Many who don’t exercise regularly or are new to the world of fitness think strength training is only associated with more experienced athletes. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many physical, health and mental benefits to strength training.
Not only does strength training increase your physical work capacity, it also improves your ability to perform daily living activities. Strength training improves bone density and is one of the best ways you can control bone loss as you age. It promotes fat-free body mass with decreasing sarcopenia. As we age, the lean muscle mass we work hard for can begin to decrease.
Making an appointment with a personal trainer or fitness specialist is a great way to start your strength training. They will be able to show you proper form, explain the basics and set up a weekly program. For experienced athletes, your trainer can explain how to overload the body so you can keep achieving strength and endurance gains.
As with any fitness program, you should always start slowly. This will decrease your chance of injury and soreness. Start with single sets and work your way up to multiple sets. Always use the correct amount of weights too. Using too much weight will increase your chance of injury and your form could suffer because of it.
On the flip side, by not using enough weight during your strength training, your muscles will not be challenged and you won’t experience the benefits of strength training. Athletes will know if they are lifting the proper amount of weight if they are able to perform the last few repetitions without compromising your form.
It’s also important to give your muscles time to rest and recover. Wait at least 48 hours before you train the same muscle groups again.
Strength training helps athletes burn more calories throughout the day. Your body works harder to maintain muscle over fat. Strength training can boost your metabolism so you burn more calories throughout the day.
Strength training doesn’t have to be boring either. Switching up your routine to keep your body guessing is the perfect way to receive strength training gains and to decrease boredom. To keep your routine fresh, try using the machines, free weights, bars, bands and even your own body weight.
Change up your routine as much as possible. You can do this by switching up the number of sets or reps, time between sets, choosing different exercises and varying your speed are just a few suggestions.
It is important to remember the basics of strength training and why you should incorporate this activity into your training program. Once you start to see the benefits of each exercise or routine, you will want to continue to add weight or reps so you can continue to burn calories and gain muscle.
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