3 minutes reading time (517 words)

Basics of strength training - the why, how, and benefits of it

Ahh, one of the most misunderstood and misused forms of training. It's time everyone realized how important and beneficial strength training is and how it should be at the cornerstone of your workout program!
Strength training or Resistance training is when you perform exercises that put the body under load or resistance. Most of the time, these exercises are weighted, closed-chain exercises that are performed to build muscular strength, improve joint stability, and increase trunk stability. The loads prescribed for these exercises are relative to an individual's own strength. An elderly woman lifting a five pound dumbbell is still performing strength training! She is still receiving the beneficial adaptations from strength training.

The key to strength training is progressive, patient overload. This means that the weight that you are using increases slowly over time. The increase in weight and how frequently this increase occurs is dependent on training age. Training age is the amount of time an individual has been working out for. For example, a 20 year old can have a training age of two if he has only been training since he was 18. However a 10 year old can have a training age of eight if he has been training since he was two.

The biggest and most obvious benefit to strength training is that you get stronger! In the first six weeks of embarking on a strength training program, most of these gains in strength come from neurological adaptations in your central nervous system (CNS). Strength isn't primarily driven from your muscular ability – the CNS is your strength's HQ! This is because lifting weights – heavy weights – improves neuron recruitment and rate coding. Put into simpler terms, this means that more of your motor units (which communicate with the muscles) are able to fire faster. This results in a more forceful (STRONGER) muscular contraction. Typically, strength training with loads above ~85% of your maximal strength within set and rep ranges of 2 – 5 and less than 6 result in these sort of strength gains.

Strength gains can also be seen from an increase in muscle size (hypertrophy). Hypertrophy is typically induced from using loads between 67-85% of your maximal strength for 3 – 6 sets of 4 – 8 reps. If you're training within this rep range and percentages, you can expect to see an increase in muscle size and strength.

Besides increases in strength, other benefits include increased bone density, improve hormonal balances, boost your resting metabolic rate, improve core and grip strength, and improve intramuscular coordination. Additionally, training for maximal strength typically does not result in huge increases in muscular size. Forget about looking huge after pulling that one rep max deadlift. Your CNS is the only thing that huge.

If you want to feel stronger, look better, and become healthier – LIFT SOME HEAVY WEIGHTS.

My Secret To A Six Pack

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