Category Archives: strength training

The Benefits of Strength Training for Weight Loss

If you are dieting and want to find a good way to complement your weight loss goals you can do so by adding a strength training program to your weight loss regime.  In order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you take in.  You need to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound of excess baggage.  You can diet alone and lose weight slowly without concentration on toning up or you can diet, firm up, and speed up this process by implementing strength training into your fitness regimen.

Dieting alone will accomplish weight loss.  However, adding strength training to your plan will allow you the benefit of not only accelerating the process of weight loss, but doing so while toning and firming your body.  When you lose weight sometimes your skin does not always go back in place in certain areas.  If your skin has lost some of its elasticity, such as with obesity or age, you will notice some areas that are not quite as firm as they once were.  This requires exercise to tone and firm these areas.  Additionally, weight training will build the needed muscle that you need to increase your metabolism.  Increasing your metabolism will help to burn those calories and succeed at a much faster rate of weight loss.

Muscle does weigh more than fat, but muscle also burns calories at a higher speed.  By increasing your muscle mass through strength training you will be able to burn calories much more efficiently while also acquiring a toner, more firm body.

The calorie burning effect that strength training gives you will keep your body burning calories all day long.  Strength training will also strengthen your bones.  This is a very important piece of information, especially for women who are at an increased risk for osteoporosis.

Strength training can be accomplished by working out with weights.  If you are just starting out, go easy.  It makes no sense to push yourself one day only to be too sore to work out the rest of the week because you over did it.  For women,  starting out with 3- to 5-pound weights is ideal. You can find weight training programs that you can do at home such as P90X or you can go to your local gym and spend money on a personal trainer.

You will want to build up slowly and with this type of thought you will notice gradual increases in your ability to accomplish your goals.  Start out slowly and work your body so that you are able to perform each workout with just the slightest discomfort in your final repetition.  Working beyond this point means that your body is not yet ready for the next level.  Start out with 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise.  If this is too much scale back a bit and proceed even more slowly until you are ready for more.  Let your body be the judge of just how much you can handle comfortably.  Never work on the same group of muscles two days in a row.  Your muscles need time to rest in between workouts.

Strength training for weight loss is the most effective way to reach your goals.  You will see your weight drop more quickly while sculpting your body at the same time.

7 Must Know Facts to Build Your Strength Training Routine

Building a strength training routine can be one of the trickiest parts of a fitness program. Ask 10 personal trainers what the best strength training routine is and you will get 10 different answers. Below are 7 must-know guidelines to use when building a strength training program. Each guideline provides the basic foundation that all strength training programs abide by. Learning the proper way to use free weights will greatly improve your strength, fitness, and health levels.

1) We cannot strength train a muscle today and tomorrow. We have to allow at least 24-36 hours of rest. Lifting on consecutive days leads to overtraining, muscle fatigue, and possible injury. All of our strength gains are made during the rest time!

2) We cannot spot reduce. This means if we want to lose weight in our stomach, doing 100 crunches a day will not make our stomach flab disappear. To reduce stomach fat, we need an overall reduction in body fat. Reducing overall body fat results from eating well, regular exercise, and proper rest.

3) We can spot tone. If we want bigger biceps, we can strength train for hypertrophy (fancy word for muscle growth). It is possible for us to focus on one specific muscle group. This is sometimes called targeted training. Studies have shown that machines isolate a muscle better than free weights.

4) Our strength training routines must be regular and consistent for results to take place. It took us years to put on the weight. We shouldn’t expect it to all fall off in three weeks. The best outcome from your fitness and strength training program should be a lifestyle change. Replace bad habits with healthy ones and reap the rewards.

5) Realize that our strength training routine must be changed every 4-6 weeks. This will prevent our body from hitting a plateau and it will keep things interesting. We can change our method, our exercise or our intensity level. Not changing our routine on a regular basis will eventually stop producing results. We will continually grow stronger as we progress with our fitness program. Be sure your body is challenged on every workout.

6) Our strength training routines must be built according to our specific goals. Specific goals may be: fat loss, hypertrophy, maintaining weight or adding bulk. Each goal will have a different method that is best suited for optimal results. Someone who is interested in losing body fat will strength train differently than someone looking to increase muscle bulk. Knowing what your specific goals are will aid in creating the best strength training program possible.

7) Our strength training routines must work all of the major muscle groups in our body 1-3 times per week. This includes our biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, back, abs, quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Leaving out muscle groups will create an imbalance.

By using these 7 guidelines, anyone should be able to build a decent and effective program. The idea is to develop a safe strength training routine that provides us with major health and fitness benefits. Strength training has certainly increased in popularity over the past few years. Knowing how to build a strength training routine for our specific goals will move us one step closer to a fit body.