January 9, 2017

Essentials of strength training

Strength training is an essential component of improving your health and fitness. Unfortunately, many people shy away from strength training because they are intimidated by the weights or they fear that they will become big and bulky.

However, you can do strength training by using your own body weight. This may take more creativity than using traditional weights. Though it may not make you as strong, it is still an appropriate alternative.

So, how do we get stronger? In order for our muscles to grow, they need:

  1. A challenge – Use weights or body weight as something to push the muscle past what is comfortable. Move through a full range of motion and focus on heavier weights with fewer reps and sets.
  2. Food – Be sure to eat a healthy diet, including protein and some carbs after a workout.
  3. Rest – Allow enough time for the muscle to rest between sets and workouts. When lifting heavier weights, allow two to three minutes between sets. After strenuous workouts, allow 72 hours for your body to recover before beginning again.

As you do your workout, you may find some weak areas throughout your range of motion. Consider doing partial reps to work on that specific area of struggle, perhaps using bands or chains to create resistance.

In order to build strength, you must lift heavy things consistently. Follow this lifting by feeding and rest, then repeat the cycle. Always be sure to use good form and keep safety in mind. Strength training allows you to work your way up to better strength over time.

Another episode you may enjoy

Body by science | Dr. Doug McGuff

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