We always have people approach us at SKPT that want to join, but have fear or reservations about strength training and building too much muscle. Going into the gym and tackling weights for the first time, or even returning after a fitness hiatus can be tough – because well, strength training is tough. It requires discipline, but the rewards are tenfold.
If you’re unsure about what regular strength training could actually mean for you and your body, keep reading.
What is strength training?
Strength training, also called resistance training is a way to use your own body weight and gym equipment, such as kettlebells, battle ropes and resistance bands to build your strength, endurance and most importantly muscle mass.
No, it won’t make you ‘masculine’ or ‘manly’.
Unless you want it to! Whatever that toxic stereotype is that you’re pushing in your mind, strength training ISN’T simply about “gains”. The benefits of strength training in helping you stay lean are amazing;
- You burn more calories resting
- You burn more calories post-workout, during your recovery phase
- You burn a huge amount of calories while working out
The key, as with everything we do here, is consistency and discipline. Training regularly (3-5 times per week), allows you to eat well while losing fat, or eat more and not gain fat through the work you do. Your metabolic rate also increases after you train because your body continues to use energy to recover and repair muscle after training. The regularity with which you train can also increase your metabolism; burning calories at a higher metabolic rate during and after training.
What is metabolism?
Ever hear people say they’ve just “got a really fast metabolism” so they can eat anything? Or others that say they struggle losing weight due to a slow metabolism? Harvard Health Publishing does a good job of explaining what it is, and it may actually make sense as to why training consistently is so important.
“Metabolism or metabolic rate is defined as the series of chemical reactions in a living organism that create and break down energy necessary for life. More simply, it’s the rate at which your body expends energy or burns calories.”
“Our bodies burn calories in several ways:
The energy required to keep the body functioning at rest; is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR is partly determined by the genes you inherit.
Through everyday activities
Okay, why is strength training important in helping me achieve my fitness goals?
Aerobic exercise alone can certainly help you lose weight, but you could also lose muscle mass too. Strength training will help you to gain muscle and get lean which allows your BMR (base metabolic rate) to continue burning long after the session is over. The energy needed to break down muscle and transfer oxygen around the body gets put to work the more muscle you have, meaning your body works harder even while resting. Cardio is claimed as the king of weight loss but does little to continue the burn after the class is over. To maximise your wins, it’s time to include strength training in your regime.