The Basics of Strength Training

strength training

There are some important guidelines you must keep in mind when doing strength training. Overdoing your workouts is bad for your body hence, understanding these guidelines will help you not overdo. The key thing to remember is to do your training, but be smart and realistic about it. Here are the most important guidelines that you need to know.

Don’t Overdo it!

Don’t do your weight training any more than three-five times a week. This will help to give your body the workout that it needs while also allowing your muscles time to rest. Your muscles grow when your body is at rest. Most people don’t know that, so be mindful of it and make sure you are not overdoing it.

For each exercise that you do, you want to perform 2-4 sets for each. This will allow a good workout but will keep you from overdoing it. For each of your small muscle groups choose 1 to 3 exercises to do. For the larger muscle groups do 2 to 4 exercises.

In other words, for your back, chest and leg muscles, you want to do 2 to 3 exercises and for your arms, shoulders and other small muscle groups, you want to do 1 to 2 exercises.
Don’t ever choose more than 8 to 10 exercises and always work hard with them. This will keep your training going well without overdoing it.

Track Your Progress

 

It’s always a good idea to keep track of your workouts you have done. This will help you keep track of the progress being made and will give you an easy way to adjust your workouts.

When doing the exercise, you want to be sure that you perform slowly. It is imperative to force your muscles to do the work for the training, not the momentum or it won’t be effective.

Any time that you notice a slow-down in your progress it is time to make adjustments to your routine. Don’t stay with the same thing over and over, because this will not continue to be effective for your muscles, and after awhile they need to be worked out a little more.

How Strength Training Improves Metabolism

If you want to boost your metabolism and keep it in a fat burning mode, try fitness strength training. Don’t rely solely on chemical weight loss products hype. To understand how to boost your metabolism, you need to know what metabolism is and how it works.

It is simply the process by which your body mixes oxygen with the nutrients to produce energy. That energy is measured in calories. Burn more calories than you consume, and you lose weight. A lot of it depends on age, sex, and genes as well as on your diet and the amount of exercise you get on a daily basis.

Sure, dieting can help, but to boost your metabolism the correct way you should never skip meals. That will only signal your body to kick into a survival mode and store fat. It may even make you eat more when you do sit down for a meal. We have all shoveled in food and claimed, “I’m starving enough to eat a horse.” It is better to keep your metabolism ginning at an even level by eating several smaller meals throughout the day, say every four hours or so.

But, to rev it up, add fitness strength training to your routine. Here is why. People who try to lose weight end up on a plateau. Their bodies have gotten used to that metabolic rate. Through exercise, our body signals the brain to produce more energy. As a result, the metabolic rate climbs.

Sure, jogging, walking, and other aerobic exercises can get your heart rate up and increase your metabolic rate to some extent. But soon, your body will become used to that, and you will begin to plateau, again.

Calorie Incinerator 

When you add fitness strength training, you are adding resistance to bands, weights, and repetition, thus making your muscles work. The more your muscles contract and flex, the more oxygen and nutrients they need. In an average workout using weights, you can burn five to ten calories per minute. In 30 minutes of a good fitness strength training routine, a person can easily burn 250-300 calories or more.

The amount you burn will depend on the level of exercise versus weights. In other words, the harder your muscles work, the more energy it will need.

And here is the best thing; It takes a while for those muscles to cool back down. That means more post training oxygen is consumed. In other words, even after exercising, your metabolism will still stay higher for hours. Remember to start slow in your fitness strength training and increase in reps and weights as time goes by. Never overwork your muscles, or they can become strained and injured.

Sport-Specific Strength Training

Be specific – to the demands of what type of speed you need to excel in your respective sport. So your speed training must reflect the demands of your specific sport.

You won’t get faster by simply running around a track – A major misconception to speed training has been to just run like a maniac around a track and expect to get faster. The problem here is that you may need other methods of training such as stretching, strength training, core training, balance and/or stability training in order for you to get faster.

Maybe it’s a lack of flexibility that’s slowing you down.

Stop training like a bodybuilder – Instead of training on that hamstring curl machine, try some multi-muscle movements like Olympic lifts (snatch / Cleans), squats, and dead-lifts. Not only are these exercises better than any isolation based exercise (hamstring curls and leg extensions), they strengthen your leg muscles (and entire body) and train them to work together as a unit. While you’re at it incorporate some single leg exercises such as lunges, and single leg deadlifts.

Add some cleans to your sports training program for some serious improvements in speed & power.

Find your weak links, and correct muscle imbalances – You are only as strong as your weakest link, and muscle imbalances will always lead to weak links in your body. Take 2 to athletes that are the same speed. Athlete 1 has poor hip flexibility and weak abdominals, while athlete 2 has weak hamstring muscles, and tight quads.

If all these athletes did be work on hip flexibility and core strength, Athlete 1 may get faster, while athlete two may decrease performance. So getting faster isn’t a one size fits all approach – you need to focus on the individual first.

Summing it All Up

Make sure you are doing enough to work your body hard but not so much that you are overdoing it. Keep track of what you are doing so you can see your progress and make adjustments if you aren’t hitting your goals. Find lifts that will help you excel in your sport, not just make you look bigger. Focus on your problem areas that you can develop overall strength and perform to the best of your abilities!

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