Why Strength Training?
Strength training is an important part of any workout program for several reasons. When practiced regularly, strength training, also known as resistance training, will build strong muscles and improve your physical power, and endurance. Importantly, it also can do so much more for you.
- Strength training helps prevent bone loss and may even improve bone density, making it a meaningful tool in the prevention of osteoporosis.
- When you exercise with enough intensity, your body continues to burn calories for a while, after you stop working out. This is especially true after resistance training, because your muscles continue to burn calories during the recovery period. Additionally, the more muscle weight your body has, the more calories your body will burn. This means that over time, as you increase your muscle growth, you will improve your metabolism and increase the amount of calories that your body burns daily.
- Burning more calories daily can help with maintaining a healthy weight. It’s an important element in the prevention and management of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
- Having stronger muscles means better support for your joints, thus potentially alleviating some of the symptoms of arthritis and other body pain.
- Older adults who practice strength training can gain better balance, strength, and flexibility, reducing the occurrences of, and damage from, falls.
In the next section I will be using the terms “rep” or “repetition,” and “set.” A rep, or repetition, is how many times you perform an exercise move without a break. A set is how many times you complete a repetition in order to have completed that one exercise. For example, you might need to do 10 bicep curls (repetitions) to complete the set. That would mean one bicep curl equals a repetition, and ten equals a set.
Choosing the Right Weights
Picking the right weights for your workout is key. If they’re too heavy, you can get hurt. If they’re to light, you won’t get optimal results for your efforts.
Picking the correct weights for your workout is simple.
- If you are weight training for the first time, choose weights that are a little lighter than what you expect to be able to lift.
- If you have chosen well, you will have no difficulty completing a repetition while keeping proper form during the exercise. You will not need to swing your body or your arms, or use momentum, to complete the moves. If you are finding it difficult to maintain form, and you need to use momentum to complete the exercise, the weight is too heavy.
- If you have picked a weight that is too light you will get through the whole set of repetitions with undue ease. You should begin to feel tired by the 7th or 8th rep. The last three reps should be difficult, but not so difficult that you lose form.
I hope you found this information to be useful. Check in next week for our first upper body workout!
Feel good, and have a super day!