Strength Training 101

There’s no one exercise that’s perfect. You need to exercise all parts of the body, plus include all types of fitness, which includes cardio, flexibility, strength and balance. If you’re simply doing cardio, like running, you’re only working the lower body muscles and getting aerobic/cardio training. All types of training are important for different health reasons. For instance strength training not only helps you build strong muscles, it helps you build strong bones. If you’re new to strength training, here’s a strength training 101 course that can help you with the basics.

Lesson number one, strength training is equipment optional.

You don’t need a lot of equipment to do strength training, even though most people think of barbells, kettlebells, weight machines and dumbbells when they think of it. You can achieve great results with bodyweight workouts. It’s all about pushing your muscles to the maximum, lifting your body in a pull-up or push does that. If you want to use equipment, but don’t have a lot of money, resistance bands can be great for strength training.

You can do strength training anywhere, but form is important.

If you want to get stronger, lift, push or pull something heavy. They key is to have to proper form and not overdo. Someone that moves furniture as part of their job or carries heavy loads will be strong, but it takes even more. You have to work all the muscles of the body to achieve balance that can cause injury or make muscles on one side of your body larger, stronger, smaller or weaker than the other side. Proper form is important. If you don’t have proper form, it can minimize the benefits or even cause injury.

Your fitness level determines the number of repetitions.

While having a personal trainer can be a big benefit, some people are too intimidated or not close enough to a gym. You can start with a routing that combines push-ups, squats, walking lunges, a plank, jumping jacks and dumbbell rows. You can start with sets of ten to twenty and turn your workout into circuit training, doing one after another. If you’re out of shape, consider doing modified forms of the exercise, such as knee bent push-ups.

  • Focus primarily on form at first, even if you only do a few exercises and it takes a while. Once you improve, do a circuit of exercises, take a 30 second break and repeat at least two more times.
  • As you improve do more repetitions per set and if you’re doing a modified form of the exercise, switch to the harder form.
  • Always warm up before you workout and cool down afterward. Warming up will help prevent injury. You can swing your arms, run in place or ride a stationary bike. Do what it takes to get the blood flowing.
  • Don’t overdo strength training. Never do it two days in a row. Strength training makes microtears in the muscles, when those heal the muscles are stronger. Your body needs time to recuperate and for them to heal.

For more information, contact us today at Iron Fit San Antonio

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