Strength training is not what most people assume it to be. It is much more than you can imagine. More importantly, it is not just to build muscle. People have a lot of misconceptions about strength training. This is why they regret partaking in it in the first place since they do not get the results they expect.
If you want to indulge in strength training, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. Keeping this in mind, here are 10 facts about strength training you must consider.
1. You Won’t Get Bulky
By indulging in strength training you will not get bulky – it is nothing more than a myth. And if you want to gain bulk, tweak your diet and training more specifically.
It is a fact that partaking in strength training four to five times a week will not make you as muscular or bulky as Arnold was in his prime.
2. You will need to Fine Tune your Diet
To get the best results, you must fine-tune your diet. Enough emphasis cannot be placed on the fact that you will need to change the way you eat in such a way to prevent your metabolism from slowing down. To do so, you will need to increase your protein intake, but there is much more to it than meets the eye.
3. You will feel Stronger
Apart from looking great, strength training, as the name implies, ensures you feel strong. Your newly acquired strength will remain as it is for long, only if you are consistent with your workouts. But that is not all. Strength also ensures you do not have to worry about health issues.
How is this possible? Well, it enhances, maintains and preserves your bone density, which considerably reduces the risk of developing diseases like osteoporosis as you get older.
4. You can target different Areas
Strength training gives you leverage when it comes to targeting different areas of your body. To avoid muscular imbalances, you will target every nook and cranny of your body. In time, you will see the benefits take form without running into the risk of injuring yourself.
5. You may not feel sore
DOMs (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) in no way serves as confirmation that your workout was successful, nor does it indicate otherwise.
Strength training breaks down muscle, which your body repairs once you are done with your workouts. In doing so, your muscles become even stronger from before, thus the increase in muscle mass. However, as mentioned above, soreness does not indicate that your muscles are growing.
There are multiple reasons you may feel sore after exercise. That’s right. Your muscle can feel pain due to several factors like rep range, lack of sleep, a new exercise routine and so on. If that is not enough, soreness can also be caused by incorrect posture, which can be very harmful in the long run.
6. You will need to refuel once the Workout is over
Once you are done with your training, it is imperative that you eat immediately.
The purpose of eating as soon as you get done with your workouts is to help your body recover quickly. You may have seen people walking out a gym with a protein shake, and that is because the 20-30 minutes after an intense strength training session are vital for muscle recovery. This is where protein shakes come in handy as they are easy to digest and aids in the muscle recovery process. But then again, there are alternatives. You can get that much-needed protein in your system via oily fish or chicken.
7. It helps in Weight Loss
If you combine strength training with resistance or cardio training, you notice that you will burn fat like never before. With the help of resistance training or cardio, you increase the calorie burn, while building lean muscle mass. What is more interesting is that even though your body may rest, it will still burn calories due to increased basal metabolic rate.
8. It is not restrictive
One of the best things about strength training is that it is not restrictive in any way. Also, you won’t be stuck in the same cycle. In fact, you can try different workouts to keep your muscles engaged. You can start small and then make your way up to heavier weights, but that does not mean you can mix things up to keep things interesting.
9. Warm-Ups are Essential before Strength Training Workouts
Strength training or not, warm-ups are essential, largely because they prepare your body for what is coming. Also, it prevents the risk of injury.
It is worth noting that it is a good idea to choose warm-up exercises that follow the same patterns as the real deal – i.e. your workout. If done correctly, it will increase your performance by leaps and bounds, and even improves the range of movement around joints.
10. Rest Days are Essential for Success
Last but not the least, you need to understand that you do not have to be too strict with your training. Make sure you give yourself time off but don’t overdo it. At the same time, the days you are resting, you don’t have to ditch exercising completely. You can always try lighter workouts at home like cardio.
Rest days are necessary for muscle growth and optimal performance, so you can’t ignore its importance. Even while you are training, give yourself some time before each session to avoid over-training, which can directly affect exercise performance, and sleep.
Now that you know what strength training entails, you will find it easier to determine whether it will be any good to you or not. Remember, no matter what workouts you opt for, remain consistent for the best results.