St. Paul Strength Room
Our Mission Is To Help People Live Life Strong.
- Personal Trainers Supervise Every Visit At No Additional Cost.
- Efficient and Sustainable Workouts For Long Term Results.
- 30-Minute Total Body Workouts, 2 Times Per Week.
- High Intensity, Slow Motion Training.
- Research Based Strength Training Protocols.
- Workouts Anyone Can Do.
- 3 Free Visits.
Private and Group Training Available
Conveniently Located Inside Element Gym
The St. Paul Strength Room is dedicated to helping people live life strong because we believe the increase of muscle mass, the prevention of muscle atrophy and the development of muscular strength are key to performing well in one’s life and maintaining personal independence with age.
Our strength training programs, based upon scientific research, are purposefully designed and directed to stimulate positive physiological adaptations that efficiently increase muscular strength to improve health and fitness.
We achieve this by:
- Utilizing research based total body strength training programs.
- Believing in the validity, power and safety of single set, high intensity strength training procedures.
- Including free personal trainers who supervise workouts, provide motivation and encouragement to build supportive relationships and create a strong sense of belonging.
- Utilizing 30-minute total body workouts that are quick and effective for busy people and those who don’t want to spend much time at the gym.
- Using specialized equipment that physiologically stimulates better training effects.
- Teaching members to focus on effort, intensity and form rather than quantity of exercise.
- Creating a safe, supportive community that welcomes diversity and enjoys training people of all ages, physical condition, body size, ethnicity and ability.
- Capitalizing on the predictability of our scientific strength training methods that systematically progress members in micro-amounts for maximum improvements.
Why Our Mission Is Important
Collectively, the muscular system is the largest organ in your body and it is your muscles that are at the center of your health, personal independence and well-being because metabolic activities take place in them and they create movement and activity in your everyday life.
It is in your muscles where all the good from exercise is created and nothing is more important than maintaining muscle mass throughout your lifespan. Without sufficient muscle strength, movement becomes difficult causing us to slow down, fall down, gain weight, get sick, and get hurt. In short, the quality of your life improves, or diminishes in relationship to your muscle mass and your ability to move around in the world.
Adults achieve peak muscle mass by their early forties and after that time they experience a progressive deterioration in muscle size by as much as 50% by age 80. One of the earliest hallmarks of aging isn’t grey hair, but rather the loss of skeletal muscle tissue and the emergence of weak, atrophied muscles that are infiltrated with fatty tissue. The loss of muscle mass and fatty infiltration reduces metabolism because muscle tissue burns calories for energy, whereas fatty tissue does not. As we age and lose muscle tissue, we simultaneously lose the ability to generate force in our legs and arms at the same time that we lose our calorie burning power because with less overall muscle mass our ability to use food for energy declines. With reduced overall muscle mass, we gain weight more easily and we experience significant reductions in performance, mobility, balance and function.
Sedentary lifestyles further compound the loss of muscle mass because inactivity accelerates the process of muscle atrophy and that increases the propensity for an uptick in body weight. It is impossible to escape the fact that a decrease in muscle mass, accelerated by age and inactivity, is strongly correlated with reduced mobility and metabolism, and that is correlated with increased weight gain, higher injury risk and greater incidence of chronic disease.
Thus, the preservation of muscle tissue is critically important to overall health and well-being and without a thoughtful strategy to build and preserve muscle mass, your physical abilities will simply decline with age.
To this point, there are two important questions to ask when it comes to building and preserving muscle mass across one’s lifespan:
Question 1: What activity best builds muscle mass regardless of your age?
Question 2: What factors drive the increase of muscle mass?
The answers to these questions are simple, but maybe not easy to believe.
Answer 1: Not all exercises are equally effective when it comes to building muscle mass, so select wisely because every form of exercise can have both positive and negative effects on your body.
Aerobic exercise is an over promoted activity and it under performs when it comes to building muscle tissue.
Millions of people engage in aerobic activity and they invest hundreds of hours performing slow steady state cardiovascular exercise such as walking, biking, running, or swimming with the misguided belief that aerobic exercise is the best way to improve their muscularity and they adhere to the adage that if some exercise is good, more must be better.
