Strength training is an integral part of the overall fitness program. It’s essential for a lot of reasons. However, it helps in the reduction of body fat, increases our lean muscle mass, also to burn calories more efficiently. Strength training is important for the fitness and health of everyone. Strength training is also known as resistance training, and it involves the use of resistance to the contraction of the muscle, to develop and build strength, anaerobic endurance, and the size of skeletal muscles. It is based on the principle that the muscles of the body will work to overcome whatever resistance force when they are needed to do so. The more you do resistance exercise, the stronger and bigger your muscles become. An overall fitness program would include strength training to boost the density of the bone, tendon and the strength of the ligaments. Also, the function and the flexibility of the joints are improved. Other parts of the body improved to include the heart and lung fitness. It’s important to constantly change your training program at least once every 6 to 8 weeks to keep improving. Some of the variables that have a significant influence on the outcome of strength training include the following;
- Change in sets
- The type of exercise undertaken
- Intensity, this includes the kind of weight used.
- Frequency of sessions
- The duration of rest between sets.
Constantly changing the number of repetitions through the sets performed, exercises are done, and weights lifted, does assist in maintaining any gains you might have made.
What Are the Examples Of Resistance Training?
There are a lot of varieties of resistance training that can improve muscles. These exercises can be done both at home and at the gym. Below are some of the types of resistance training:
- Weight machines: These machines have seats that can be adjusted. They have handles attached to either the weights or hydraulics.
- Free weights: This is one of the most popular types of resistance training exercise. They include using equipment such as the dumbbells or barbells.
- Medicine balls: Weighted balls
- Resistance bands: These are like giant rubber bands. They offer a strong resistance when stretched. They are small, and so can be carried around, and be adapted to a lot of workouts. The band has to be extended to get some resistance from it.
- Your body weight: A lot can be done by using your body weight. You can use your body weight for squats, push-ups, and chin-ups. Using your body weight is easy, and convenient, especially when traveling or when at work.
What Are The Benefits Of Strength Training?
Strength training is important for the improvement of the physical and mental health. Below are some of the benefits of strength training:
- Strength training helps to improve the muscle tone of our body. Also, it also boosts the muscle strength.
- Strength training helps to prevent diabetes mellitus: Diabetic Mellitus is a metabolic disorder, in which there is hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, over a long time. Diabetes mellitus has many causes, which ranges from autoimmunity, and the patient might also experience insulin resistance. Diabetes mellitus comes with three main symptoms, and these are frequent and excessive urination, also known as polyuria, polyphagia (increased hunger), and polydipsia (increased thirst). Diabetes predisposes the body to some other diseases, such as hypertension, and coronary heart diseases. This disease has complications, which can be divided into two parts. There are Acute complications- Examples of diabetes mellitus includes the following diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state. These different complications can eventually lead to death if not well controlled.
- On the other hand; Chronic complications- Include the following conditions diabetic foot ulcer, neuropathies such as a feeling of tingling in the foot and the hand, retinopathy, stroke in severe cases, coronary heart diseases and generally cardiovascular problems. There are different types of diabetes mellitus. However, the most popular ones include Diabetes mellitus 1, diabetes mellitus 2, gestational diabetes and so on.
Strength or resistance training helps us to reduce our abdominal fat, which is one of the risk factors for the development of diabetes mellitus. According to the International Journal of obesity, it was discovered that individuals with a waistline above 102cm are 5 times more chanced to have diabetes mellitus. It was concluded that abdominal obesity might cause the metabolism of the body to induce the fat tissues to release chemicals that can lead to the development of insulin resistance. This is why it’s important to engage more in this kind of exercise, the more you exercise, the more you reduce the chances of developing diabetes mellitus.
- Helps to improve the body flexibility and balance. This is very beneficial for those young adults. Studies have shown that those that involve themselves in strength training exercises when young tend to become independent when they grow
- It helps to reduce the risks of a cognitive decline in the elderly ones.
- Helps with pain management. People that engage in a lot of resistance training will have a high threshold for pain. They do cope with pain well.
- Improved posture: Strength training exercise helps to improve posture.
- Engaging in regular resistance training also reduces the risk of injuries.
- Helps to Reduce Stress: Resistance training is one of the many ways of reducing stress. You’d be surprised how a good workout can relieve you of stress, especially when going through difficult times. People who exercise when stressed, usually become more calm and collected. Asides from this, studies have shown that some chemicals, also known as natural happy drugs, endorphins are released into the bloodstream when working out. This makes people have some feeling of accomplishment, and also improves their mood. The less stress we feel, the better for the human heart.
