Physiotherapy

The Importance of Strength Training

 

Strength or resistance training is a really important form of exercise, but can be dangerous or lead to injury if performed incorrectly.

What is Resistance Training?

Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against external resistance. External resistance can be dumbbells or weights, exercise tubing/theraband, or even your own body weight. It is most commonly used to increase muscle mass and overall strength. To continue to progress, load, frequency, intensity or duration must be increased.

The way in which exercises are progressed will determine what sort of areas you are targeting. The four resistance training characteristics include: strength, power, endurance and hypertrophy.

Strength

Strength is the ability to exert force to overcome a resistance.

Sets: 3-5

Reps: 3-8

Rest: 3-5 mins

Intensity/load: 75-80% RM

Power

Power is the ability to exert force quickly, or in a short period of time.

So, it is imperative that power training involves high velocity or explosive movements. This targets a specific type of muscle fibre, whereby increasing power training will increase the percentage of fast twitch muscle fibres.

Sets: 3-5

Reps: 1-3

Rest: 3-8 mins

Intensity/load: 80-90% RM

Endurance

Endurance is the ability to exert force over a longer period of time, meaning that it is normally a lower force exertion. Endurance is often considered as continuous, where as strength is considered maximal.

Sets: 1-3

Reps: 15-20

Rest: 30-60s

Intensity/load: 60% RM

Hypertrophy

Moderate volume with moderate load (middle ground between strength and endurance)

Sets: 4-6

Reps: 8-15

Rest: 1-2 mins

Intensity/load: 70-85% RM

Watch the video below to hear Ariel explain the different exercise training parameters to help you reach your exercise goals!

Why is it important?

Strength training is often overlooked, especially in those with weight loss goals or wanting to be “fitter”, however there are huge benefits to strength training! In fact, a balance between strength and cardio training is much more successful than cardio training alone. Strength or resistance training completed correctly can often burn more calories then cardio alone, and it is a myth that to lose weight you must do cardio training.

On top of this, strength helps to improve coordination and balance, which is really important with age to help keep yourself active and independent.

Benefits:

  • Increased Muscle Mass – increased muscle mass contributes to healthier joints and bones, which can help to keep injury at bay
  • Stronger Bones – muscle growth leads to stimulation of bone cell growth, increasing bone mineral density and resulting in stronger bones
  • Improve Sleep – it is known that exercise helps to regulate hormone levels in the body, some of these hormones are related to sleep. It is thought that people with a regular exercise regime sleep better and for longer.
  • Improved joint health – stronger muscles help to protect the joint. Resistance training is also known to help boost the production of synovial fluid.
  • Effective weight loss – consistent and well-managed strength training can actually burn more calories than cardio workouts! Also, strength training can contribute to an increased metabolism, making it easier to maintain any weight loss progress.
  • Improved Cardiovascular fitness
  • Prevention of other illness
  • Overall, improvement in quality of life and general wellbeing

 

Please contact us today on 1800 992 999 or email [email protected] if you need help starting a strength program, or have any further questions!

 

References:

https://www.acsm.org/blog-detail/acsm-certified-blog/2019/07/31/acsm-guidelines-for-strength-training-featured-download

https://www.fitnesseducation.edu.au/blog/personal-training/7-benefits-of-strength-training/

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/strength_training/article_em.htm

 

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