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Key Points:

1. Strength training works your type 2 muscle fibres, which are used for activities that require strength and speed. 

2. Strength training doesn't just make your stronger. It also helps to prevent various chronic illnesses and diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

3. If you've never done strength training before, you should get some advice from a Registered Kinesiologist or certified strength and conditioning specialist to learn the proper techniques.

When you do strength training you are engaging different energy systems and muscle fibres than when you’re doing aerobic training. This type of exercise is more intense and requires that you create more force with your muscles than what you need to do when you’re doing light to moderate intensity aerobic activity. Just think of the difference between hiking in the woods vs. carrying heavy bags of groceries. One requires a little bit of energy over a long time (hiking) and the other requires a lot of force over a short period of time (carrying). Both are critical for health and performance.

You have 2 main kinds of muscle fibres: type 1 which are fibres that you use to do light aerobic activity and type 2 fibres that you use for activities that require strength and speed. By engaging your type 2 muscle fibres, you are working the full spectrum of your fibres. This develops your total muscle strength and prepares your body for situations when you have to pick up the pace – like the final kick when the finish line comes into sight, or sprinting for a plane!

Muscle growth occurs when micro-tears in the fibres work in conjunction with a molecule called mTOR that is produced during a strength session to stimulate the production of new protein chains. In essence, you break your muscles down to build them up!

However, mTOR doesn’t just stimulate your muscles to get stronger. It does some amazing things as it circulates throughout your body during and after a strength session. New research shows that mTOR can help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease, among others. This mean that strength training is as important for our health as cardiovascular activities.

Strength training is also great if you want to improve your body composition and lose fat. Muscle tissue burns fat more easily. If you can increase your muscle mass, you will have more metabolically active tissue that will burn fat as fuel, even at rest. Remember that when you are strength training, you may gain some weight even though you are losing fat. Your focus needs to be on body composition, not the number on the scale. So keep in mind that this kind of weight gain is healthy for you.

Worried that you are going to get big and bulky if you lift weights? Don’t be. The reality is that unless you make a decision to get into bodybuilding, you will find that lifting weights for strength simply improves your body composition, helps you feel better and slows the aging process—all without developing big, bulky muscles.

It is critical to maintain proper form when you’re doing strength training. Get some help to learn the right exercises for you and how to build a training program. See a Registered Kinesiologist, or certified strength and conditioning specialist. A good standard to look for is someone with a degree in kinesiology who is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS).

Today's POWER-UP: Adam's Hotel Workout

If you don't like going to the gym or if you'd just like a quick workout after a flight, check out Adam's Hotel Workout.


The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist Sky Regional employees with improving their general health. It is not intended and should not be used in place of advice from your own physician or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. Sky Regional is not responsible for the content of this program which has been specially developed and is being provided to you by the Wells Group Inc., in consultation with Sky Regional. By participating in this program you acknowledge that undertaking any new health, diet and/or exercise regime involves certain inherent risks, that you assume such risks, and that you release Sky Regional and the Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.