- Strength training increases the density of bones, and also reduces the chances of developing diseases such as osteoporosis.
- It boosts our self-esteem. This is good for those that have been struggling with excess weight, or obesity for a long time. Regular and consistent strength training will help you to lose a lot of weight, and at the same time boosts your self-esteem.
- Helps to prevent heart diseases: Most heart diseases are caused by atherosclerosis, which is the deposition of fat plaques and other materials in the vessels. Regular strength training is one of the best things a heart disease patient can do for him or herself. It also helps in reducing the chances of getting heart However, if you’re not active now, it’s important to consult your physician before engaging in high-intensity exercises. Averagely, a session of about 20 to half an hour, done 3 to 4 times a week would suffice. Although, the more you exercise, the better for you.
- Could Be A Way Of Bonding: Although it might not seem like much, exercising with a partner, or a friend increases the bond with have with that person. Apart from the discussions that could be held, working out with someone makes it less stressful. The happier we are with our partners or friends, the better our heart is.
- Helps To Lower Our Blood Pressure: Resistance training such as aerobics helps to lower our blood pressure. Studies have shown that walking or swimming for at least 10 minutes every day is an excellent way of reducing our blood pressure. The heart is in better shape when our blood pressure is in the normal range.
- Helps To Prevent Cancer: Studies have shown that exercising for one to three hours every week reduces the risk of developing cancer. Some of the variants of cancer that can be prevented by working out regularly include breast and uterine cancer. Strength training can reduce the risk of developing these types of cancer by up to 60%.
- Good For Old Age: Resistance training is good for the body, even for the elderly ones. Studies have shown that people that have a habit of exercising while young are often more mobile and independent when they get old. A group of people between the ages of 70 and 89 was studied for about 3 It was discovered that those that exercised for not less than 10 minutes every day were more independent and healthier than others.
- Helps to reduce the risk of developing stroke: Regular strength training reduces the risk of having a stroke, especially in those that have a high risk of having the problem. Stroke is a condition in which there is an insufficient flow of blood to the brain. It is one of the most leading causes of death in the world. Body tissues and cells begin to die when they don’t receive a good supply of oxygen. However, the duration in tissues differ. As an illustration, brain cells begin to die off in less than five minutes of no oxygen supply. The brain cells that don’t receive sufficient oxygen begins to die off. There are two main types of stroke. These are ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. The signs and symptoms of stroke may include impairment in movement or paralysis of a side of the body, also known as hemiplegia. Also, people that have a stroke may have problems with cognition, and also find it difficult understanding people. Most symptoms of stroke are irreversible
What Are The Basic Principles Of Resistance Training?
Strength training includes many components. However, they all follow a fundamental principle. Some of the principles of strength training include the following;
- Program: This describes the various exercises under strength training. Examples of this include aerobic training, flexibility, balance and strength training.
- Weight: This describes the types of weight that the individual carries. This could be the body weight, fixed weight, or rubber band that is used for different exercises during your resistance training.
- Set: This word is used to describe the repetitions performed without resting. As an illustration, doing two sets of squats by 15 reps implies that you’d do 15 squats, take a rest, then do another 15 squats.
- Recovery: This word refers to the period of rest, during which the muscles repair and adapt, especially after a workout. The general rule is that you should allow at least 2 days, before working the same set of muscles again.
Resistance Training For Beginners
There is a pre-exercise screening, which is used to know which people have a medical condition. This is important because exposing people with a medical condition to some certain forms of exercise can put them in harm’s way, or even lead to death in severe cases. This is why a pre-exercise screening is important.
Starting Resistance Training
It’s always important to start slow and easy, then increasing the intensity of your exercise over time. Below is what the routine of a typical beginner looks like;
- 8 to 10 exercises that improve the major muscles of the body, which are to be done 2 or 3 times a week.
- Each set of exercise should comprise of few reps. For example, 8 reps should not be done more than twice a week.
The reps and intensity should be increased over time.
Warming Up Before Strength Training
It’s important to warm up before starting exercising. This can be done by walking for about 5 minutes and stretching the body muscles.
Advanced Resistance Training
To get the most out of your work out experience, it’s important to increase the intensity of your training gradually. This includes increasing the weight and the duration of sustaining the weight. Also, it also involves reducing the rest time, and also increasing the volume of your training.
Muscle Recovery Time
The body muscles need some time to repair and rest, especially after a workout. Refusing to give your muscles sufficient time to recover would not make your muscles get bigger and stronger. The rule is that muscles should be rested for 48 hours before they are trained again.
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