Strength Training 101: Welcome To The Jungle… We Mean Gym

Strength Training 101: Welcome To The Jungle… We Mean Gym

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be a bodybuilder to engage in strength training. In fact, strength training is recommended for all adults to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, regardless of your age, gender or body type.

A safe strength training program combined with cardiovascular and flexibility training will give you the following benefits:

  • Your tendons and ligaments, bones and muscles will grow stronger. This increased strength means you are at less risk of developing osteoporosis and suffering injuries.
  • You will gain muscle mass. Not only will you look fitter and feel stronger, but you’ll also increase your Basal Metabolic Rate. Your BMR impacts the amount of calories that your body burns at rest. Strength training helps to maintain a healthy body weight by keeping your BMR high.
  • Your quality of life will be greatly improved. Activities of daily living, such as being active with your children, taking care of the house and running errands, will be easier to perform.

Developing a Training Program

You can combine multiple exercises into a program that works all of your major muscle groups. If you aren’t sure where to start, or if you have a history of injury or health issues, you may wish to consult with your primary doctor and/or a certified fitness professional before beginning a strength training program.

Staying Motivated

Motivation is a key factor in maintaining your new fitness regimen. If you find that you’re having a hard time with getting into the zone to workout, ask a friend to be your accountability partner and train with you.

One huge benefit of strength training is that you will likely start to see results fairly quickly. Additionally, it’s normal for these visual results to start to taper off a few weeks into your program. This is to be expected, so try not to let that discourage you. You are always making progress, whether you can physically see it or not. You may feel the benefits of working out before you start to see them.

Being consistent will help you to stay motivated. Set a goal to exercise each of your muscle groups no less than twice per week. Keep in mind that rest days are just as important as training days; breaks gives your muscles time to recover. Training too frequently will ultimately lead to injury and just isn’t’ worth it, despite the momentary gains you may experience.

Add Variety to Your Program

Exercise equipment here in Baton Rouge such as machines and free weights like the Hoist HF 4263 AB/Back Hyper Bench, are both incredibly effective tools for strength training. Some combination of the two is generally recommended.

Machines, like the BH Fitness LK500FT Adjustable Pully System, effectively target and isolate your larger muscle groups. Free weights give you greater range of motion, which helps to strengthen your stabilizer muscles. Also, using both options gives you increased variety in your training program.

Variety is extremely important, not only for physical reasons but for psychological ones, as well. Switching up your routine will prevent you from becoming bored and it will also prevent you from plateauing in your fitness. Subtle changes in your daily fitness routine will keep your muscles guessing. This variety will ultimately enhance your progress.

Fitness Goals

Your routine will depend on your goals. If you are training with a primary goal of increasing strength, strive for a lower number of repetitions (8 to 12 reps) with a larger amount of weight. If your goal is to increase muscle endurance, you’ll want to hit a higher number of repetitions (10 to 15 reps) with a smaller amount of weight.

You will achieve a significant increase in muscle mass with a high number of reps and a slightly lower weight than what you would use to improve your endurance. Working your muscles to the point of fatigue is usually sufficient. In the beginning, one set is sufficient to achieve muscle fatigue. If you are able to perform 12 reps correctly, without becoming fatigued, it’s generally safe to move up to the next level.

Regardless of the path, you set off on, remember that the best strength training program is the one that you will realistically commit to. Your schedule and ability to access resources will largely determine what will work best for you. Are you able to get to a gym several times per week or is it more feasible for you to set up a gym in your home where you will be able to work out?

If you’re setting up a home gym, you may want to check out the PRECOR FTS GLIDE FUNCTIONAL TRAINING SYSTEM for total body training. For other fitness equipment needs, you can visit Fitness Expo Stores where you can buy gym equipment here in Baton Rouge.