Strength Training Tips

Strength training is an important part of any workout routine. It is a type of exercise which helps strengthen the muscle mass of the body. As you age, the muscle strength and bone density in the body tends to weaken resulting in accidents and injuries which can hamper your day to day activities.

Stronger muscles improve the metabolism of the body, help reduce the pressure on the heart and keep blood sugar levels in control. Some simple strength training tips are listed below.

muscle

Start off gradually

If you are new to this form of exercise, begin with lighter weights and fewer repetitions, gradually increasing them. Muscle strength is achieved when your muscles get tired momentarily and you cannot continue any further. You will begin to feel this momentary muscle fatigue at the end of a single set of eight to twelve repetitions. Make sure that you rest your muscles for at least two to three minutes before moving on to the next set. Muscles need time to repair, hence do not load your workout schedule with too many strength training exercises else it may lead to injury.

Plan a mix of exercises

Although dumbbells are a convenient and inexpensive form of strength training, you will achieve better results and avoid boredom as well by mixing up your exercises. If you have access to a gym, try out equipments like exercise balls and resistance bands or any other strength training machines that are available. You can sign up for Pilates classes or yoga classes as well to give you that much needed variety and fun in your exercise routine.

Practice proper form

Whatever type of exercise you follow, if your form or posture is not correct, you will not be able to achieve the desired results. It will also add to the risk of injury. Hence it is essential that you learn the correct way to do an exercise. If you are finding it difficult to understand the ideal posture for the exercise, it may be a good idea to fix up a few strength training sessions with a personal trainer. A personal trainer will guide you and monitor the posture of your exercise thereby avoiding injury and help increase the effectiveness of the exercise.
Include whole body exercises

It may seem logical to target your problem areas, however concentrating only on a particular muscle group can lead to muscular imbalance in the body and increase the risk of injury. Moreover, muscles all over the body need to be toned and strengthened for maximum benefits. Concentrate on different muscle groups after every session; for example, you can work on your butt and thigh muscles during one session and move on to your upper body muscles during the next session. Alternatively, you can practice whole body exercises during each session.

Before and after

For maximum benefits and minimum injury, it is essential to warm up before any exercise regime. A simple five minute sprint or spot jogging that will bring up your heart rate is a must. Similarly, stretching your muscles after any workout will contract your muscles and help you feel relaxed.

Why You Should Do Strength Training for Optimal Health

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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

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:

  • Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Military Press
  • Barbell Row
  • Deadlift

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.

Visit my page here to learn more about strength training.

Tips to Gain Strength Quickly

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In order to setup a proper strength training routine, you need to understand how a muscle gets stronger. If you fail to understand the physiology behind getting stronger, you will put together a sub-optimal strength training program.

My goal in this short article is to explain the differences between bodybuilding and gaining strength.

strength

How a Bodybuilding Program Works.

Bodybuilding involves breaking down a muscle. This is done by performing reps in the 6-12 range and working the muscle to exhaustion. Typically bodybuilders aim for a “burn” and a “pump” in the muscle. They employ things like forced reps and negatives. If your goal is to build muscle then you are purposely trying to damage that muscle group. The idea is that when the muscle repairs itself, it will overcompensate and add a little more mass to that muscle group. Over time, these muscle groups will become noticeably larger. A proper strength training program aims for something much different.

How a Strength Program Works.

A good strength training plan should focus on making a muscle more efficient, not in breaking down a muscle. If your strength training program is geared toward things like the “pump” or the “burn” then you need to change your approach. Think of bodybuilding as “muscle” based and strength training as “nervous system” based. In a good strength training program you are trying to train your nervous system to send stronger impulses to the muscle group being worked. Your strength training program should be based around performing heavy weights and low repetitions.

Heavy Weights Generate Stronger Nerve Impulses to the Muscle Than Light Weights.

If you take a 5 pound weight and curl it, you nervous system barely needs to work to contract your bicep muscle. If you take a 40 pound weight and curl it, your nervous system needs to work harder. The heavier the weights you chose, the less reps you can perform in a specific lift. That is why an effective strength training program is based around lifting heavy weights for low reps.

How Many Sets and Reps are Optimal in a Good Strength Program?

