Strength training is a form of training in which an individual increases strength, size and endurance of skeletal muscle mass. There are different methods to achieve strength, the most common is weight training using barbells, dumbbells and resistance bands. There are a million different ways we can strength train and the way we can measure this is progressive overload. For example, making an exercise harder, adding more weight, doing more repetitions, doing the same amount of repetitions in less time and so on. This is where we start to separate these ways of progressive over load towards our goals!
At the end of the day everyone has a different route when it comes to strength training and everyone has their own idea of strength training, it is simply all about being better than before. There are so many benefits to strength training, some of the most important benefits are increased muscle mass and bone density as over time while we grow older our body mass starts to deteriorate and with a weaker bone structure can harm us with injuries later on in life.
Cardiovascular health is also important here as it improves the muscles' ability to pull oxygen out of the blood, reducing the need for the heart to pump more blood to the muscles. Reduces stress hormones that can put an extra burden on the heart and it works like a blocker to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure (Bennie, Ding, Katrien De Cocker, Journal of Sport and Health Science,2021). Another benefit is it controls blood sugar levels and strength training will increase the muscles ability to take in and use glucose (blood sugar) high blood sugar levels ultimately make us feel dehydrated, increase hunger and make us feel fatigued. This means the liver and pancreas are going to have a hard time processing high blood sugar levels leading into the risk of diabetes and other health risks (Mackness MI, Durrington PN, Mackness B. The role of paraoxonase 1 activity in cardiovascular disease, 2004).
Most importantly strength training increases good endorphins in our body, the main being dopamine and serotonin as these both regulate our moods; dopamine making us feel like we accomplished something and serotonin being the mood stabilizer helping us get good rest and which as a whole makes us feel more relaxed and regulates our emotional state of mind (Yun-Sik Kim, O'Sullivan, Shin, 2018). As these are only a few benefits there are so many more that I have not covered but I feel these are the most important to note down.
For us as trainers strength based exercises are super beneficial especially with the age demographic we work with, some clients have never touched a piece of training equipment in their life so they have missed out on some great strength gains that should have been implemented earlier on in life that could have reaped all these benefits it provides, not saying that strength cannot be attained later on in life but it will be a little bit harder due to the aging factor. We are here to help offset this keeping our clients fit strong and healthy to enjoy the later years of their lives reducing risks of health problems and also making them feel good about themselves.