Strength training, also known as old-school barbell training, is a very effective way for you to get in to shape. This type of training is very widespread and there are thousands of people around the world doing it to improve their health and get stronger.
What is Strength Training?
Strength training is training the body for strength. Basically, if you train this way, you will get stronger. This type of training focuses on barbell training and movements. A barbell is a piece of iron rod that you can put weight on each side.
The basic barbell exercises or movements are:
- Bench Press
- Military Press
- Barbell Row
These are the main lifts that are in most strength training programs.
Before exercise machines were developed most strong men, trained this way in the old school gyms. Modern fitness gyms have tons of different machines for different muscles. You do not want to train on these machines until you have muscles. These machines are great for body builders who already have muscles and want to chisel down their figure.
These machines are also great for the gyms because it’s easy to install and use by members of the public. Less qualified staff is needed in the gym. Which means the gyms save money, and make more of it. Machines limit your range of motion, and can cause injury if you’re not strong enough. Because of the limited range of motion, even if you get strong doing an exercise on the machine, it wouldn’t be very useful in an everyday situation.
On the other hand, strength training utilizes the entire body’s muscles working together to do an exercise. It’s only you and the barbell, it takes concentration, strength and determination to do. Most strength training programs are also progressive, so you can actually measure how strong you get over time.
For example, if you are a beginner, than most strength training programs recommend that you start with the empty bar and add 2.5 lbs on each side, each workout. The typical workout schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This allows you to have rest periods. And trust me, you need them.
If you follow a simple program like 5×5 Stronglifts from stronglifts.com, then by week 4 you would be lifting about 30 lbs on each side, which would be about 105 lbs (including the bar, the bar itself is 45 lbs).
Most of the strength training barbell exercises require you to use your whole range of motion, which makes this type of training make your whole body stronger. Believe it or not Arnold Schwarzenegger training program was based on strength before he ever did any bodybuilding. At the height of his strength career, Arnold was able to Deadlift an impressive 680 lbs for his 240 lb frame body.
Some people say that lifting weights (meaning barbell exercises) are dangerous because you can get more injured. This is nothing but a myth. Actual statistics show that kids and adults are more prone to get injured by sports, such as soccer, football, and basketball, than weight lifting. Weight lifting or strength training in a correct and control way is much safer than many sports.
Another myth that is propagated by some people is that weight lifting is bad for your back. This is false. There is no science behind this myth, and in fact strength training has been proven to improve back muscles and overall posture.
Strength training is a great way for anybody to get into shape, because it is easy, doesn’t require a lot of time and is proven to work.
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