Strength training, resistance training, and weight lifting are all similar terms that generally mean the act of doing something physical with the intention of getting stronger. Many people find the strength training aspect of exercise more intimidating than doing cardio. It doesn’t take much training or technique to put on a pair of sneakers and go out for a walk (which counts as cardio exercise!) but coming into a fitness facility and seeing rows of machines, dumbbells, and other fitness equipment can be overwhelming. This is where meeting with a Fitness Center Instructor can provide you with valuable information so you can perform strength exercises correctly with proper technique and form.
Did you know that getting stronger does not necessarily mean getting larger muscles? Getting stronger can occur through neurological learning as the body improves coordination through activation of the nervous system. Depending on the design of your workout program, muscles and supporting tissues can also experience hypertrophy, meaning they will increase in size. Usually strength gains in the first 8-12 weeks of beginning a strength training program are neurological in nature. After this, one can expect to experience hypertrophy (muscle growth).
Benefits of strength training include:
- improving muscular strength and endurance (which can prevent injury and make every day activities easier)
- improving body composition
- elevating metabolism at rest and post-exercise
- limit muscle loss as we age
- successful management of several diseases including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, bone and joint diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
- improvement in mental health conditions like depression