Strength training: General description
Strength training is a base for feeling healthy, slim and svelte. When you are strong you can easily lose fat, raise muscles, run faster and hit harder. For feeling the strength in your body, you will need to train it in a proper way following different courses or hiring a personal trainer. There are two types of strength:
- absolute strength – is achieved by bigger muscles which increase your body weight and it needed for strongmen, bodylifters etc.
- relative strength – is not achieved by increasing the body weight and require controlling the calorie intake.
Strength training – is a type of physical exercises which are based on resistance for getting the muscle contraction which builds the strength and muscle endurance.
If you will do this training in a right way all functions of your body will perform better and you will gain improved joint functions, bone density, metabolism, cardiac work and other. The most popular technique that is used in this kind of training is increasing the force output of the muscle through slow weight increases. It’s called the principle of progressive overload. To follow this method you will need to lift weight that are heavy enough for you till muscular fatigue and then when you feel that it get easy for you, increase the weight and train in the same way with this new weight.
Also, resistance training will require using special equipment if you want to improve specific group of muscles. Strength training is commonly used in a lot of kinds of sport like bodybuilding, power lifting, weightlifting. But if you wish to get stronger and healthier or just lose some weight, raise some group of muscles that is ideal type of training for you as well. It doesn’t require to be physically prepared before, you just need to pick the exercises that fit and work for you.
The advantages of strength training
People who are doing the physical jobs can keep themselves in shape at least somehow, but our generation is a time of desk office jobs, sitting in front of computer all day, driving a car for a long time. And it makes a big difference not only to your body shape, but health condition just as well.
The other problem is that we are losing our muscle mass with age and we won’t do anything to replace it, we will get a fat instead in our body.
The strength training is ready to help you in such cases and you can go for it at any age. What is more, it will help you to develop strong bones by stressing your body during exercises and it needs to adapt to it by getting bone density what reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Also, it can assist you in building muscles and burn fat. When you will gain muscles, your body will get rid of calories faster. Moreover, it will forge a character and boost your personal endurance by making you resistant to a fatigue and develop your ability to concentrate. Furthermore, the strength training can improve your situation about chronic problems like arthritis, heart diseases, back pain, diabetes.
The most common exercises of a strength workout
You can do the strength training at home and in gym, it depends on your time management, but there are common types of exercises and activities you will probably deal with.
- Weight lifting: different exercises with barbells like bench press or barbell row. Note: add a new weight moderately, don’t overdo with it.
- Body weight: force to use your weight as resistance and it can be done with light equipment or without it like pushups, pull-ups, chin-ups, pistols, leg squats.
- Machines: that can be offered in various fitness centers and those machines will balance a weight for you, but it makes them more effective than body weight exercises.
Note: be careful with the position of your body and the amount of weight you use as the wrong actions can cause injuries.
- Tubing exercise: consists from elastic tubes that provide resistance when stretched and there are a lot of different types of them.
How the strength training works?
Resistance training causes microscopic damage or tears on the muscle cells which are repaired by your body and it makes your muscles to grow. This damageable process is called catabolism when the repairing and growth one is called anabolism. Important to know, that the muscles get healed when you are not training, so it’s necessary to have time for relax between exercises.
First steps to start the training
In order to start to train your body at home you should ensure that you will have time for workouts, because it will require your responsibility for your body as you may feel bad if you wouldn’t give it regular training. During the exercises you will need to drink enough water: generally adult men should consume 3,7 liters (125 ounces) and female needs 2,7 liters (91 ounces) per day. And make sure you don’t drink too much as it may cause a cramp. Before serious workouts, you should warm up a bit using light exercises for 5-10 min. For example, you can try jogging, because it doesn’t need any equipment and skills, totally free and easy to do. The simple exercise you can start with is pushups; it will train your chest, arms, abs and torso. Also, you may add to your training sit-ups as its will influent on abdominal part of your body. Just start with a set of 5-10 times and when it will go easy, add some more. It’s reasonable to train your legs and you if you are able you can jog, if not you can do some jumps up and down. Not less important to focus on your back during the training; try creative exercise like «cat and camel» or «superman». If you want to raise you biceps try the biceps curls which will affect your arms as well. As you probably remember you should take breaks and don’t forget to stretch your muscles after training. If you will train at home you will need to buy the dumbbells or a special bench for a press rising.
But for the beginners it will be a good idea to go out at gym as it has a variety of machines, dumbbells and you will be shown how to use everything. You might have a personal trainer and program created special for you. It’s difficult to learn how to lift the weight by you own even using the videos or book. So a trainer can easily show you how to work on yourself and improve your skills so after a while you will be able to do workout alone. The work will go more effectively if you will settle a goal like getting stronger and slimmer. But remember that the development of muscles will depends on how much excess fat you have. The professionals that can help you are your doctor, physiotherapist, exercise physiologist.
There are some basic rules which going to help you during your training:
- The most useful strength exercises are squat, bench press, deadlift and shoulder press.
- The barbells are the main equipment you should start with doing the exercises mentioned above.
- Follow the personally adapted tempo as if you are going to overdo with a rep speed if doesn’t have a good effect on your muscles.
- Makes notes about your exercises, reps, sets and describe the process of each workout in order to analyze it and improve next time.
- Do cardio moderately in short bursts. Sprint to the top of a hill and slowly walk back and reaped again. Do as many sprints as you can, but for the next training you should add two more.
- Keep a balance during a workout in a way that whatever you do for one side or part of your body, do it for the other as well.
Blood oxygen levels
There is one more thing you should be concerned about during the training is your blood oxygen level. When your level is healthy, your body is able to send oxygen to the muscles and help them to work in proper way, but when it’s low and blood consists not enough oxygen you may feel fatigue very soon or even dizziness. A normal oxygen level is about 90-100 percent oxygen saturation. If the level is lower 90 it can be the result of hypoxemia. The causes of it are asthma crisis, sleep apnea, pulmonary disease etc.
The oxygen blood levels affect your internal organs, so when it’s high enough they can act perfectly. If it’s not high enough you should search for the irritants that cause this. It may be smoking or elevation for example, but the only way to check it is to see a doctor or try some new inventions like oximeter. And take to the consideration that the blood oxygen levels must be normal during exercise time as well as during a rest.
You are able to regulate it by eating enough food and doing exercises for getting your resting blood oxygen level to a normal percentage. You can try some kind of alkaline diet which is focused on body alkalinity and includes a big amount of leafy fresh vegetables like spinach, kale, parsley, collard greens and reducing the animal-based foods. What’s more, you need to drink enough water which essential not only for recovering blood oxygen but also for transportation the blood. Also, for increasing the level of blood oxygen you should practice deep breathing exercises every day and keep up a healthy posture to give your lungs to fill easily with fresh air.