What Exactly is Strength Training, Anyway?
Also known as resistance training, strength training is a unique method of muscle conditioning that involves the gradual increase of different resistive weight loads and lots of different training modalities that give you fitness, performance, and plenty of health.
Now, let’s translate that into English. Basically, you use your muscles against some kind of resistance, and your muscles will adapt to that resistance over time. What’s a resistance? It can be a giant weight, your own body weight, elastic bands, machines, pulleys, hydraulics, and anything else that is hard for your muscles to lift. The object doesn’t have to be a weight. You can lift a barrel, another person, a small car, a building, or the moon. Okay, you can’t lift the last three, but you see the point.
So Why Does Strength Training Matter?
You probably know the reason, at least the obvious one. It makes you strong! It does this in many sci-ency ways, such as-
- Builds your muscle tissues
- Increases your rate of force productions, or how long it takes for you to get the strength to lift the weight or resistance.
- Improves both your inter and intra muscle coordination, or how you can coordinate the parts of your body that move.
- Strengthens tendons
Of course, your muscles can get bigger, which means they need more blood. Because of this, your cardiovascular system can increase in strength as well as it keeps up with the demand.But maybe you don’t want to get buff, and don’t see a reason why you need that much strength. After all, we live in a civilized society. However, strength training has many other benefits, including-
- Makes your bones denser
- Enhanced and preserves your metabolism and muscle mass
- Decreases your chances of injury
- Improves your sensitivity to insulin and increases your tolerance to glucose
- You’ll be more balanced
- You can easily engage in your day to day activities
- Lower your bad cholesterol
- Body composition will improve
- You’ll be faster, more powerful, and agile
- Your self-esteem may improve
- You’ll be able to endure more
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Allows you to do more aerobic activities
Finally, when you alter your muscle metabolism, it can cause many diseases to develop. However, if your maintain your mass with some strength training, it can stop these diseases from coming. These are common diseases that can be deadly, such as diabetes and obesity.
Who is Strength Training For?
Previously only the athletes would strength train in order to get bigger muscles and improve their performance. But now anyone should do it, as strength training is recognized as something good for everyone. Male or female, young or old, you should strength train. Many health organizations such as the NSCA and the ACSM say that you should train regularly for a good fitness regimen.
As we’ve said, if you have a good workout plan that conforms to your goals and your skills, you can train regardless. No matter your age or limitations, you can strength train.
What Should I Know About Strength Training?
The workout is not the only thing that matters-The residing effects of training can last up to three days! This is because of a relationship between changes in protein composition and muscle mass, and exercise intensity.
SAID is important-SAID, or specific adaptations to imposed demands, implies that your body adapts to the demands you give it. For instance, if you do a movement, you’ll get better at it. If you use weights, you’ll be able to endure that weight easily. If you do a certain motion range, you’ll improve at it. If you use medium weights, you’ll gain muscle.
You need sets and reps for good resistance training-These workouts are usually divided into sets of repetitions, or reps. How many reps you need may depend on the complexity of your workout and how much weight you’re using.
For instance, doing 15 reps of something easy is less difficult than doing just two reps of something that’s difficult. Doing 15 curls, for instance, is much easier than doing 15 burpees. If your workout requires a great burst of energy, use fewer reps.
If your workout is something moderate that’s easy to control, add more. But you need to consider the total number and how much weight you’re using. You could lift a weight for 3 sets with 10 reps, or vice versa. If you’re doing 10 sets with 3 reps, you should use more weight. Your goal depends on what you’ll pick.
Volume is how many reps you do within a workout or a program. For example, doing 3 sets of 5 reps gives you 15 reps, which is a low volume. Doing 10 sets of 10 reps, however, gives you 100 reps, which is high.
Intensity matters too-
It’s not about how you feel when you’re working out, but how the weight is in relation to the maximum amount you can lift. Something at a higher intensity means that you’ll be pumping a weight that’s heavy for you, but low intensity means that you’ll be doing light weight training. If your limit is a 100 lb weight, this should be your only rep. A 50 lb weight would be a low intensity, a 75 lb weight would be medium, and a 98 lb weight would be a high intensity.
Always rest between your sets-Resting allows your muscle fuel, or ATP, to recover. How long depends on what you’re lifting. If your lift is heavy and complex, you should rest more. Heavy weights should allow up to five minutes between sets so that you can perform better in later sets.
If your goal is to improve your body’s composition, you should combine moderate sets with a short rest period of up to a minute, mostly because of your higher levels of testosterone and growth hormone, as well as your metabolic cost. However, if you have a shorter period of rest, you can have greater endurance in your muscles.
