24 Jul 2018

Strength Training: Where to Start?

Fitness and workout advice

If you’re not stepping out of your favourite pursuit, chances are you’re working at about 40% of your true potential. One thing’s 100% certain: if you’re not doing any genuine strength training, you just can’t grow.

Well, if you’re like most active people, you probably think you’ve already started. You’re running 4ks a week, up from 3ks a month ago. You’re swimming ten lengths of your local swimming pool, up from five lengths a month ago. Or you’re lasting 30 minutes in a game of rugby or netball before being subbed off, up from 20 minutes last season.

It’s all progress and your regime of running around or swimming around or just staying on the field as long as you can is paying dividends slowly, but surely.

But, but, but...

What sort of fitness do you really have? What sort of fitness are you really gaining day-by-day, year-by-year? If you’re not stepping outside the very specific confines of your favourite pursuit, chances are you’re currently working less than your true potential. Let's find out what strength training workouts are all about and how to get the necessary headstart in it as a beginner.

What is strength training?

Strength training aka weight or resistance training is a physical activity designed to build strength and add lean muscle. Believe it or not, lean muscle helps you to burn calories and that’s got to be a good thing if you’re trying to lose a bit of weight or simply maintain your current weight.

Strength training helps you run faster, swim further and last longer at whatever it is you choose to do.

Getting the optimum out of your strength training program has several health benefits. Strength training benefits your heart, strengthens your bones, improves your balance and helps in weight loss.

Use your own bodyweight

No, embarking on a decent strength training program doesn’t mean eating into your earnings with a new gym membership; you can do some perfectly good initial strength training at home.

Strength training is all about resistance and what better way to create it than by using your own bodyweight? With not a barbell or pulley-laden machine insight you can create a genuinely testing strength workout – push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges being just the start.

Build your training days slowly

Strength training

Ideally, you want to be doing some form of strength training three or four times a week, but start off with two and build as your body adjusts. Don’t rush it or overdo it with newbie enthusiasm or you could be flat on your back injured in no time.

Looking for ways to build muscle? Read our blog post about 10 Effective Muscle Building Tips!

Full body workouts

If you’ve been around heavy duty trainers, you’ve probably heard about splitting your workouts into upper and lower body days, even leg days and shoulder days. But as a new entry to the strength training workouts, you’re better off working your whole body in every session, especially while you’re only at it two times per week.

Be serious about reps and sets

If you want to build muscle and strength, you can’t just stop when it gets a bit hard. Create a program where 15 reps are your goal per set and a real effort to push out those last few reps. Have a short break after each set to catch your breath and do three sets of each exercise.

Of course, once you’ve mastered the basics of body resistance training and you start to see the benefits, it’s time to hit the gym. A gym instructor or personal trainer will then help you to take your strength training to the next level.

Interested in offering the right fitness advice to clients as a qualified Personal Trainer? Our Complete Personal Trainer^ Program would be perfect for you! Alternately, here's a range of our other specialised fitness coursesEnquire now or call 1300 616 180 to speak with one of our Career Advisors for more information! 

^The Complete Personal Trainer consists of the SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness + entry requirement units. Please contact us for further details on the course structure.

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