Many people believe strength training is only necessary for those individuals and athletes who want to build muscle mass. However, strength training exercises are essential activities and a well-rounded exercise program that is crucial for everyone irrespective of their age or gender. These exercises are usually ignored by many individuals because of fear of gaining too many muscles. However, through strength training, you can regulate the way you do the exercise based on how you’ve designed your program. The growth of muscles also varies depending on age, gender, body type , and genetic factors.
Strength training involves various techniques such as hand weights, kettlebells, resistance beads, medicine balls, Resistance training, and water jug workouts. When performed well, these exercises can result in great success and better muscle growth. Super slow techniques are recommended if you’re doing the training for the first time. 12 to 15 minutes a week are sufficient to bring changes to your body. After the exercise, rest for at least two days to allow your body to recover and repair from the high-intensity activities.
Benefits of Strength Training
Strength training exercises have many benefits — from losing excess fat to enhancing bone mass and preventing muscle loss. People from all walks of life and in various life stages do strength training. So, whether you’re an athlete, a health enthusiast, or someone who had just finished physical therapy, you’ll be sure to enjoy the benefits of strength training if you do it properly.
A training program is essential to the molecular part of the body, the enzymes, and the hormones. It also plays a role in maintaining the levels of the chemicals in your body, slowing down diseases, such as heart diseases, caused by sedentary lifestyles.
Here are other benefits:
It is great for your cardiovascular system
Lack of exercise is one of the major causes of heart diseases. Strength training is good for avoiding heart diseases as well as individuals with heart diseases. Recent research has shown that the traditional aerobic exercises are least effective compared to the recent High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It maximizes cardiovascular benefits. The fact that it increases the High-Density Lipoprotein also known as good cholesterol and reduces the low-Density Lipoprotein, bad cholesterol, shows its importance when it comes to your heart.
Strength training provides anti-aging results and benefits
Strength training is not only beneficial to your heart. It also helps slow down the aging process. Research has shown that the earlier in your life you start exercising, the more consistent the results are and the more rewards you will reap. In addition, strength training has been found important to the expression of the genes. It not only slows down the aging process but also encourages the gene expression at youth levels in senior individuals to return. Among the elderlies, tt has been demonstrated that the oxidative stress is reversed by this type of training and approximately 179 genes are returned to the youthful level.
Strength training increases the strength of an individual and makes them fitter
The increased muscle strength, power, and size enhance the endurance and resistance of the body to stress. By participating in this training, you enhance your performance of daily activities. You’ll notice that you find it easier to lift and carry things or climb the stairs. As you gain strength, your stamina also improves, lowering your fatigue levels.
Strength training is at times called resistance training as it involves the toning of the muscles through the contraction against a resisting force.
Resistance training is divided into two categories, isometric resistance, and isotonic strength training. Isometric resistance involves the contraction of muscles against an object that is non-moving, for instance the floor when doing push-ups. Isotonic strength training, on the other hand, involves the contraction of the muscles by doing various range of motions, such as lifting weights. Both of these resistance training make you stronger and put in a better shape.
Strength Training Enhances Flexibility
Strength training involves engaging most of the muscles to function in a full range of motion. It, therefore, increases your stability as the muscles are not stiff. Because of this, you will be able to reduce the risk of muscle pulls, back pains and injuries. Strength training also enhances the strength of the connective tissues, tendons, and even muscles.
Strength training protects the bone and muscle mass
Every individual, regardless of gender, begins to lose body and muscle mass at a rate of one percent every year. The best way to maintain body and muscle mass is to ensure they perform strength training exercises.
Strength training encourages individuals to develop proper and better body mechanics
Through strength training exercises, various parts of the body could coordinate easily with each other, thus helping you improve your posture. With sufficient flexibility and balance, the risk of falling is minimized by 40 percent, and this is a key advantage as you grow older.
Strength training plays a greater role when it comes to disease prevention
With it, you can reduce your risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. With sufficient oxygen supply in your body, you will also be able to normalize your blood pressure level. With strength training, you will also be able to work on your immune system, helping you limit cases of stress, anxiety, colds, illnesses, and premenstrual syndrome are reduced. It has also been documented that it is effective in decreasing arthritis pain. It has helped several post-menopause women increase their bone density, thus lowering cases of bone fractures.
