Until recently, muscle was considered in purely mechanical terms. We now know that when skeletal muscles contract, they produce hormone-like chemical messengers or myokines, generating exponentially more in relation to the size of the muscle mass being contracted and the intensity of the contraction.
Myokines provide a molecular explanation for the extensive communication between muscle and other tissues in our body. The receptors of myokines are found in muscle, fat, liver, pancreas, bone, heart, immune and brain cells. Myokines are responsible for tissue regeneration and repair, maintenance of healthy bodily functioning, and cell signaling.
Intensely contracted muscles are one of the most active endocrine (hormone-producing) organs in our body. For this reason, a brief, intense New Element Training session can deliver more health benefits than hours of conventional exercise.
recent research identifies some of the health benefits offered by myokines, and hence strength training in general:
- Muscle Tissue Mass: increases hypertrophy (skeletal muscle tissue development). For example, it downregulates Myostatin, a gene responsible for negatively regulating our muscle mass. It also upregulates Decorin, a myokine associated with pro-hypertrophic gene expression.
- Fat: decreases visceral (organ), intramuscular (within muscle) and subcutaneous (under the skin) fat.
- Energy: increases resting energy expenditure.
- Bones: prevents bone mineral density loss.
- Insulin: increases cellular glucose uptake and hence improves insulin sensitivity.
- Chronic inflammation: decreases chronic, systemic inflammation. For example, exercise-induced Interleukin -6 (IL-6) myokine increases circulating levels of potent anti-inflammatory hormones such as, IL-1ra and IL-10.
- Cancer: inhibits mammary cancer cell growth. For example, the anti-tumorigenic effect of SPARC and OCM myokines.
- Organs: improves pancreas, liver and gut function.
- Brain: aids learning and memory, e.g., it upregulates expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) myokine, which has been identified as a key factor in control of the body mass and energy homeostasis. It also influences learning and memory.
Skeletal muscle is comprised of different fibres which are bundled together:
- slow-twitch: endurance fibres
- intermediate-twitch type-2a: pulled into use when moving a semi-heavy object
- fast-twitch type-2b: these are the largest fibres and are called into action when an all-out effort is required (fight or flight). They contract many times faster than slow-twitch fibres and with much greater force, but they fatigue quickly.
Fast-twitch type-2b fibres are responsible for producing high-force, strength, power and speed. As they have the largest glycogen storage capacity in the body, they play an important role in dealing with dietary carbohydrates. Lose them and you become more susceptible to developing insulin resistance, which often results in weight gain and potentially serious health complications.
Fast-twitch type-2b muscle fibres can only be accessed and maintained through an all-out physical effort, which is seldom called for in our daily lives. As a result, we start to lose these fibres in early adulthood. New Element Training™ sessions are designed to access the entire muscle to rebuild muscle mass, specifically targeting the fast-twitch type-2b fibres through intensive effort.
New Element Training does not use explosive force
By moving weights slowly and continuously against resistance for approximately 90 seconds, a muscle is kept under constant tension until it is impossible to complete another repetition while maintaining perfect form. Safety is assured because you do not have the strength at the end of each exercise to produce the explosive force which can cause injury.
the slow, measured pace of the continuous movement minimizes the forces on the joints and connective tissues:
F (force) = M (mass) x a (acceleration)
Sets are not repeated; you then move on to another machine which targets a different muscle or chain of muscles, so each session is a full body workout. After each workout, a recovery period of at least 48 hours is needed before the next session: overtraining is counterproductive, resulting in a weakening rather than strengthening of muscles.
characteristics of the machines we use at new element training:
- The load movement or ‘strength curve’ of the muscle is precisely calculated. The muscle remains above the tension threshold throughout the entire motion, from full stretch to complete contraction. This improves flexibility and prevents/corrects intramuscular imbalances.
- Because ‘wrong’ movements are harder to perform, risk of injury is greatly reduced.
- Targeted muscles are isolated through the padding, supports, and structure of the machines, making it easier to achieve a cross-sectional stimulus.
- Training on the machines does not require much neurological coordination. Because the movement does not have to be ‘learned’, training is ‘productive’ from the beginning and progress represents pure strength gains, not a mixture of strength and coordination gains.