People frequently talk about strength training. However, understanding how to build strength and the long-term effects it will have on your body can be confusing. Today we are going to talk about how strength training is not only good for gaining muscle but helpful for life in general.
What is Strength Training?
It’s defined as the performance of physical exercises that are designed to improve strength and muscular endurance. It’s often associated with lifting weights, but can also incorporate a variety of other training techniques.
Strength training is also a great way to condition your body for an activity. A prime example is those that partake in action sports or combat sports. Improving your muscular endurance and overall strength will make these activities easier and more fulfilling.
When done correctly, strength training can be a great way of training the body. There are also hundreds of options for exercise routines, so not every day needs to look the same!
What are the benefits?
Strength training sometimes gets a bad rep, mainly amongst people who believe it will make them too bulky or look too muscular. This reputation overlooks the amazing benefits that upping your strength can have for a healthier lifestyle.
Benefits beyond the visuals:
Strength training reduces the chance of falling as you age by improving balance and stability.
Stronger joints = less injury risk. Helps with everyday activities like lifting and running.
Improves your heart health. Lots of strength training increases your heart rate, which strengthens the muscles around your heart. Heart health is not just about the classic cardio workouts.
Mental health. Exercise beats stress, and regular exercise reduces overall anxiety and raises the levels of those happy hormones we all crave.
Blood sugar levels… getting those muscles moving will force your body to use that glucose store.
And finally, brain power! Reduce the risk of cognitive decline by using regular strength training.
So where to start?
What is a Good Strength Training Workout?
Before you get into the nitty gritty, it’s crucial to warm up. You can start with a quick walk on the treadmill. Our Technogym kit screens have a great selection of things to watch, making it easier for you. This is vital because warm muscles are less prone to injury than cold ones.
Now your muscles are nice and toasty, it’s time to lift. Knowing how heavy to go, and for how long is a bit of an art form. However, always start where you are comfortable and don't overwork your muscles.
Begin with a single set of 12-15 reps, as research shows this can build muscle just as effectively as three sets can. So it doesn’t always need to be hours in the gym. The key to an effective set is fatigue.
How do we measure fatigue?
Tricky, I know... here's a good rule of thumb. Your last rep should be virtually impossible to lift. This is a sign that you’re at full capacity, and you're sure to be building muscle.
If you are just starting, you need to ensure the form is correct to get the most out of the reps you’re doing. If this means lowering the weight and upping the reps, that’s fine.
Remember, everyone is different, and fitness is never one size fits all. Rest between workouts to avoid injury. Sore muscles need time to recover, so don't train when you're in pain.
The main point here is, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If it hurts, stop. If it feels wrong, stop. Be sensible.
We have great PTs in all our clubs, so if you are struggling, please just ask!
We hope this has given you the push to correctly start your muscle gain journey. The key takeaways are:
Focus on form
Rep to fatigue
Always ask for help
Oh, and good luck!
Wanting professional help with your strength training? Signing up for Village Advance will provide you with expert advice on your training schedule, workout plans, and prime you for achieving your personal goals.
FAQs About Strength Training
How do beginners start strength training?
If you are just starting your strength training for the very first time, you should begin by choosing what muscle groups you want to work out.
After you've selected a machine that'll work the right muscles, warm up and start at a lightweight. Slowly increase the weight and pay attention to any pain you feel. Always lift slowly and never lift anything too difficult or painful. Always rest between reps and always use a variety of equipment.
Is 20 minutes of strength training a day enough?
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to spend hours in the gym for strength training. A simple but effective 20-30 minute training session focusing on strength is enough if you work out 2-3 times in a week.
Is it okay to do strength training every day?
Doing strength training every day is not needed to see improvements and gains. Lifting every day can make your muscles more prone to injuries. Taking time to rest and giving your muscles time to recover is important. If you do want to train every day, then be sure to train different muscle groups to give your body adequate time to rest.
Does lifting weights burn fat?
Strength training reduces body fat and maintains body weight by building more muscle. Having more muscle will increase your metabolic rate and will help you burn calories faster.