Strength training helps boost energy levels and improves mood
Strength training could help elevate the levels of the endorphins in the body. Your body produces these natural opiates which could enhance your mood. It restricts production of depressant hormones hence improving sleep and overall quality of life.
Strength training enhances the burning of the calories
If you want to burn calories, you should consider strength training. With it, you can boost your metabolism by approximately 15 percent, making it easy to burn fat.
Common Mistakes When Doing Strength Training Exercises
If you’re not careful, a lot of things could go wrong when you’re strength training. Studies and research have shown that people make mistakes during the strength training process that could result in injuries.
Here are common mistakes you should be careful of:
Training beyond your capacity
It is essential to listen to the body during any workout. Most people who do strength training for the first time feel embarrassed to start exercising with lighter weights. This is like exercising your ego and not your muscles if you ignore this basic rule. It is better to start with smaller muscles and build up as time goes on. The weights you start with should suit your capacity and not injure your tissues and muscles. It is, therefore, important to check with your trainer before starting the training.
Performing too many reps for strength training exercises that results in injuries
A trainer or physical therapist should help you during these exercises. They will be able to help you complete your sets and reps safely and without injuries.
Not being clear about the exercise regime
Doing an exercise because others do it is a wrong way to approach strength training. Before starting with strength training, you should consult an expert and tell them about your health condition and your goals for training. With these details, experts will be able to recommend an appropriate program for you.
Continuing with strength training exercises even during illnesses or injuries
When you’re ill or sick, you should take sufficient rest and avoid straining your body. When carrying out a strength training exercise, you need energy and strength, which you won’t have when you’re under the weather. Sickness consumes a lot of body energy and you should use what energy you have to recovery from your sickness — not build muscles. Using this energy for the wrong purpose can result in the illness worsening and prevent you from recovering quickly.
Inadequate amount of rests before engaging in the next training
According to various studies, our body requires 24 to 48 hours of recovery after a workout. The intensity of the exercise determines the amount of rest you will need. With sufficient rest, your muscles will regain sufficient strength needed for your next workout.
Little or no warm up exercises
A good number of injuries in training and exercises have been associated with insufficient or lack of warm-up exercise. Warm-up exercises prepare your body for the task ahead by increasing the supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to various parts of the body. Warming up before doing strength training exercises prevents injuries such as ankle sprains and improper stretching of the muscles.
Poor Eating Habits
Your habits when it comes to eating contributes greatly to the success of your strength training exercise. It is important to eat well during this period. Lack of carbohydrates and fats in the body could result in the muscles getting weak instead of becoming stronger. You should consume sufficient amounts of these nutrients. Carbohydrates and fats help produce energy that your muscles need during exercise.
Improper methods and techniques
Strength training requires full range of motions and various types of muscles. It is crucial to learn the correct movements that you should make when performing any type of exercise.
Exercising without focusing on proper techniques and methods can result in severe injuries. As a beginner, you should start with basic techniques. Avoid performing advanced techniques until you’ve mastered the basics. It is advisable to slowly work your way up to avoid injuries and ensure great results.
It is essential to learn your body’s capacity to avoid injuries during strength training. It’s understandable that you want to see results as quickly as possible, but it is also important to protect your self from injuries. Follow proper procedures, guidelines, and techniques at all times. In addition, it is best to consult an expert before engaging in any type of training to make sure that the program you are doing is really best for you in terms of your fitness level and health condition.
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- – Chris Iliades, M. (2017). 7 Reasons to Add Strength Training to Your Workout Routine. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved 3 August 2017, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/add-strength-training-to-your-workout.aspx
- – The Benefits Of Strength Training!. (2017). Bodybuilding.com. Retrieved 3 August 2017, from https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/trainingstation1.htm
- – Resistance training – health benefits. (2017). Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 3 August 2017, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/resistance-training-health-benefits