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Fitness Strength Training: Pushing Beyond A Plateau

Fitness strength training is an essential part of any workout regimen. Strength training can not only enhance your performance in sports and exercise, but can help you lose weight, feel better and increasedyour flexibility and mobility. It's also a key part of managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and depression.

Benefits of Fitness Strength Training

The benefits of strength training are many. Athletic strength training increases your Base Metabolic Rate, allowing your body to burn more calories throughout the day, even when at rest. This can help you lose weight and have more energy. Strength training increases bone density and prevents osteoporosis. It also increases your lean muscle mass and gives you more strength and endurance for athletic pursuits.

Strength training reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease. Strengthening muscles and joints can prevent sports related injuries and help you heal from any injuries you might sustain. Strength training increases your sense of overall well-being and can help you age gracefully.

Get Started Safely

Here are some of the risk factors that you should discuss with your doctor before you being any athletic strength training:

  • heart disease, including chest pains
  • a family history of heart disease before the age of 55
  • high cholesterol
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • smoking
  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • muscular or joint problems
  • pregnancy
  • recent surgery
  • arthritis
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • a longstanding sedentary lifestyle

Take it easy when adding strength training to your fitness regimen. Remember to warm up, and stretch before you begin any strength training exercises. Keep your movements slow and controlled. Breathe. Maintain a neutral spine to avoid back injury. Listen to your body, and don't overdo it.

Building Strength Through Fitness Training

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum strength training regimen of eight to twelve repetitions of eight to ten exercises, of moderate intensity, 2 days a week. Strength training sessions should last no more than an hour. Each muscle that you train should be rested for 24 to 48 hours before being trained again, to allow the fatigued tissues time to recover.

In order to gain muscular strength, your muscles will need to work harder than they're accustomed to. You'll need to gradually increased the amount of resistance (or weight) that you use in order to build muscle strength. Listen to your body; when your workouts become easy, begin to gradually intensify them.

You can tailor your fitness strength training depending on your goals. If you'd like to focus on building more strength, train with heavier weights and fewer repetitions. If you're interested in endurance, use lighter weights and more repetitions.

You should warm up for a fitness strength training by doing the same exercises but at a lighter intensity. If you're doing kettleball strength training, for instance, perform eight to ten reps at a lower intensity to warm up. Once you've finished your warm up, stretch to increase muscle flexibility and blood flow to the muscles. This decreases your risk of muscular injury.

Work larger muscle groups first, then progress to the smaller ones. Increase weight and repetitions gradually as your muscles become accustomed to the work. Listen to your body; you want to exert yourself, but not hurt yourself.

Cool down by performing the same exercises at a lower intensity.

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