not know a dumbbell from a barbell. All they know is the length, tension, and effort required to perform that exercise. Going slower and keeping the strength movement controlled will increase the stress on the muscle tissue and increase quality strength. Keep the quality reps high and throw out the bad reps. Stay within your means and push the limits under control.

Strength training can get hard and it also can get confusing. The key is to stay within your means. Pair your heavier strength exercises with lower intensity mobility exercise. Progress the weight of the exercise based on your quality reps and not your bad ones and integrate compound strength exercises into your workout. Increasing muscular strength gives you the ability to exert less effort during daily tasks. That is, if you are also stretching and balancing out your strength training with mobility or flexibility training. It may just be the missing link you are looking for.


Keep it simple and have fun with it.


For more exercises check out our YouTube Channel: Cystic Fibrosis Fitness Institute 

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