Why should you consider strength training? A lot of research and information is starting to circulate about the overall benefits of strength training. Traditionally, we have thought about weight loss and overall health by doing cardiovascular exercises. And the benefits and information we have received is mostly true. However, we are starting to learn that our bodies can be healthier by having an exercise plan that includes of variety of types of exercise.
If you want to lose weight, if you want to gain endurance, if you want to improve your heart and lung function, you should put in a significant amount of your time to cardio exercise.
If you want to gain strength, mobility, improve joints and bones, and maintain overall health, you should also put a significant time into weight training. How much of each type of exercise will depend on your personal goals.
Now some of you may already by trying some of these exercises. Some of you may be reluctant. Maybe because you think of strength training as only big plates and Olympic bars, maybe because you have no idea where to start, maybe because you do not have access to a gym and think you don’t have the equipment, maybe for some other reason.
There are definitely a lot of good guides out there to help people that need to know where to start.
If you are new to strength training or anaerobic exercise, start with a bodyweight program and progress up to dumbbells or cables.
If you have mobility issues or previous injuries, talk to your doctor. There are still options, many people find cables or resistance bands to work better in this situation.
If you do start a bodyweight program, once you have good form.
- I repeat, once you have GOOD FORM, progress up to dumbbells or gym machines.
- From here, assuming you are maintaining GOOD FORM, progress up to free weights and cable exercises. Free weights can be performed with dumbbells, kettlebells, curl bars, or Olympic bars.
- Always start new exercise and equipment with light weight until you have mastered the exercise with GOOD FORM.
- Check out YouTube or Bodybuilding.com for videos. Don’t stop watching these videos, it’s always good to keep re-checking technique to ensure performing your movements correctly to prevent injury.
- Make sure the exercise helps you, not hurts you!
You do not have to lift big weights or Olympic bars to reap the same benefits. Yes, these types of exercises will yield awesome results when done correctly. However, you can get similar benefits from the machines at the gym. You can use dumbbells at the gym or home.
Getting enough equipment for home is as easy as getting a swiss ball and a resistance band or moderately challenging pair of dumbbells. As you progress, you may slowly need to purchase another pair of dumbbells, but you can space this out over time to work with your budget.
If you are a woman and read any article about strength training, you will be told the truth: You are not going “bulk” up. Unless you are taking some type of hormone or supplement that produces this effect, your body is made differently than a male. You do not produce the same type of hormones for building muscle.
So how great are the benefits, why should you consider strength/resistance training:
First off, I urge to consider this idea because it may lead you to find a new form exercising that you like better. Okay, maybe you don’t like it better. There are a variety of ways to incorporate strength training into aerobic exercise. So you can still do these workout plans with flexibility.
- LOSE BELLY FAT – According to Women’s Health research 25% of weight loss is from muscle loss. It’s important to strength train to maintain your muscles.
- Burn more calories – Lifting weights can increase resting metabolism about 7% – Healthline. Therefore, your body starts to burn more calories all of the time, even when you’re lazing on the couch with potato chips!
- Clothes will fit better – Your body will take a better shape.
- Build stronger bones – Strength training has been shown to improve symptoms of osteoporosis and reduce risk of bone loss.
- Controls weight – People that strength train have more success with maintaining or keeping the weight off.
- Improve Joints
- Improve Flexibility
- Enhanced Focus
- Build Strength
- Be Happier!
Another reason to consider strength training, is that it will likely help you perform tasks in your life. Whether at work or home. Unless you have an athletic type of job, you likely to not need to know to bicycle or run or stair step or Zumba in your daily life. However, many people have physical duties in their homes and at their jobs where they need bend and lift.
Performing lifting exercises will help you learn how move your body correctly, pay attention to your body and build the strength to make those lifting movements easier. If you are also performing some circuit work or cardio exercise, you will have it all! The strength, mobility, and endurance to make life duties easier. Think of lifting heavy objects, doing yardwork, carrying laundry, carrying children, pushing objects, or even just standing on your feet.
Here are a few links to some guides on starting for beginners and intermediate exercisers:
- The Easiest Strength Training Plan Ever!
- Rachel Cosgrove’s Total Body Workout
- The 5 Best Strength Moves for Weight Loss
- Women’s Strength Training: Your Guide To A Sexy & Fit Body
- You’re No Longer A Beginner: Intermediate Training!