What is Strength Training?
Strength training is exactly what it sounds like – any kind of activity that helps you increase your strength. You might also see it called resistance training or weightlifting. It can include weightlifting using free weights or machines, increasing resistance on cardio machines to make your muscles work harder, or bodyweight exercises (also known as callisthenics) such as push-ups and pull-ups to use your own weight to build strength. Strength training is a vital part of any fitness plan, as it helps you build and tone muscles, lowers your risk of injury, and can increase your metabolism.
Why should I do strength training?
If you thought weight training was only for guys who want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or The Rock then you’re wrong, (though if that’s your goal then it’s the place to start!).
Everyone can benefit from weight training, and you don’t need to commit to a full bodybuilder training regime to reap the rewards.
Do you play guitar? Lifting weights to build arm and shoulder strength will improve your playing control and stamina.
Like gardening? Strengthening your core and legs makes lugging bags of compost home safer and easier, and means less backache from a hard day’s work keeping those flowerbeds in check.
Prefer a cardio workout? Resistance training will boost your performance in the activity of your choice. Whether you like to dance, run, cycle, swim, or kick a football about, strength training will condition your muscles to reach those personal bests!
You’ll be leaping higher, kicking further, and beating those Brighton and Hove hills before you know it.
Contact us today to arrange a free a taster session and see how strength training can help you.
What to expect from strength training
If you have any injuries or chronic conditions, or haven’t been active recently, you should check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise plan.
Before you start any resistance training it’s important to warm up, as cold muscles are prone to injury, so try a brisk walk or other cardio activity for 5-10 minutes before beginning.
For the best results, you should be working with a weight or resistance that can tire your muscles after around 10-15 repetitions. If you can do more without feeling tired, you can move up to a heavier weight. If you can’t make it to that many you should try something lighter and build your way up safely.
If an exercise causes pain (as you’re doing it, not the ache you feel the next day) you should stop. It may be a sign you aren’t using correct form, or a weight that is too heavy for you. Our personal trainers can help you learn correct form and technique.
Two or three sessions a week of around 20-30 minutes is enough to see results, so you don’t need to spend hours every day lifting weights! In fact, for the best results, it’s important to rest for a full day between working out each muscle group so the muscles can recover.
Where do I begin?
If you’ve never done strength training before:
Strength training can seem intimidating to beginners, but it doesn’t need to be. Why not book a free induction with one of our friendly team members? We can answer all your questions, teach you how to use all our equipment safely and effectively, as well as create a personalised program to suit your personal goals and needs.
If you haven’t done strength training in a long time:
Lots of us feel like beginners again after being stuck at home over the last couple of years. It can be demoralising to see a setback in your strength levels, but if you’ve done it before you can do it again! Make the most of that Back To School motivation we all get this time of year and get back into the swing of things.
Start at a lower weight than you’ve been used to and work your way up until you find a weight you can lift 10 to 15 times with good form and build your way up from there. Or why not double the benefits and start to feel social AND strong again by signing up to one of our Kettlebells, Body Pump or Strength Training for Sport classes?
Don’t worry, you’ll be back to fighting fit before you know it!
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