Strength training offers a number of significant benefits. It builds up core muscle groups of your body allowing you to develop better body mechanics. It boosts metabolism & creates a positive hormonal balance to aid fat loss. However, the most important reason to add strength training to your fitness program is probably that it will help you lose the dreaded lard and at the same time allows you to add lean muscular mass.
Full Body Routine
If your goal is fat loss then exercising several muscle groups in one go is the best way to burn calories. Get your metabolism fired up and give your hormones a nudge in the right direction. When I say full body, I mean combining several exercises such as press-ups, squats, lunges and shoulder presses. A great way to do this and save time is to superset the exercises. This simply means pairing two exercises together. For example, you could do 15 squats followed directly by 15 press-ups. Rest for 30 seconds and then start again. This encourages your body to work harder and there’s no doubt you’ll be slightly out of breath once you finish the press-ups. It doesn’t matter whether you use weights or your own body weight, the same principle applies.
You might have a friend who’s always banging on about doing chest one day and then back the next. This training method works well if the goal is to gain muscle mass. The split routine stems from out of date bodybuilding programs, but is still used by many Arnie wannabes in the gym today. If you’re unsure which type of routine to start with, Split routine is the way to go.
Finding new strength training exercises
Most people already know the basics. You’re familiar with a press up and a lunge, right? These are strength training exercises that you can begin with at home. However, as I’ve already mentioned you’ll probably advance beyond these basics after several weeks. There are many videos, DVDs, and books you can use to help you create your strength training program.
The Numbers game
Most professionals recommend high reps, this simply means doing lots of reps with light weights or using your own body weight. This roughly means performing 15-20 reps per set with a weight that you can do no more than say 21 reps. Body weight training usually allows for high reps, but is a little more flexible as the numbers will vary depending on the exercise and your current fitness level. Whether you’re starting with weights or simply body weight exercises, both will give your body a chance to strengthen its tendons and ligaments before progressing on to more advanced exercises with heavier loads.
After this initial high rep phase, your body should be ready to tackle more advanced exercises and heavier loads. If you’ve be using simple bodyweight exercises to get you started, now might be a good time to move onto some weight training to help improve muscle tone and spice up your workout program. Once you’ve reached this phase, your focus should be on 8-12 reps, which is considered the toning rep range by most fitness professionals. This doesn’t mean that you’ll never do high reps again, but using weights that only allow you to perform 12 reps will challenge your muscles and give them a reason to change and become more defined!
It’s needless to say that if you want to be a super mass gainer then you should eat right and complement your strength training workouts with proper supplements.
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