Tag Archives: strength training

How Strength Training Helps Raise Your Metabolism

Without exercising, it is difficult to maintain your weight, or even lose if that is your goal. You have to burn the same amount of calories consumed to maintain and burn more to lose weight. Exercising is the key to both.

But not all exercise is equal. The type of exercise you do, along with intensity and duration, makes a difference in the number of calories burned, both at the time you are exercising and well after. Other factors that affect the number of calories burned are age, gender and genetics – all of which you can’t do much about. So focus on the one thing that you can control – exercising.

Aerobic exercise, like cardio and endurance, are activities usually done at a slower pace, but over a longer period of time. These activities burn calories but usually focuses on burning stored fat. Walking, running, Zumba and Pilates are all types of training that fall into this category. These activities burn calories, but they are calories that the body doesn’t need to replace, so the rate at which your body is burning calories decreases once the aerobic activities stop.

However, when you engage in anaerobic-type activitiesstrength training activities done at a faster pace, but for a shorter duration – you are burning glucose, calories that reside deep within your muscles. This includes activities such as medicine ball throws, kettle bell swings, resistance training and heavy weightlifting. The beauty of strength training is you not only get a high calorie burn while exercising, but the burn continues afterward as your metabolism keeps working at a high rate until it has replaced the glucose that was depleted in your muscles.

The secondary effect of strength training increases the size of your muscles. Ladies, we are not talking about body building – just a toning, firming and slight increase in size. Many women are afraid to get into strength training because they think they will develop a lot of muscle. It just won’t happen; the hormone structure of your gender won’t allow it.

With a more defined muscle structure, your metabolism will work at a higher rate even while at rest and sleeping. More muscle means more glucose in your muscles which makes your metabolism work harder to keep up on the glucose used.

The downside of strength training is you can’t do it six days per week. Your body could never keep up. So a good compromise is to do a cardio activity four days per week and include a couple days of strength training. Just make sure you have a day or two between your two days of strength training.

For strength training, focus on one or two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions in each set of each of your major muscle groups: abs, glutes, quads and biceps.

Strength training gives you the most calorie burning increase, along with giving you a more defined look. When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you exude confidence.

Your Strength Training and Cardio Action Plan

Once you know exactly what strength training and cardio exercises are, it is time to take action.

Get plenty of protein to feed your muscles, and just the right mix of carbohydrates and healthy fats. And remember that when you are working out, whether strength training or performing cardiovascular exercises, your body needs more calories than a sedentary person.

But don’t forget that if you are pressed for time, like so many of us are, strength training provides the fat burning efficiency of muscle development and the heart healthy benefits of a cardiovascular workout, with the smallest time investment.

If the thought of lifting heavy weights makes you cringe, check out some of the wonderful resources, exercise programs and books available online which explain body weight training. You already possess enough body weight to consistently and efficiently build muscle and burn fat at the fastest natural rate.

And no matter what your reasons, doesn’t it make sense to choose a strong body over a weak one?

Unloading the groceries? When you are strong and healthy, that is not a problem.

Lifting your children? Strength training guarantees you can do it simply and safely.

Heading to the beach for the day? A strong, toned body sculpted by strength training means never again being ashamed to wear a bathing suit.

The benefits of strength training are virtually endless. And there are very little to no negatives. Now that you are armed with this wonderful, life-changing information, the next step is up to you!

Defining Strength Training

What exactly is strength training? A quick trip over to Wikipedia shows this definition …

“Strength training is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles.”

Say what? What does that even mean? Basically put, when you lift or move any weight that is greater than your body is used to, your muscles experience tiny tears and rips. After your physical exertion is done, your body then goes to work healing your muscle fiber.

Your body actually repairs your muscles so that they are stronger than before, so they are ready for an increased workload in the future. That is what strength training focuses on, as opposed to cardio or aerobic exercises.

And you don’t have to join a gym or buy a bunch of expensive weight equipment to strength train properly. Strength training just means overloading your muscles, and making them do more than they are used to. There are body weight exercises and circuit training routines which let you use your own body to build muscle, burn calories, shred fat and lose weight.

Strength Training

A Guide to Good Form for Muscle Building Exercises

Of course, the more weight you can lift, the more muscles you will develop. And muscles burn calories at a higher rate than fat does. That is why strength training is more effective than hours spent walking or jogging on your treadmill, if burning the most amount of fat in the least amount of time is your goal.

Strength training also provides a lot of other benefits. Your heart is healthier, you run a much lower risk of contracting diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, your brain is sharper and quicker, and you feel great about yourself.

Combined with a healthy diet, strength training is probably the most efficient way to burn fat and get fit.

40 Minute Fat Blasting Total Body Strength Training and Toning Workout

7 Tips for Injury-Free Strength Training

Staying free from injuries when you are strength training can be difficult. Since you are stressing your body, injury risks abound. Practice the following 7 tips for injury-free strength training and you will receive the maximum physical benefits without any painful downtime.

1 – See your doctor before you begin training.

Get a checkup or at least a physical fitness test before you begin any strength training regimen. Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where most fitness-minded individuals drop the ball. You absolutely must know if you have an underlying heart disease or other condition which could cause injury, or even death, before you start working out.

2 – Warm up before you exercise.