Aerobic activities performed at a low level of exertion for long time periods create very little adaptive stimulus for muscle growth. Aerobic exercise just doesn’t do a good job of significantly increasing muscle size, and because of the constant, repeated, repetitive bending of the joints, aerobic exercise wears out and tears down the cartilaginous tissue of the knees and hips leading to pain, limited mobility, arthritis and quite often replacement surgery.
More than 7 million Americans are living with knee or hip replacements and this prevalence is within the same ballpark as coronary heart disease, and much higher than heart failure or stroke. In fact, the incidence of total knee replacements increased by 120 percent from 2009 to 2016, while the incidence of total hip replacements increased by 123 percent over the same time period.
In comparison, strength training, when performed correctly, does stimulate muscle growth, but does not expose joints to constant repetitive bending and dangerous impact forces that erode joint integrity and function over time. This means you can more easily perform strength training over your lifetime for healthier, stronger muscles without simultaneously damaging your joints so that you stay mobile and active without the incidence of pain.
Answer 2: Muscular strength improvements are driven primarily by intensity of effort (best described as volitional muscular fatigue), not by the length of time an activity is sustained. There exists an ideal therapeutic range in which the exertion level and the time of an exercise are appropriately aligned to efficiently and effectively stimulate physiological improvements in musculature. The logic behind this statement is that exertion (intensity) and exercise time are inversely correlated. This means that you can either exercise for a long period of time at a low level of exertion, or you can exercise for a short time period of time at a high level of exertion. But, you cannot exercise at a high level of exertion for a long period of time.
Applying this concept to aerobic activity, most people perform cardiovascular exercise for a specific time period (i.e., 30-60 minutes) at an easy to moderate effort level. Unfortunately, the focus on exercise time is the wrong variable to emphasize because the variable that produces physiological changes is intensity. Thus, running or walking for a long time at a low intensity doesn’t produce nearly as much physiological change as picking up the pace or ramping up the incline to increase intensity.
The goal of effective strength training is to create an environment that is conducive for someone to safely train with intense effort because the intensity of effort is what stimulates desired and beneficial physiological adaptations. Single set, total body slow motion strength training generates intense effort and volitional fatigue with little wear and tear on the joints.
Answer 3: With our busy, hectic lives and the fact that exercise isn’t enjoyable to many, recommending high frequency, long duration exercise programs isn’t prudent or sustainable for most people. That being said, any form of exercise must be consistently performed for at least 2-3 months before improvements are seen. Thus, how often you are required to exercise each week is an important consideration as it pertains to adherence and most people are encouraged, or enthusiastically strive to exercise 4-5 times per week.
This is misguided because they start building their exercise regime around frequency rather than intensity. And, it is intensity that is the fuel of success because every aspect of an exercise program should build upon, and support intensity of effort.
When you start with the goal of creating exercise intensity, it unites several important variables: duration, recovery, and frequency for overall success. When you work intensely (hard), the duration invested in a single workout is simultaneously decreased. When you work intensely, you create more stress and demand on your muscles, thus you need more time to recover. This reduces the overall frequency of workouts required in a week because if you engage in more exercise before you are adequately recovered you are wasting your time, overtraining yourself and doing more harm than good.
It is the inter-relationship between intensity, duration, recovery and frequency that lead to success. This is very logical, yet most people exercise too many times during a week for no measurable benefit and their ability to train 4-5 times per week underscores the reality that they are not really working that hard.
If you lead a busy, active life filled with family, children, a spouse, pets, friends, career and outdoor activities, you are cumulatively creating a state of over training for yourself with pursuing the goal exercise frequency rather than exercise intensity. It is no wonder why you feel stressed to find time to workout, or may not be seeing significant improvements from your efforts.
The bottom line is that strength training with sufficient intensity and recovery is the best and most productive form of exercise because when performed correctly, strength training:
- Quickly and effectively increases muscle mass.
- Increases bone density, improves bone health and reduces risk of fractures.
- Improves the body’s metabolism and helps with weight loss.
- Reduces blood sugar levels and improves insulin utilization.
- Makes us look better and improves our physique and physical appearance.
- Increases our energy levels and capacity to perform work.
- Helps prevent and reverse osteoporosis.
- Improves balance and coordination.
- Increases coordination and confidence.
- Improves joint health and structural integrity.
- Reduces injury risk.
Final Question: If you’re convinced that strength training is beneficial, the next question logical question to ask is what is the best and most efficient method of strength training?
Answer: Slow motion, single set, high intensity total body strength training programs. Keep reading.