Start Here – What Is Strength Training
We all know we should be getting more exercise, right? But how many of us really have time to go to the gym 5 times a week, do you? The good news is that there is an alternative, working out at home! But, before you start cracking on with your Strength Training, you need to understand exactly what it is, how it benefits you and how to workout the right way. In this post series we will cover:
- What is Strength Training
- Benefits of Strength Training
- How To Start Strength Training
- Strength Training Workouts
- Advanced Strength Training Program
This post series is designed to give you a full understanding of the ins and outs of strength training as it’s important to know how best to train your body and reach your goals. People train for many different reasons, some it’s for health reasons, to help with a medical condition or they want to loose weight, they want to build muscle, or simply because they want to look good! Lets face who doesn’t want to look good right? So it’s important to understand what workouts are best suited to what you want to achieve, suited to your goals and build a strength training workout that best suits you.
So how much strength exercise should you do? Well here is a great article from the NHS all about improving your strength and flexibility, as doing strength and flexibility exercises will help you increase muscle strength, maintain bone density, improve balance and reduce joint pain. It is well worth a read as it gives some good examples of muscle-strengthening activities you can do from the comfort of your own home and how often these should be done, which is also important as you don’t want to over do it and cause yourself an injury: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/how-to-improve-strength-flexibility/
Let’s get cracking on with the first post in this series……
First things first, there seems to be some confusion as to what strength training actually means, you may have heard it referred to as ‘Strength Training’ obviously! or ‘Resistance Training’ or ‘Weight Training’, however, these 3 things are often grouped together as having the same meaning, but do they mean the same thing or are they different? I have heard experts in the fitness niche, group them together and I have heard others say they are different. The best thing for me to do is describe it as what others say it is, what I believe it is and then you can decide if they are the same thing or not. Whatever you decide, you will find yourself incorporating all 3 into your workout at home routine.
According to the Strength Training Wiki “Strength training is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the physical strength and endurance. There are many different methods of strength training, the most common being the weight/gravity training and the training with the help of resistive equipment.” You can read the full Wiki here: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strength_training. It goes onto say “Strength training differs from bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, and strongman, which are sports rather than forms of exercise, although training for them totally depends on strength training. Many other sports use strength training as a part of their training regimen, notably football, lacrosse, basketball, hockey and track and field.”
I believe strength training is like a type of training umbrella and within it you have resistance training and weight training. Resistance training is any form of exercise where you lift or pull against resistance, so this could include weights and resistance bands. Strength training for me is engaging in any type of resistance training to enhance your muscle strength and then you have weight training, this for me is any form of resistance training where you use weights in your workout routine to build your strength.
Depending upon why you want to strength train, will depend how much weights you use, if you use them or not, or how much resistance training you do. For instance if you want to become a bodybuilder or you want get into weight lifting, you will incorporate weight training into your workout schedule a lot more than if someone was wanting to strength train to loose weight, if your aim is to loose weight, you still may incorporate some form of weights i.e dumbbells, but you will not be doing the same weight exercises as someone getting into the weightlifting scene.
I will be going into more detail on strength training for specific reasons, i.e strength training for weight loss, strength training for weightlifting, strength training for boxing etc, they are on my to do list of blog posts to write and I will link them here, when done.
What Is Strength Training Conclusion
So to conclude Strength Training is all about working your muscles using resistance or weights, resistance training uses a pull, push technique which can use exercises incorporating your own body weight or equipment. Within a strength training workout you may choose to incorporate some form of resistance training, i.e resistance bands or some form of weight training, obviously incorporating some kind of weights such as dumbbells or more. Depending upon your reasons why you are looking to Strength Train will depend how much weight lifting or resistance training you will incorporate into your strength training routine.
I hope that clarifies what strength training is. It goes back to what I was saying earlier, depending upon what your goals are and the reason you want to start strength training will determine what type of strength training routine you do. That is why it is important to understand what it is, what the benefits are and how to start, not only that but also know what your goals are and what you want to achieve so you can ensure you get it right. That is why it is a good idea if you are serious about this, you get a personal trainer involved or enrol in a course where they have experts and routines designed, incorporating strength training, and that show you exactly how to do the exercises the right way, so you do not cause yourself any harm whilst working out and so you get the full benefit of your work out session. It is also important to remember that it is not all just about the workouts, it is also about your mind and your attitude, you will have days where you struggle, where you loose motivation, so how you deal with that and stay focused and motivated is extremely important to the success of your training, and not forgetting your eating habits, you have to be eating the right stuff as well as do the right exercises, its all about a healthy lifestyle.
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