By Joe Black
Raise your hand if you have ever gone to the gym and spent an hour on the treadmill or elliptical. It was pretty boring, right?
What if I told you that there was a way you could get great results and have fun while cutting your workout time in half?
If this piques your interest then you should consider strength training.
Strength training means that you are using resistance (in the form of dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands and your own bodyweight) to cause your muscles to contract. This leads to increased muscle strength and size.
Contrary to popular belief, strength training and lifting weights will not make you bulky. Instead, your body will replace body fat with lean muscle mass, resulting in a more toned and lean look.
The best part is that studies show it can be effective with as little as 3, 20-30 minute sessions a week.
Strength training carries a whole host of benefits that become especially important as you age.
- Decrease or minimize the risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone density
- Increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL)
- Lower the risk of heart disease
- Reduce the risk of diabetes
- Lower high blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of breast cancer by decreasing high estrogen levels
- Everyday tasks become easier
- Posture improves
- Flexibility increases
- Weight loss due to increased metabolism
- Improved state of mind – reduce anxiety and stress and boost self-esteem
- Decrease the likelihood of injury
- Way more fun than walking on a treadmill (okay, that is my opinion 🙂 )
The list goes on.
If you want to elevate your life, live longer and be happier, you need to give strength training serious consideration.
Here are my recommendations for getting started:
- Reaching out to a coach or trainer is the quickest way for you to begin your journey and see results. A local CrossFit gym or commercial gym is a great place to start (obviously you should train at CrossFit Prototype).
- If you go about it on your own, ease into it, especially if you haven’t been to the gym in a while. Less is more at first.
- Make a goal of going to the gym or working out at home 2-3 times/week.
- Search online for a variety of exercises that work the entire body or certain body parts. Watch YouTube videos for correct form.
- Select 5-6 exercises per workout, making sure to do different exercises each day you workout.
- Start off with 2 sets of each exercise for 10-15 reps, keeping the weight light enough that you don’t fail and heavy enough that it feels challenging.
- Each week, repeat the same exercises, adding either an additional set or more reps or more weight.
- Every 4-5 weeks, when your body is signaling that it is really tired or fatigued, decrease your sets and reps and lower the weight used by 30-40%.
- Select new exercises or mix up from the last month and repeat the process.
Should you be strength training? The answer is a resounding yes!
So what are you waiting for? Get started today!