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What is Strength Training?

Strength training, also known as resistance training, is a type of physical exercise that involves using resistance to induce muscular contractions. The aim of strength training is to increase muscle strength, endurance, and size. This can be accomplished through a variety of exercises such as but not limited to weight lifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance band workouts.




One of the main benefits of strength training is improved muscle mass. When muscles are subjected to resistance, they break down and rebuild themselves stronger and larger than before. This process is known as muscle hypertrophy. Strength training also helps to increase muscle fiber recruitment, which means that more muscle fibers are activated during each contraction, resulting in greater overall muscle strength.


Apart from enhancing muscle mass and strength, strength training has numerous other benefits for overall health and well-being. For example, it can increase bone density, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and improve joint health. Strength training can also boost metabolism, leading to increased calorie burning even at rest. This can help with weight management and reduce the risk of obesity and related health problems.


Strength training has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Regular strength training can improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and improve overall cardiovascular function. Strength training can also improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, making it an effective tool for preventing and managing type 2 diabetes.


"When muscles are subjected to resistance, they break down and rebuild themselves stronger and larger than before. This process is known as muscle hypertrophy".

Another benefit of strength training is improved mental health. Studies have shown that strength training can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve mood and self-esteem. This may be attributed in part to the release of endorphins during exercise, which are natural mood boosters.


When starting a strength training program, it's important to select the right exercises and equipment. There are many different types of strength training exercises, including compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once, isolation exercises that target specific muscle groups and iso-lateral exercises that work on side of the body individually. Some common exercises include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and shoulder presses.


Equipment options for strength training include free weights, resistance bands, cable machines and weight machines. Free weights, such as dumbbells and barbells, are versatile and can be used for a variety of exercises. Resistance bands are lightweight and portable, making them a convenient option for travel or home workouts. Weight machines are typically found in gyms and provide a stable platform for performing strength exercises.


When starting a strength training program, it's important to begin with lighter weights or resistance and gradually increase over time. This helps to prevent injury and allows the muscles to adapt to the increased workload. Proper form and technique are also important to ensure that exercises are performed correctly and to avoid injury.


The frequency and duration of strength training workouts will depend on an individual's fitness level and goals. For most people, it's recommended to strength train two to three times per week, with each session lasting 30-60 minutes. This allows for sufficient recovery time between workouts and helps to prevent overtraining.


In conclusion, strength training is an effective and valuable form of exercise that provides numerous health benefits. By incorporating strength training into a regular fitness routine, individuals can enhance their overall health and quality of life


Author:


Fraser Gunn


HND Sports Therapy

BSc Sport and Exercise Science

TRX Certified

TPI Certified

Les Mills Instructor - Pump, Attack, Tone, GRIT and Sprint

Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor , The GYM @ Milford and The GYM @ Norton

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