Benefits of Strength Training

February 21, 2020

by Affiliate Trainer Jillian Lewis

If you knew that a certain type of exercise could benefit your heart, improve your balance, strengthen your bones, and help you lose weight all while making you look and feel better, wouldn’t you want to get started? Well, studies show that strength training can provide all those benefits and more.

Strength Training is physical activity designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a specific muscle or muscle group. When we think about strength training, many of us think about buff, leering, self-involved dudes at a Gold’s Gym. In reality, it’s so much more than that! Traditional cardiovascular exercise is known to help with improving heart health, general fitness and reducing body fat. However, strength training can bring all those benefits and MORE, including improving posture, coordination, and strengthening your bones. How awesome is that!

Strength training or weight/resistance training with the use of free weights, weight machines or body weight has many benefits on top of what traditional cardio has to offer. It is recommended that you do strength training two to three times a week, with at least one day of rest between each session. If you want to switch it up as well, you can also strength train by practicing certain kinds of yoga, playing parkour, or even by lifting your children into the air. Who would have thought such a thing? There are so many favorable options.

Regular strength training will help to increase or maintain muscle mass as well as improving general fitness. It boosts your metabolism and the number of calories you burn during training and after training, which is the key to fat loss and maintaining lower levels of body fat. 

Strength training can aid management of chronic diseases. Did you know this? It has been known to alleviate symptoms of arthritis, help diabetics manage their blood sugar, and improve general well being, energy levels and mood. It will elevate your level of endorphins and improve insulin sensitivity which lowers the risk of most chronic diseases. Given, there is virtually no condition where exercise is not recommended to help in some capacity. 

Weight training for osteoporosis not just walking or doing aerobics, but lifting weights can help protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis-related fractures? Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to weaken and become brittle and fragile. It can be prevented by regular strength training as well. Studies show that strength training over a period of time can help prevent bone loss and may even help build new bone. It helps to improve bone mineral density which is important in staving off osteoporosis as we get older. 

Lifting moderate to heavy weights with good form should provide tremendous, noticeable benefits in a relatively short period of time. You will probably start noticing benefits within a month and marked differences in your body shape and tone by the third month. It can be hard at first as your body adjusts to this type of exercise, but in the long run it is well worth it!

Plans and Effort

December 31, 2019

By Affiliate Coach Chad Delany of TriFit Barbell (Mauldin, SC)

A plan is only as good as the effort you put into it

As a coach and athlete there is no greater advice that I can give you then to increase your effort in training. 

I will first speak to the athletes reading this article. 

Throughout my coaching and training career the results varied from each program for a number of reasons. One aspect that always dictated the most amount of physical gain (next to genetics) was the effort involved. 

I have seen a wide variety of effort levels. 

Warm-ups, practice sets/reps, and accessories all skipped or half-assed because the athlete didn’t give it their all from the very beginning.

(Remember individuals can get very different results from the same structured routine based on their level of preparation and execution).

 If you perform at half of your capacity then expect half the progress. 

This idea should be a no-brainer but its not. Just because you showed up doesn’t mean you made any progress. If this sounds like you,then I recommend you change your mindset. 

The discipline it takes to stay aggressive in the gym can be difficult. I find what works best is a series of steps to get my mind focused. Consider this a ritual that you will perform before each workout. 

Step One

First step is making sure I eat and drink something with caffeine. Proper fuel for the fire is essential for a good flame. Having adequate stimulation such as caffeine has positive effects on training for me personally because I find myself with more energy, ready to attack training.

Step Two

Second step is to find music that gets me moving and speaks to the mood I need to be in. 

Step Three

Third step is to breathe deeply while going through the warm-up exercises. This will help clear your mind of outside distractions and increase the amount of oxygen getting to your brain.

Step Four

Fourth and final step is to practice the lifts with intensity as you work up to proper load amount. Treat the bar like it’s the heaviest thing you’ve ever attempted to move. I continue to act in this fashion for the rest of the routine. 

Quality training over time can separate you from all others.

Now, I want to also speak to the coaches reading this. You have a responsibility to your clients to put forth equal effort in which that athlete gives you. If they go hard each workout, take notes, send videos, ask for more, then match that intensity with the best possible program and plan you can muster. On the other hand, This does mean that if you have an athlete that does not commit to themselves then you can’t force it. 

Effort is a direct reflection of the person’s dedication to their own fitness. 

Always communicate that the effort you expect and want them to deliver should be as high as possible. 

A plan is only as good as the effort you put into it.

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