Important facts about strength training
Strength or resistance training is essential for healthy bones, supple ligaments and strong muscles. But did you also know that resistance training also helps develop balance and core strength? Additionally, it also helps you avoid easy injuries - a direct benefit of healthy bones and joints. To list them together, some of the strength training benefits are - reduced risk of injury, improved joint function, increased metabolism and cardiac function. However, for an exercise form that is deeply connected with our overall well-being, resistance training is riddled with myths and lesser known facts. Today, we bring you some of these important facts about strength training.
Strength training for beginners: Starting strength as the name suggests is ideal for newcomers who are looking at improving their strength and making significant muscular gains. This is why the program concentrates on compound lifts rather than isolated ones. In case you're new to the terminology, compound exercises are those that target multiple body parts at one shot like the bench press, the deadlift or the squat.
Strength training for all ages: It does not matter if it is your 15th birthday or 50th, believe us when we say, strength training is meant for all ages. Though the intensity may vary, strength training does not mean restricting yourself to gym-bound or age-bound exercises. In fact, strength training becomes even more important as we grow older, because it helps us maintain healthy and strong bones, muscles, joints and ligaments; not to mention the quicker metabolism that helps us fight age related weight gain.
Myth: Strength training tends to make women appear manly. If this were true, the whole bandwagon of femal actors (Hollywood or Bollywood) wouldn't have managed to look feminine and attractive. What makes your body appear bulky is testosterone- a male hormone, which is only present in men in abundance. As a matter of fact, strength training adds to the bone density and muscle mass, which is good for women's fitness level.
Cardio strength training: If you are bored of your daily workouts and want to try something new, then mixing strength and cardio training is an interesting choice. Often structured as two separate workouts, strength training and cardio workouts are both equally important for your overall fitness. An ideal workout routine should have an intense, yet simple strength training program packed with oodles of cardio benefits.
Are there any limitations to this style of training? While most trainees out there can certainly do this form of training, it might not be ideal for beginners and those who are extremely deconditioned. For eg, if someone struggles to climb two storeys of stairs, then this form of training might too intense for them. In this case traditional cardio maybe better to begin with. As their fitness improves, such individuals can later on attempt the intense cardio version.
No equipments at all: Strength training exercises, even if performed twice a week (on alternate days) can maximize your overall fitness, says the American Council on Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association. One can perform strength training exercises with the help of free weights, machines and other kinds of special equipment. But there are also several exercises in strength training that you can do with no equipment at all. Bodyweight exercises like push ups, squats, lunges and sit ups, are just as effective and, in fact, more beneficial to your overall physical health.
An important consideration with bodyweight exercises is how to increase intensity as you progress. The simple solution to this situation is to study or ask a trainer what the progressions should be.