Strength Training 101

So many women who try to lose weight and get the perfect body will spend hours doing cardio only to be short of their physical goals. They get frustrated because they feel like they are putting the hard work in and not getting results. They are ‘fat/skinny’. You all know what that means; they have slimmed down but still have the ‘mushy’ fat under the clothes. There is no definition. People, it is so important to realize how vital strength training is for EVERYONE.

I once was guilty of being a cardio junkie. I love feeling the burn. It makes me get the sense I am actually making a difference… until I wasn’t. I quit seeing results and needed to change up the routine. Reluctantly I started weight lifting. I never knew the positive effect it would have on my body and mind.

First, I want to point out all the benefits of strength training.

1. It helps raise your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat. The more muscle you have the more
calories you will burn at a resting state.
2. It strengthens the bones, which is particularly important for women.
3. Elevates your levels of endorphins to put you in a good mood and raises your energy levels
4. Prevents diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
5. Improves balance and coordination.
6. Boosts confidence and self- esteem

Now that we all know how helpful strength training is physically and mentally, here are the basics of strength training and how to get started.

There are four basic principles everyone should know about strength training.
1. OVERLOAD– More resistance than your muscles are used to is needed for you to gain strength and muscl mass. The more you do the more your body is capable to handle.
2. PROGRESSION– You must constantly increase your intensity to avoid a fitness plateau. You can do this by increasing the weight being used, changing the sets and reps that are being done, or changing the resting periods between exercises.
3. SPECIFITY- Decide what your goals are and train for them.
4. RECOVERY- It is vital to allow your muscles a recovery time so they can heal and grow.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends progressive overload. This is when you use weight that you are able to do 8-10 reps and by the 10th rep your muscles are exhausted. You should not be able to do another rep. When you are able to do more you should increase the weight. This principle creates the greatest gain for muscle strength.

GETTING STARTED!!
– One set of 8-12 repetitions of eight to ten exercises that condition the major muscle groups at least 2 days a week is the recommended minimum of the American College of Sports Medicine.
– If you are cleared by your physician than I feel like starting out three days a week is perfectly safe.
Compound exercises are multi joint exercises and are most effective for building all over muscle. Also, the more muscle engaged in the exercise, the more calories burned. These exercises should be the core of the workout routine.
– It is important to monitor your resting periods between sets.
Less than 6 reps 2-3 minute rest.
More than 6 reps 75 sec or less.
– Make sure you are not doing a routine for longer than 4 weeks. This prevents a plateau.

THREE DAYS A WEEK ROUTINE:
If you are doing a routine three days a week, than I would recommend doing a total body circuit.
Doing 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps of a combination of exercises that target the upper body and lower body.

FOUR DAYS A WEEK ROUTINE:
You can do an upper/ lower body split. This is where one day you focus on upper body and the next day focus on lower body. You can do more specified exercises if you are using this routine.

FIVE DAYS A WEEK:
If you have five days a week you can focus on certain body parts each day.
– Example: legs/abs
Chest
Back/ abs
Shoulder/ abs
Arms
This was recommended on bodybuilding.com I have attached the link for more information.
Five day workout split

I hope this post has enlightened you on the benefits of strength training and how to get started. If you still have questions than feel free to ask!!

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