Strength training can be a great way to gain muscle, lose weight and get fit. If you've already tried all-cardo workouts, consider the benefits of exercises that build muscle mass and boost metabolism.
Benefits of Strength Training
While cardio workouts burn more calories then strength training exercises, the muscles you create from strength training will help decrease body fat by burning calories long term. Start with the larger muscle groups, like thighs and back. The larger the muscle groups you build, the more calories they require daily.
Suggestions for Strength Training
Resistance bands come in a variety of strengths and styes. You can pack them in your luggage for traveling, and they're flexible for beginning weight-training (as well as for seasoned veterans).
Free weights are a great alternative to gym memberships or buying nautilus equipment. A few small free weights can give you the flexibility of multiple exercises. Fitness books, videos and magazines will help you choose exercises to target the muscle groups you need to most.
Body-weight resistance exercises only require your own body weight, and you can build lean muscle fast. Pullups, squats, lunges and pushups are a few of the exercises that can tone and strengthen the large muscle groups you want to target.
Benefits of Circuit Training
For optimal weight loss and body fat reduction, combine strength training with a cardio workout by engaging in circuit training. Alternate your favorite cardio exercise like jumping jacks, sprints, climbing stairs or cycling with strength building exercises like squats, bicep curls and shoulder presses. The idea is to break up the cardio into smaller chunks (like 10 minute sessions). Instead of resting between the session, add in a few of your strength training exercises before returning to another small cardio session. You'll double time your metabolism with cardio and strength training.
Feeling Good with Strength Training
If you have shoulder, knee, hip or back aches, strength training can actually be a pain reducer. Learning specific exercises to strengthen the muscles that hurt will help relieve inflammation, and reduce the strain that daily activity puts on those trouble spots.
The benefits of strength training are not just for body image, but health and fitness also!