Here, as promised, it part 1 of the strength training post! This was one of the requests I received, and since this is such a big topic, I’m doing it in two parts. So look out for Part 2 later this week!
*Disclaimer*: I am in no way experienced, or qualified, to advise on strength training. I am still learning myself, but I will post about what I know and what works for me! I have researched thoroughly, and I post these facts to the best of my knowledge. Also, the images used do not belong to me.
There are so many benefits to strength training, and most of these have only been discovered fairly recently, hence the sudden rise in popularity.
5 Reasons to strength train:
- Good for your bones. Lifting weights increases your bone density, thereby reducing your risk of bone diseases, such as osteoporosis (which us women are particularly prone to!)
- Reduces injury risk from other activities. Strength training creates strong ligaments and tendons, which support the joints.
- It increases your metabolism. Strength training can increase muscle fibre size. Once enlarged, they consume more energy, consequently increasing the metabolism.
- Has positive effects on day-to-day life. Strength training enables the performance daily activities that require lifting, pushing and pulling with much more ease.
- The results can be seen and felt quickly! A more muscular and toned physique does not take long to build (given certain factors such as diet.) Positive results = more confidence!
There are so many more benefits, but this would be a ridiculously long post if I put them all! Here is a link to a recent Fitsugar post about the benefits (link). However, there are also a lot of myths surrounding strength training. So here are a few of the more commonly known ones you may have heard:
3 Strength training myths
- Strength training makes you look bulky and masculine– This is a common fear that women have, but it is not true! Women do not have the same hormones as men, which allows them to build bulk. Women body-builders often take drugs to counter this, but all it will give you is a more toned physique! You will not end up looking like these bodybuilders!
- If you stop strength training your muscles turn into fat/ strength training turns fat into muscle– Muscle and fat are two totally different things! Muscle can be lost through inactivity and other causes, but it doesn’t turn into fat! And likewise strength training doesn’t turn fat into muscle. It builds muscle and burns fat.
- Fat can be reduced in certain areas with targeted exercises– How and where fat is lost depends on, among other things, genetics, hormones and age. Targeted exercises, such as abdominal crunches, will only affect the muscle in the area, not the fat there. So if you want abs like this…
…doing 30 crunches a day may not help you get there!
So how do I go about strength training?
- Going to a exercise class that deals with this is a good way! I’m a huge fan of BodyPump, which can definitely give you great results! This is just one example though- there are many other classes that can give equally impressive results.
- Buying a set of handweights/dumbbells and using those. There are various exercise routines that can be found online with dumbbells, if you need.
- Using weight machines at a gym. These vary greatly from gym to gym, but are very easy to use, and you can use the exact resistance you want.
- Actual strength training isn’t the only way to build muscle, and to attain a toned physique. Other activities such as yoga require plenty of strength, and so can build muscle. So if using weights isn’t for you, it isn’t a problem!
In Part 2 of my strength training post later this week, I will post one of my own strength training routines, how to go about training, and about nutrition and strength training. Please do bear in mind though that I am not an expert, but this is all personally learnt information and experiences that was requested!
So do you do any strength training, or do you want to? What exactly do you do, and has it/is it giving you results? Please feel free to leave your own thoughts, tips etc on this topic!
Hope this was helpful to all of you, and particularly to those who requested it! Tomorrow will be a normal post again!