Some strong words on Strength Training.

Are you looking to become like Mr Universe? Shoo …. away with you. This post is not for you.

Are you looking to increase your basic strength, fitness and vitality? Read on!

We know our body needs three basic essential for a heart healthy life – regular exercise, healthy food and good sleep but quite often we just need that push to start off. Many of us are confused about what to do because there are so many conflicting opinions about how much exercise we really need. So we join the gym thinking that would be the best place and (if we are 1% more disciplined than the 99% that joined the gym along with us) spend hours with cardio, leaving no time for strength training or body toning sessions.

Psst …. did you know gyms make their profits from the people who join up, pay up and never show up?

But that aside, this post is about strength training. No, its not about growing muscles like tree trunks, its about what it says it is: strength training. Strength training is a vital part of a balanced exercise routine that includes aerobic-flexibility exercises and strength training exercises. Regular aerobic exercise, such as running or using a stationary bike, makes your muscles use oxygen more efficiently and strengthens your heart and lungs. While strength training exercises, such as dumbbells, push-ups, and triceps dips weight machines help the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance, and build size of your skeletal muscles.

Some people are extreme strength training fans. This post is not for them. For the rest of us, who need a small bulldozer to get us moving, the best advice is to start off slowly so that your body gets used to the increase in activity and then gradually enhance your performance. Do things WITH your body, not TO your body. You should be your body’s best friend, not your body’s worst taskmaster.

Make sure you use ALL your muscle groups. Start with 20 to 30 minutes of strength training sessions twice a week. Use different types of strength training exercises to keep it interesting. Once this fits well in your schedule, add another day of workout. Every additional day and performance will provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being.

Don’t rely on strength training as your only form of exercise. So on days that you are not strength training, you may want to get more aerobic activity.
There are three people you need to have a very long, very thorough and very honest conversation with:
> 1. Your doctor.
> 2. Your nutritionist.
> 3. Your personal trainer (or the gym trainer).
A nutritionist is the last person we usually think of. Remember, you have to eat for strength and endurance. Are you planning to diet too? The diet of a person who wants to lose weight and a person who wants to build strength can be quite different. The diet of a person who is dieting for weight loss, muscle toning and strength-building is even more different. That chat with the nutritionist will open your eyes.

But for now, you have to start. Just start. One. Step. At. A. Time.

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