Strength training or as we know, resistance training is based simply upon lifting weights. It consists of a variety of training methods and techniques that help you build and preserve lean muscle mass as well as helping you keep the fat mass off of your body for overall better health.
Strength training has a large spectrum of benefits, few of which are as follows:
Strength Training protects bone health and Muscle Mass:
Strength training stresses your bones, joints, tendons as well as your muscles. In response to stress, the body adapts and increases bone density, strengthens tendons & joints and increases muscle mass overtime to tolerate such loads. This leads to prevention of complications such as osteoporosis, tendonitis and sciatica etc.
Strength training burn calories:
Strength training while in process, burn calories as it forces the heart to work harder and burn the stored calories. Not only that but it boosts your metabolism and RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) which means you burn calories even while having a cup of coffee on your couch!
A better body image:
Packing on those extra pounds of muscle and shedding off that fat makes you look more lean and aesthetic, while having the ability to fit into your favorite outfits. Now that’s a win win situation!
Exercising in it self triggers a release of serotonin, dopamine and endorphins, the “Happy Hormones”, making the person feel focused, calm and overall happier. Strength training causes a large release of sex hormones such as testosterone, especially in males, which is an driver for motivation, focus and better overall health.
Backpedals chronic issues:
Strength training is beneficial for the control of blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, depression and many more chronic disorders.
Getting started with Strength training:
One should slowly ease into a strength training programs. Initially, 30 minutes of a workout session is plenty as a beginner. As you get more advanced, more time can be utilized with increased number of working sets. Often, beginners push too hard and end up in an over-trained state which backfires for their progress.
Main focus should be improving form and technique for the exercises you do rather than rushing to heavier weights. Listening to your body is a must, if it feels like there is an unexpected pain or inflammation after working out, seek medical help immediately. As an older individual or having chronic disorders, one must consult their health care professional.
Two types of workout programs are usually followed, either hypertrophy programs (8-25 repetitions per set) or powerlifting programs (3-6 repetitions per set).
Recovery is an essential part of strength training and body must be given plenty of rest. At least 48 hours or 2 days worth of rest is essential for a muscle group. Sleep is the prime recovery period where body heals itself of the damage, thus sleeping for a minimum of 6 hours is recommended.
How long until significant results?
The gains, whether muscle or strength, is a slow process. It takes months to years to build a good foundation and progress further with it.
What are newbie gains?
If you just started your strength training journey, you have a physiological advantage. You can pack on more muscle and progress in strength much quicker than an experienced lifter. Your body has never experienced such stimuli, thus it reacts vigorously by adapting quickly and growing at a higher rate.
As per Department of Health and Human Services, a muscle group is to be trained at least once or twice a week. Aim to pick out a plan and stay consistent to it.
Strength training is the ultimate formula for gaining physical strength and the grind for it helps psychologically. Overtime, a person can expect a decent amount of muscle mass and above average lifting tendency, ultimately a healthier body.