The Great "Weights" Debate - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/05/03 - Tyler

The Great "Weights" Debate

Your blood's pumping, your body's racing. You've always been taught this is the best way to become a lean, mean exercise machine. Now stop... "nice and slowly," says fitness expert Fred Hahn as he trains one of his clients. Fred says we've got it all wrong that the key to total fitness is simple: pump iron, period. "The slow-burn strength training program works the muscles using a technique of very, very slow lifting of the weight," explains Fred.

Fred's popular program consists of ten exercises that take a minute and a half each. And get this, you do it just twice a week for a total of 30 minutes! But, Fred says this program is far from a walk in the park. He adds, "You tax the cardiovascular system very heavily and that's why you don't need to do formal aerobics in order to improve cardiovascular health."

Weight-lifting weight loss programs are all the rage. Millions visit Jorge Cruise's web site to pump their way to fitness, in just 8 minutes a day! "You do the workout in the morning and then you get the benefit of the muscle all throughout the day," says Jorge. The benefit? Jorge says you lose weight because muscles burn calories even when at rest.

So, do these workouts really work? Several claim the answer is yes saying, "I started right away losing weight." "My cholesterol is way down." "I've increased my strength two, two-and-a-half fold."

While everyone knows cardiovascular health is important, folks like Fred Hahn think his way is simpler, more effective and actually safer than traditional cardio machines. "I would suggest that people do not use them because of the types of injuries the can cause," says Fred. But others disagree, "This is just preposterous," says Doctor Tim Church who heads up the Cooper Institute, a leading national organization in Dallas that studies exercise and health. He goes on to say, "Anything done wrong can lead to injury. And, if you really wanna injure yourself, go do some weight lifting wrong." Doctor Church says, in order to stay healthy, you've got to move. "Aerobic training is the best thing you can do for your heart," he says.

Many exercise experts take a middle-of-the-road approach. Kelly Hitchcock at KH Fitness in Tyler is one of them. He agrees with others saying that whether your goal is a stronger heart, or a smaller waistline, there are a few things in particular to keep in mind. "Balance is the main thing and of course when we're talking about exercise we have to factor in the nutrition part as well," Kelly explains. He adds that not all workouts are the same. "There are so many methods of weight loss that you really need to make sure that what you start is going to work for you." That's exactly what Sue Fasulo of Tyler discovered. Her workout routine used to consist of mainly cardio. She began seeing changes in her body once she went to a balanced workout of weights and cardio. "I'm 44, but I've been active most of my life. I've tried a little of this and a little of that and I've found a happy medium right now that works out well for me and I'm happy with the results," Sue says.

OK, it may be a weighty debate, but iron pumping patrons we spoke to say they've never felt better. "My back doesn't hurt anymore." "I feel a lot younger and look better." "Friends have noticed it, coworkers have noticed it." At least for these people, they've all noticed changes without running themselves ragged.

One additional note, Jorge Cruise is not totally against aerobic exercise. He does slowly incorporate some cardio after his clients have lost their weight using his 8-minute a day weight-training program.

If you want to know more about all the hottest fitness trends for 2003, head back to our home page and click on the 'Know More on Seven' icon.

Gillian Sheridan reporting.

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