Strength training is one of 3 main components to a good exercise program.
A common misconception is that in order to exercise you need to go to "workout" at a "gym". You can exercise at home, at work, any where - the key is to know how to do it effectively and safely.
Strong muscles play a large part in your overall body health. The stronger your muscles, generally the stronger your other body systems are, like your joints. For example this could mean decreased pain from arthritis and osteoporosis.
When we talk about strength as it relates to your body we can refer to raw power output (for example, the maximum you can do once - one repetition) and muscular endurance (stamina). Some one could be very strong and be able to lift a 200lb box off of the floor and place it on to a truck bed one time. Yet when asked to lift a 100lb box off of the floor to the truck bed 50 times not be able to do it. In activities of daily living it is often far better to have strong muscular endurance/stamina.
One way to strength train that can be very effective is to use the "One Set Principle." This principle refers to doing one set of strength training on each major muscle group, of 8-12 repetitions (reps), at about 60-80% of your one repetition maximum weight (so if you can lift 30 lbs maximum, you would do 8-12 reps with about 20 lbs.). You move from exercise to exercise as quickly as possible to keep your heart rate up. By keeping your heart rate up, you are doing a cardiovascular workout as well and burning more calories. Once you can perform 12 reps three workouts in a row increase the weight by at least 5%. The key here is to keep up the intensity level!
You can do strength training with a variety of tools - from a complete gym to cans you have in the cupboard, to nothing but your own body weight. If you need guidance (which we suggest) to start, then your best bet is to enlist the services of a CERTIFIED personal trainer. This way you will get the proper knowledge and guidance to avoid errors that could lead to frustration, lack of results and most importantly injuries.
There are a tonne of benefits to strength training. Some of them are:
- Increased Metabolic Rate
- Increased Lean Muscle Mass and Muscle Strength, Power, and Endurance
- Injury Prevention
- Improved Balance, Flexibility, Mobility and Stability
- Feeling Better and Looking Better
Strength training can be done at home with your own body weight to start and some cans of soup or it can be done in a gym. Either way the best way to see results is to be consistent and effective. You should know your major muscle groups and one or two exercises for each group. Try to perform these exercises every other day. If you continue to push yourself to go a little harder or a little longer every third workout you will see and feel results quickly. If you need help - seek out a professional. The money that you pay to get good, safe and effective guidance can be the difference between success and failure.
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