Smart Strength Training

If you think strength training is just for body builders, maybe you don’t realize how important it is for all of us. We hear a lot about aerobic exercise and cardiovascular fitness but strength training keeps our muscles strong and well conditioned which is equally important.

Think about your automobile. Your muscles produce and release energy to create movement like the motor in your automobile. They also act like shock absorbers reducing stress that would otherwise destroy joints and

bones. Muscles and tendons connect the bones at joints and provide the framework that enable us to move. Researchers have found that strength training plays a vital role in tuning muscles for optimal performance. Muscular fitness is important for people of all ages.


Improved Body Composition. Our bodies are divided into fat weight and lean weight. Lean weight includes bones, organs, skin, tendons and muscle tissue, which should account for about 75-90 percent of our bodies composition. As we age, our percentage of bodyfat typically increases due to the loss of muscle tissue at a rate of about a half pound per year. Strength training prevents muscle loss and helps us maintain a desirable body composition.

Increased Metabolic Rate. Metabolic rate is the amount of energy we need on a daily basis to sustain our bodies functions. Even at rest, muscle tissue remains active and requires up to 45 calories per pound per day. Consequently, muscle loss results in a lower metabolic rate. Less muscle means lower energy requirements. If caloric intake remains the same, this extra energy gets stored as fat. Smart strength training is the best way to avoid decreases in muscle mass and metabolic rate which can lead to unwanted weight gain.

Improved Physical Ability and Athletic Performance. Strong and flexible muscles allow us to perform physical activities more efficiently. Athletic events involves power, which is the product of muscle force and movement speed. Almost without exception, more strength and power equals better performance in every day life as well as athletic activities.

Injury Prevention. When all the muscle groups are balanced and well conditioned, the risk of injury is greatly reduced.

Improved Self Confidence. Self confidence is a complex issue with many components. Most people who increase there strength report increased self-confidence. Better strength is linked to better body function, more independence and higher satisfaction with personal abilities.

What Should You Do?

Personal trainers can determine a safe and efficient program that will help you reach your goals. As a general rule benefits can be achieved from strength training two or three nonconsecutive days per week. A minimum of one set per exercise for each major muscle group. Muscle groups include, calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, low back, abdominals, chest, upper back, shoulders biceps, triceps and neck. Try 8-15 repetitions of each exercise in a slow and controlled manner. New strength trainers should use enough resistance to fatigue the muscle group by end of desired repetitions. If 8 repetitions can not be achieved lowering the weight or resistance is a safe practice for beginners.

Start training the larger muscle groups, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings before the smaller muscle groups, like the calves. Back and chest before the biceps and triceps. When you can do 15 repetitions of a given exercise without muscular fatigue it’s time to increase the resistance by 5% which will lower repetitions. Stay at this new resistance level until you can do 15 repetitions and then progress again until goals are achieved.

Have Fun and enjoy your workouts!

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Published by andreprue32

I started Ft. Washington Athletic Club in 1998 and evolved into 3PT Personal Training Studio in 2003. I received my first personal training certification from the American council on exercise after 10 years of teaching and coaching at the college prep level. I have always wanted to help students and clients increase confidence and reach goals. In over 30 years of the what I call a goal centered service industry. My experience has lead me to focus on goal setting, behavioral modifications and organization. At various levels these 3 practices are guaranteed to help individuals and companies achieve goals and feel empowered to control outcomes of a plethora of situations. In order for anything in our current life to change we have to, “ Do Somethin! “

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