It’s all about the types of exercise and movement-The best types are complex movements that bring in all kinds of moving joints. If you want power and strength, try to do exercises that are complex and multi-joint. These include rows, pullups, weighted jumps, deadlifts, and squats.
Other exercises include tire flips, sandbag carries, and sledgehammer swings. If you want to gain muscle mass, you can use medium load exercises and those that target certain body parts. These include triceps extensions and bicep curls.
If you want endurance, you can use power exercises with light loads and exercises that target certain body parts. Rehab places use these a lot, using small movements with low weights.
The frequency of your workout matters-
If you do two to 3.5 hours of strength training a week, it should suffice. For instance, you can do Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for an hour, or do Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for 45 minutes. But for more experienced people, you can do up to seven hours a week, provided that you have the experience and recovery time to suffice.
Sequencing your exercises-
Do the harder workouts before the easier ones. Put your free weights before your machines, for instance. You should do the squats before the curls, the deadlifts before the lower back, and the pullups before the curls. If you get tired, it’s more difficult to perform harder workouts.
Progressing your workout-
To progress, you have a few options. You could do more reps, sets, or increase how much weight you lift. You could lower the speed of your sets to allow more tension. However, do not lower your rest. It hurts your metabolism and your body needs to recover fully. Subtle changes can affect your workout as well and be progressing, such as going from a flat surface to an incline.
There are so many different ways to make your workouts more intense. Here’s a few to get you started.
This means you alternate between two or more workouts every set. For instance, do a bench press set and then a set of dumbbell rows, and keep repeating.
These start at the heaviest weight, and then the next set decreases your weight and reps. For instance, do 100 lbs with 10 reps on the first set, 80 lbs with eight reps, 60 lbs with six reps, 40 lbs with four reps, and so forth.
Pausing and resting-
These sets involve you repping until you’re tired, resting for a brief amount of time, continuing doing reps until you’re fatigued again, resting some more, and so on until you can’t do anymore. Do 10 reps with 100 lbs, rest, five reps with 100 lbs, rest, and so on.
These combine two exercises and allow for minimum rest between both of them. You rest for longer after each round. For instance, you can do eight reps of the following: deadlifts, rows, pushups, lunges, and follow it with 30 seconds with jumping jacks. Then you rest.
This gives the lifter a time limit, and in that amount of time, you need to do as many reps as you possibly can. For instance, you can do as many pushups as possible in the time frame of ten minutes.
Every rep has a positive or negative portion. The positive, or concentric, is where the resistance is the heaviest, and the negative, or eccentric, is where you control the resistance as it returns to where you started. Negative sets means that you have slowed and controlled exercises. For instance, you can do a pullup so that your chin hovers above the bar, and you lower yourself afterwards. The jump being the up part.
These exercises involve you staying at an exact position for a certain period of time under some kind of resistance. For example, you can do a wall sit for a minute or so.
Planning Your Workout
If you do the same things every day, or just do whatever machine you can find, your probably won’t get good results. You also might fail if you don’t approach your goals in a right way. You can’t get a good endurance workout if your goal is to improve your strength, for instance. To plan your workout, make sure that you:
Know what you’re doing in advance.
- Don’t do the same amount of exercises, sets, and reps each time.
- Vary how many pounds you lift.
- Rest and recover so that your body feels better.
Overall Points of This Article
- You strength train by being against a resistance.
- Anyone can do it.
- Train evenly on select days for a total of two to 3.5 hours weekly.
- Do a warmup before you strength train, and make sure it’s progressive.
- Your routine should work in harmony with your goals.
- If you want strength, do heavy weights with lower reps.
- If you want to increase your metabolism and endurance, do higher reps with moderate weights.
- If you want hypertrophy, do more reps that are totaled, and do it with moderate to heavy resistance.
- Think about your choice in movement.
For regional hypertrophy, make sure you concentrate on certain body parts every workout.
If you’re interested in performance, function, and strength, do complex workouts with a movement plane.
Do the hardest workouts first before you move to the easier ones.
Add variety to your routine. The best workout program is the one that you’re not doing at the moment.
Progress, or you won’t progress.
Make sure you have good nutrition. No matter your workout, you won’t see results if you don’t fuel yourself correctly.
Other Benefits of Strength Training
Isometric training can help your hypertrophy and strength.
Strength training can reduce and lower the severity of falls in elderly people. Overall it will give a sense of wellbeing and health.