More About Strength Training

Strength training workouts build muscle mass. Strength toning exercises are most effective when they are done as part of an overall fitness regimen that includes cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise, stretching and proper nutrition. Therefore, when combined with the Daily Practice elements, strength training (also known as toning) exercises will help you to achieve a more toned, lean physique. While you can use strength toning exercise routines to train, strengthen and firm specific muscle groups, it is important to understand that merely performing exercises on a specific muscle group does not mean that area will become lean. In order to fully tone an area, a combination of diet and exercise is also necessary. Toning exercises don't remove the fat from a specific area - only a fat loss diet and exercise routine will do that. Instead, toning exercises firm up the muscles underneath the fat. This doesn't mean that toning exercises aren't important, however. Strength training creates the tone so that as you lose fat, your body is fit rather than flabby.

 

Benefits of Strength Training

  • Any form of regular exercise can help decrease instances of illness and certain diseases, but strength training can help prevent some ailments that are particularly dangerous to women. For example, some experts state that regular strength training in women can help prevent coronary diseases.
  • It helps you lose fat - by building lean muscle tissue which is more metabolically active than fat, thereby increasing your metabolism and helping you to burn more calories throughout the day.
  • It makes you strong - when you lift weights on a regular basis, everything else becomes a little easier too: carrying groceries, housework, gardening, carrying the kids, etc.
  • It reduces your risk of injury - strengthens muscles and bones, but also strengthens connective tissue - the ligaments and tendons that keep your body moving well on a regular basis. Strengthening your connective tissue will help you continue to operate in peak condition and protect your body from injuries.
  • It can reduce arthritis pain - recent studies have shown that arthritis sufferers who lifted weights actually reduced their joint pain. By strengthening the muscles, they were able to cushion and protect the joints during impact activities like walking.
  • It increases balance, stability and flexibility - lifting weights helps work your joints through a full range of motion, keeping them strong and flexible while also keeping you steady on your feet.
  • It makes you feel better about yourself - by getting stronger and noticing changes over time like being able to lift more weight and do more exercises, both men and women build confidence and, especially for women, improve body image.

Additional Benefits of Strength Training:

  • Tones your muscles which looks great and raises your basal metabolism... which causes you to burn more calories 24 hours-a-day. You'll even burn more calories while you're sleeping.
  • Can reverse the natural decline in your metabolism which begins around age 30
  • Energizes you
  • Has a positive affect on almost all of your 650+ muscles
  • Strengthens your bones reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis
  • Improves your muscular endurance
  • Makes you strong. Strength gives you confidence and makes daily activities easier
  • Makes you less prone to low-back injuries
  • Decreases your resting blood pressure
  • Decreases your risk of developing adult onset diabetes
  • Decreases your gastrointestinal transit time, reducing your risk for developing colon cancer
  • Increases your blood level of HDL cholesterol (the good type)
  • Improves your posture
  • Improves the functioning of your immune system
  • Lowers your resting heart rate, a sign of a more efficient heart
  • Improves your balance and coordination
  • Elevates your mood

 

Types of Strength Training Activities

Strength training

Supersetting - an advanced training method in which you do two exercises, one after the other, with no rest in between. The exercises can be for the same muscle group or two different muscle groups, depending on your goals. The idea is to do one exercise and, instead of resting and doing another set, doing a different exercise and alternating those exercises for your desired number of sets. The benefits of Supersetting include:

Compound Movements - strength training moves that involve more than one muscle group and more than one joint movement. These kinds of moves can enhance your training, allowing you to lift more weight while giving you the extra calorie-burn that comes from involving the large muscle groups of the body. Not only that, compound movements are often more functional, working your body the way it actually moves on a daily basis. By targeting multiple muscle groups at the same time you also save time in your overall workout. Compound movements often target multiple muscles groups that are adjacent to one another, for example a set of compound squats hit all the major muscles of the legs. Alternately, you can perform compound movements that target both upper body and lower body muscles in conjunction, like performing bicep curls while doing lunges.