Here is another important practice where people anxious to get started often skip. Just 5 minutes of mildly intense warm-up exercise elevates your heart rate and gets your body ready for the intense physical stress it is about to undergo. This could be as simple as walking, jogging, or tackling a few flights of stairs.

3 – Start off slowly and listen to your body.

Whether you are just getting started strength training or you are a seasoned veteran, each session should start off slowly. Focus on your very first exercise and each individual repetition. Watch yourself closely, and “listen” to your body.Injury-Free Strength Training Do not ignore warning signs of any nature, even if you have only a couple of reps left to finish a set.

4 – Steadily build time and intensity.

You want to build strength and muscle, burn fat and get fit fast. But accelerating your weightlifting repetitions, sets and the amount of weight you are training with too quickly can cause an injury that could set back your physical fitness regimen weeks or even months.

Muscle growth happens when you slowly and steadily increase the load you are working with. By increasing how long you work out you can also improve the impact of your strength training, but do so steadily and slowly.

5 – Stay hydrated.

Whether you think you have enough fluids in your body or not, drink 16 ounces of water 2 hours before you work out. And keep a water bottle handy while you are strength training. Thirsty muscles do not recover and heal properly.

6 – Practice proper rest and recovery.

Muscles require rest to grow stronger. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, and allow 24 to 48 hours between working out the same muscle groups.

7 – Eat properly and never train hungry.

Did you know that your diet makes up as much as 60% of how you look? Some nutritionists and physical fitness experts believe that number to be even higher. So do your homework, and make sure you are eating the right ratio of protein, healthy fats, calories and carbohydrates, or all the right strength training moves will have little effect.

Achieve Your Fitness Goals With These Tips

These tips are going to help you to learn more about getting fit and doing so efficiently. It’s crucial you learn all you can about fitness prior to starting a new workout routine. If you don’t, you might injure yourself, or waste time on inefficient workouts. Prior to exercising, it’s important to do some research.

Speaking generally, you’ll want to pace your breathing so that you’re exhaling after each weight-lifting rep you do. You will give your body a lot of energy and you will get more air when you breathe out.

Develop a fitness log that lists the exercises that you completed throughout your day. Note your workouts and anything else that you engage in. It’s not hard to add data on how much you walk in a given day; a pedometer that will tell you this is a cheap and easy-to-use tool. A written record helps you easily track your progress while working toward your goal.

A treadmill is a great resource for indoor exercising but whenever possible, take your routine outdoors. Running outside on pavement is better for you, though treadmills are good for the worst weather scenarios.

Getting stronger more quick can be done by doing an equal amount of exercise you’d usually do ten percent faster. This routine will work your muscles harder and will increase your endurance. For instance, if your workout usually takes you 30 minutes, attempt to do it three minutes faster the next time.

Running can produce positive, and negative, effects to your body in the long run. To minimize the damage, every sixth week run only half your usual miles to give your body rest time. Cutting back for a week gives your body time to heal and will help you to avoid unnecessary injuries.

A good tip to keep in mind when becoming fit is not to work out when you’re ill. When you’re ill, your body will try to heal itself using all of your body’s available resources. It will be more difficult for your body to have endurance and to build muscle. As a result, you should not work out when you are ill. While you are waiting, get plenty of rest and eat well.Achieve Your Goals With These Tips

Only work out the muscles that have been exercised the previous day lightly. An easy method to accomplish this is to only give a partial effort in working out tired muscles.

Split your run up into three different segments. Start running at a slower pace and gradually work up to more speed. Run the last third as fast as you are able to. This will expand upon your endurance and get you running longer distances with each run.

Volunteer work is a good way to exercise, and it also benefits your community. Plenty of good jobs are available that demand physical effort, and many of these require volunteers. Volunteering will provide a much-needed service to someone else, but you’ll be exercising as well.

Try pushing your tongue up against your palate while doing sit-ups or crunches. If you do this, it helps to keep your body in the right form. This way you avoid harmful strains and accidental injury.

You will want to take your time when you start an exercise program. Make sure you learn the right positions, breathing techniques and other basics. This will assist you in advancing to the next level without injuring yourself and getting extremely winded by not breathing the right way.

After your workout you should feel more energy and not sleepy or worn out. Your workout needs to include some kind of cardiovascular exercise, such as running or swimming. In addition to cardio, strength training is an excellent way to tone muscles and help burn fat.

By doing sit-ups correctly you will maintain good posture and not hurt your back. A yoga ball will also accomplish this if you place a rolled up towel on top of the ball beneath the lower back. Anchoring your feet when you perform sit ups adds extra strain to your lower back.

Strength training is an invaluable aspect of your fitness routine, especially if your goals are to build lean muscle and become more toned. Strength training revs your metabolism up, and gives you more muscle mass. That will burn many more calories, even when you are not exercising. Whenever you workout a muscle group, you should allow yourself a minimum of one day of rest before you work it out again.

You should consult your doctor if you experience joint fatigue or pain. You should record when you experience pain during or after a workout in a journal or diary.

Lift light weights fast to help build strength. This technique puts more strain on your muscle and will give the same results as working out with heavier weights. Opt for an amount of weight that represents 50% of your maximum lifting ability.

Many exercises count as fitness and there are various ways to get you motivated. All you must do is discover what serves you and your lifestyle. In the world of fitness, you have the freedom to come up with an exercise regimen individualized to fit your personal preferences. Being educated is a great place to start.