Strength Training: Tips, Workouts and Everything in between
Strength training has always been associated with huge and bulky muscles and for this reason alone, it has not been popular amongst people, until recently! Strength training is now considered to be as important as a cardio workout. In fact, even if you don’t want to build huge and bulky muscles, it is recommended that you make strength training a part of your workout, at least once or twice a week. You can use lower weights or even use your own body as a form of resistance. The point is to give your body a toned and defined look.
An additional benefit of strength training is that your body burns calories, long after you have finished your workout! The best thing about strength training is that you don’t need a gym membership to actually do it! All you need is a pair of dumb bells and a room to exercise! So, start your strength training with a few of our tips!
Make a Plan
Before you jump on the band wagon of strength training, it is important for you to set a goal for yourself and make a plan accordingly. There is a lot of choice for you, to begin with, and it is important that you listen to your body. There is no shame in starting small and then moving over to big weights.
In fact, if you are a little wary of using weights, start off by using your own body weight as a source of resistance and then slowly and steadily, move to hand-held weights. You can also use ankle and wrist weights to increase the intensity of your workout. And in order to avoid monotony and boredom in your workouts, change your routine as you gain strength.
A Daily Journal
Keeping a daily journal about your workouts may seem cumbersome, and to be honest, a bit childish but it is one of the best ways to chart your progress. Surely, you would not want to be stuck in a rut forever, until you jot down the information incorrectly! It not only charts your progress, but also gives you answers as to why you haven’t been able to make any progress! Crazybulk can work wonders for you by increasing your muscle mass, without any unwanted effects.
Stretching and Cardio are Just as Important!
One of the most important, yet overlooked part of any workout is stretching and a mix of cardio! It is important to mix in at least 10-15 minutes of cardio before you stretch the area you are going to work on. Generally, a HIIT is preferred as it increases the core body temperature efficiently and it is imperative that your core body temperature is increased to avoid any injury. Never stretch a cold muscle!
Focus on Compound Movements
Whenever we think about strength training, we always picture a person curling his biceps and sweating away like anything! But in reality, compound movements are preferred over isolated movements. The reason is simple: compound movements are more productive and do not target a single group of muscles, rather your whole body is involved. This gives a balanced and symmetrical definition to your body, which is what you want! You can do bicep curls with lunges, squat deadlifts or backward lunges with lateral raises. You can choose from a variety of exercises and combine them according to your strength and stamina.
Reps and Sets!
When you are lifting weights, the number of reps in a set matter. If you are doing higher reps in a set such as 12-15, then your rest periods should be about 45-80 seconds. However, if you are doing a few reps like 1-5 then you need longer periods of rest, about 2-5 minutes.
You’re Nutrition Matters!
Strength training is not just about lifting weights, but your diet plays an important role in building muscles. Just like your workout diary, keep a food journal. When you are strength training seriously, you need to reboot your diet. Load up on healthy proteins like skinless chicken, lentils, beans, fish and tofu. Go easy on the carbohydrates; especially try to avoid any processed carbs which include cookies, cakes and even cereals. Opt for oats and high-energy protein bars. Include some healthy fats in your diet, such as avocadoes, nuts etc. However, just like your workouts, give yourself a cheat day once in a while! Crazybulk is a miracle in a bottle as it is not only a legal steroid, but increases muscle mass and strength!
Give Yourself Some Rest
Always listen to your body. If you don’t feel like working out, give yourself a rest day and never over-train your muscles. However, do not make this an excuse to skip out on your workout! Aim to strength workout for at least 3-5 days. However, if you plan a workout of 12 weeks, give yourself one week off!
Strength Training is Just as Important as Your Cardio Workouts. Give it Your 100% and You Will Get the Results You Want!