Strength training should form a key part of any overall fitness regime. This type of training can improve bone health, heart health and balance and will help with weight loss too. Strength focused workouts such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses will make the body leaner and more muscular.
Fitness fanatics such as Richard Mallett and those looking to improve their overall health can expect to experience a variety of benefits by including strength training in their fitness regime.
Benefits of Strength Training
The body’s lean muscle mass naturally decreases with age. At around the age of thirty, approximately three to five percent of lean muscle mass is lost a year. Strength training can help to ensure that this lost muscle is not replaced with fat.
In addition to preserving muscle mass, strength training can also help to strengthen bones. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, just 30 minutes of high intensity resistance training twice a week can boost bone density, structure, and strength.
When working out for weight loss, the addition of strength training can help to keep the weight off for good. According to researchers, strength training can help to increase the body’s resting metabolism, meaning calories are naturally burned faster throughout the day.
For some individuals, it is crucial to discuss their health and fitness with a medical professional before starting any kind of strength training or intensive fitness regime This is especially important if the individual has not been active recently, is middle aged or older, smokes, or has a chronic health condition.
As with most types of exercise, getting adequate rest between workouts can be the secret to success. Muscles need rest to grow; a good baseline is to work out each muscle group twice a week. For example, some individuals might alternate upper and lower body workouts, or take part in full body workouts two or three times a week instead.
Nutrition is a key consideration for any active lifestyle. It is important to ensure that a healthy, balanced diet is followed that provides enough energy to support an active lifestyle. Please see the embedded PDF for more information about nutrition for strength training.
Workout 1: Squats
Squats are a great way to work the legs, core and back. This exercise could be carried out as part of a warmup with kettlebells, or with heavier weights for a more intense workout. Working with a trainer can help beginners to develop the best form when starting out, and heavier weights can be added once the movement has been perfected.
Workout 2: Deadlifts
The deadlift is a great strength and muscle builder that has benefits for the entire body. When done correctly, deadlifting focuses on the muscles in the posterior chain that run up the back of the body. These muscles are often undertrained, but with training they can promote good posture and reduce the chance of injury.
Workout 3: Bench Press
The bench press is part of many workout routines, with good reason. When it’s performed correctly, this move works the entire body with an emphasis on muscle development in the upper body.
To keep good form when completing bench press reps, it is important to keep the shoulders back and down against the bench. If the shoulders are pulled forwards, the individual will achieve less of a chest workout and could injure their shoulders too. Keeping a natural arch in the back and using the stomach muscles will help to get the most out of this exercise.