METHOD

St. Paul Strength Room

 

Everything about our method of strength training is intended to safely create exercise intensity and provide sufficient recovery to improve muscle mass and the work capacity of your muscles. The protocols we use are appropriate for people of ages, fitness levels and physical abilities.

Here’s how we do it.

Personal Trainers Help You Every Time.
Free personal training is included with all memberships (except exclusively private sessions) to help you work hard and succeed. Members don't have to figure out how to operate the equipment or design their exercise program because our trainers do that for them. We know it can be lonely to workout and at our gym we want you to be part of our community - one that feels supported, safe, motivated and engaged.

30-Minute Total Body Workouts.
Total body workouts stimulate maximum growth because they create an efficient way to train all of your major muscle groups in one quick workout. Targeting all of the major muscles in one workout creates a global metabolic stimulus that improves muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, bone and joint health and your recovery system.

Research has shown that there is no additional advantage to breaking up workout routines into body parts in the pursuit of strength development. And, given the considerable wear-and-tear that comes with increased activity levels, it is prudent to use a training strategy that minimizes exercise time during a week to yield maximum results. Study after study concludes that a total body workout performed one to two times per week produces all the benefits to be had from a program and that training more frequently serves little additional purpose.

Slow Motion Training.
We recommend that our members perform their exercises slowly because the goal of strength training is not to move a weight from point A to point B, but rather to create a high level of muscle fatigue, or muscle weakening that stimulates physiological adaptations. Data accumulated from the scientific literature overwhelmingly indicate that moving slower creates greater strength gains and reduces injury risk because momentum does not contribute to the movement. Therefore, in terms of both efficaciousness and delivering a better stimulus for positive adaptation, slower is better.

One Set Is Sufficient.
While many exercise authorities claim that multiple sets of a particular exercise should be performed (typically, three sets of ten repetitions), we recommend one set performed with exceptional form and intensity because research has consistently shown that it is all the stimulus required to stimulate strength improvements. On whole, performing multiple sets creates no additional increase in strength compared with single-set training. Why waste your time?

Train To Create Fatigue.
Muscles are comprised of three types of tissues that create different levels of force output. When you perform an exercise that requires very little effort, your nervous system calls into action a small amount of your overall muscle tissue. You may be able to perform the activity but because the demand is low, your body doesn’t exert the effort to recruit all of your muscle tissue. The goal of effective strength training is to demand that the body recruits as many muscle fibers as possible to the point of fatigue. In particular, the exercise must be intense enough to require the use of the strongest and most powerful muscle fiber type – called fast twitch muscles – because they generate the highest levels of force that help people perform better when they are young and help people stand, walk, climb stairs and balance better when they are old.

Be Precise. Count Seconds Not Repetitions.
When the goal is to complete a specific number of repetitions, there is a natural tendency for people to move quickly and to shorten their range of motion while they count repetitions. This diminishes exercise quality and increases injury risk. It also makes the quantification of your effort difficult because counting repetitions does not take into consideration your speed of movement. On any given workout, a specific number of repetitions can be completed (i.e., 10), but if a timer was simultaneously used while performing these repetitions it is likely your time would be very different. Thus, your system of measurement (i.e., counting repetitions) is inconsistent and not very valuable when it comes to determining weight increases.

In contrast, our strength training method measures your exercise effort in seconds, not repetitions because this system is more reliable at measuring effort and determining when it is safe and appropriate for your weight to be increased. Our goal is for members to reach muscle fatigue within 90-150 seconds on each exercise. This ensures a reliable way of evaluating effort and serves to appropriately fatigue all three muscle fiber types.

Recovery Has A Purpose.
Recovery is an important part of effective strength training because it is during rest intervals that the body is given the opportunity to repair and improve itself. When you train to muscle fatigue, your muscles are depleted of their strength and energy levels and time is required for them to be restored to maximum capacity. If you routinely return for another workout before your muscles have recovered and replenished themselves, you will gradually lose strength and increase your risk of injury.

MedX Equipment.
Since the 1970s, free weight manufacturers have promoted that free weights are better than machines when it comes to strength training. The fact of the matter is that your muscles respond to force-production requirements regardless of what type of equipment places the exercise demand on them. Thus, free weights and machines are equally effective at stimulating strength gains.

Since the point of our strength training method is to stimulate muscle tissue to grow bigger and stronger with high intensity effort, the safest way to achieve this goal is with the use of machines.

Of the dozens of exercise machines available, we use MedX because it is the product of decades of scientific research, and quite simply it is much better than other machines.

Here’s why:

-The equipment is manufactured to be adjustable in multiple planes. This allows trainers to "build" the machine around members to provide resistance in a safe and effective way.
-The equipment has a very low level of internal friction. The equipment feels smooth and doesn’t allow you to hide from the resistance.
-The equipment is designed to increase weight in micro-amounts of 1 to 3pound increments for easy use by wide range of fitness levels and continuous progress.
-The equipment is designed to provide resistance that matches the way your muscles contract and forces you to maintain strict form during exercise for better results.