Updated: Jul 30
The benefits of strength training are endless. Whilst strength and lean mass development is a common desired outcome, the reason for the goal is often different and includes, but, not limited to:
· Getting Stronger for Competition
· Improve Athletic Performance
· Increased Movement Efficiency and Function
· General Metabolic Health
· Body Composition Management
· Bone Density and Tackling Signs of Ageing
Whatever your goal and your why for becoming stronger, I have put together 5 top tips to ensure that your transition to strength training is safe and effective.
If you want to get stronger and gain some serious function, read on: *Check out Jose's beautiful smile below too :-)*
Tip 1. Learn The Primal Movements
When you’re getting started, there’s nothing more important than technique. To cultivate healthy movement is to gradually increase confidence and help with your transition into the weight training area.
Too often, beginners new to strength training are encouraged to complete a certain technique from an off the shelf strength program. All strength-training programs should incorporate and cultivate better movement in the primal movements listed here:
These are the fundamentals of most strength programmes (the good ones anyway). Really working on these types of exercises will facilitate the best changes in you and your results.
Tip 2. Understand Scaling Exercise
To scale an exercise is to match its complexity and intensity according to the physical function and capacity of the individual performing the exercise.
As a general rule of thumb, if it feels sketchy and uncomfortable, it generally is and needs to be scaled down. If it has been practiced and executed perfectly, it can be scaled up. My best advice here is to make very small, incremental progressions over time. Consistently updating these over a set period will make for some real transformative changes in your strength, function and physique.
Intensity is the main reason why scaling is so important; because it allows every person to find a level of work or intensity that is appropriate to their fitness level. The reason why you want your workout scaled to your level is because the more intense, but safe you can make your workouts, the more dramatic the positive results will be for your strength.
3. Get a Program and Track Progress
Fitness programmes at Corby East Midlands International Pool and Lodge Park Sports Centre are free for members. When planning for a client, I would typically aim for a minimum of 2 strength training sessions a week. I would always advise that between each strength training session to have a 48-hour recovery window that allows regeneration and adaptation, especially if they are a beginner.
Once that plan is in place, it is essential that you track your progress, keeping a close eye on your plan will help you to track the exercises, reps, sets and weights over time. Generally, we often forget where we have come from; we forget the progress that we have made in a period of time. Keeping to an exercise programme will help fuel your motivation, keep moving you towards your goals and will progress your function further.
Tip 4: Keep It Fresh
As you consistently work with your program your body begins to desensitise to the training stimulus. It is not necessary to always do something different or constantly change your program, but looking for new challenges every 4-6 weeks is necessary to evolve the stimulus overtime. This is why we offer unlimited free programme reviews to members.
Even small changes in intensity and movements can freshen up your program, you will be amazed by what you can achieve in a year of consistent practice and evolving challenges.
Tip 5: There Is No Best Strength Exercise
People always say, 'What is the best exercise to strengthen my legs/back/chest etc.' In all honestly, there isn't one. Learn as many as the primal movements like I stated at the beginning, stick to a plan, train as close to failure as you can safely go and keep it fun. The results will come I promise.