In order to train your nervous system to become more efficient, you need to train it to fire strong impulses to the muscle over and over again. You must perform a specific heavy lift enough times for the mind-to-muscle link to get stronger. Gaining strength is a skill that is developed with practice like any other skill, so your strength training program needs to reflect that. Each set you perform should be 2-5 reps, but you will need to perform many sets to get the proper practice. You can decide for yourself how many sets you want to perform, I recommend between 6-10 sets in the major lifts.

Never Train To Failure if You Want to Gain Strength at a Fast Rate!

Training to failure is definitely a bodybuilding thing. None of your sets in your strength training program should ever be taken to failure. Every time you train to failure you are teaching your nervous system to fail. You will be rewarded with weaker impulses sent to the muscle on the next sets you perform. When you train to failure you are taking a “few steps back” in your quest to gaining strength. Obviously forced reps are to be avoided as well.

Schedule Plenty of Rest In Between Sets in Your Strength Routine.

Bodybuilders strive hard for things like “the pump” and they are trying to really exhaust their muscles, so they need to keep rest to a minimum. In a strength training program, you want maximum nerve impulses sent to the muscle each and every rep. In order to insure that really strong impulses are generated, you need to rest up to 5 minutes in between each set. If you ever play video games it is like waiting for your character’s energy to recharge up to 100%. Schedule enough time in your strength workout to rest 3-5 minutes in between each set.

You Should Not Be Sore After Performing Your Strength Training Program.

Since your strength workout isn’t breaking down your muscles, you should experience very little soreness the days after your workout. Since the muscles don’t need to repair themselves, you can work each muscle group more often than if you following a bodybuilding routine. A bodybuilder might work each muscle group twice a week, you should be able to work each muscle group 3-4 times per week. If you “practice” each lift 4 times per week, you should get quicker results than someone who does it 2 times per week. Just make sure that you aren’t breaking the muscle down like a bodybuilder.

A Quick Summary of a Good Strength Training Program

1) 3-5 reps per set
2) 6-10 sets per exercise
3) 3-5 minutes rest in between sets
4) Never train to failure
5) Never perform forced reps
6) Practice major lifts 3-4 times per week

Hopefully this clears up some of the confusion out there in setting up an effective strength training program.

Strength Training for Women

Strength training for women is a method of improving the condition and strength of the muscles by progressively increasing the capability of resisting force by using exercise machines, free weights, or women’s own body weight.

It is part of strength training program for women where sessions are designed to gradually increase the resistance in order to stimulate the development of muscular strength that is beneficial in making women healthy and energetic.

Strength trainingStrength Training for Women over 50

Women start to have changes in their body when they reach age fifty. Usually, after menopause, they gradually lose muscle mass. This losing of muscle masses of at least one pound per year decreases their capability to burn about fifty calories per day that will eventually lead to gaining unwanted weight and decrease in balance. Therefore, training for women is the best option to maintain the muscular strength and body composition they need. Training for women over 50 is an activity that can provide the needed strength by at least lifting weights twice a week.

Benefits for women not only involve the ability to strengthen muscles, it also includes among others:

In order to find the appropriate training for women, here are some tips women should know. In strength training exercises for women, the muscles are overloaded to create tiny tears in the muscle tissue that repairs itself during resting periods between workout routines and strengthening happens. Also, women don’t have ample testosterone to create bulky muscles. So, there is no fear of getting too muscular when you undergo a program for strength training for women. Now, you need to check out beginners programs for women that provide appropriate exercises according to your needs. Finding a reliable online personal trainer is beneficial to ensure that you get the specific program that suits you most.

Diet for Women

Online nutritionist is also helpful in learning about strength training diet women should consider in order to make their strength training for women exercises more effective. Women who are doing strength training for women exercises should include enough calories in their diet to support muscle development and added activities. However, caution should also be considered in order not to gain fat. Ideal foods to consider are fish, tofu, egg whites, whey protein powder, yogurt, lean cuts of meat and poultry, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain breads, quinoa, fresh fruits and vegetables. Fats from unsaturated sources are crucial for the diet. Good sources of healthy fats are avocados, olive oil, mackerel, salmon, almonds and natural peanut butter.

Training for women does not only make women’s body strong, healthy and shapely, but it also reshape their lives. Strength exercises reduces the loss of muscles due to aging and improves balance and mental health. It is also about building healthy habits that improve the function of women’s body and mind. The American Medical Association has declared that strength training for women and other health related exercise programs are beneficial for women who suffer from cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and most of all obesity. Stay happy, stress-free, and healthy by enrolling in a reliable program.