Regardless of your motivation happens to be for revising weight-room as well as strength-training basics, this is a phenomenal decision. No matter what your experience (or levels of inexperience) is or, alternatively, how strong (or, not so strong) you are, no exercise regimen should be lacking in specific time-honoured foundational exercises which function to optimise the movements of your body.
The greatest strength-training exercises are responsible for working your more overlooked muscles. In addition, these exercises also compel your body to work in unison. The result is that you’ll become stronger in a way which you’ll find helpful in your daily life.
Strength training essentially comes down to two aspects:
- “Movement of any weight as opposed to the “resistance”(that includes your body weight). Put another way, strength training involves performing ANY exercise that is responsible for pushing your muscles beyond their comfort zone. In addition, these muscles must be forced to rebuild stronger in preparation for another challenge.
- Progressive overload involves doing a bit extra than last time. In other words, lifting weights which are a bit heavier or performing one more rep. It is necessary that you apply the principle of progression consistently as your muscles will need to repetitively adapt as well as rebuild themselves in a stronger fashion.
Strength training hacks from the professionals
Personal trainers are jam-packed with tips regarding strength training. Here are five of them.
- As was stated in the paragraph above, the most important aspect to strength training is how intensive the load is. This means that the goal is to safely move the maximum amount of weight that you can.
- Aim to take breaks which are between three and five minutes long. This break will allow for satisfactory recovery of the phosphagen system (which is the main energy pathway that is used in strength training) without resulting in the workouts being unbearably long.
- In each of the strength phases, what should be happening is that you should be resisting the urge to add too much variety. Only do a limited number of lifts in each strength training set. Save the variety for assistance movements or, alternatively, subsequent training phases.
- In terms of your primary movement(s) think about adding more sets with less reps.
- Strength, as well as resistance training, can be very tough on the central nervous system (CNS). This means that it can take up to five times longer in order to recover. This is as opposed to the skeletal-muscular system. Allow for proper rest as well as recovery between sessions.
Strength training exercises recommended by personal trainers
We asked around among our expert personal trainers to find out what strength training exercises they recommend that their clients do. Here are some of the best.
The squat utilises all the major muscles in the following areas of the body:
- Lower leg,
- Thighs, and
When performed correctly the squat uses a number of muscles in the upper body in order to assist with protecting the spine when a load is rested on the upper back or shoulders. Owing to the fact that this exercise uses lots of muscle it is great as a calorie burner in order to assist with weight loss as well as toning.
Utilising the exact same muscles as the squat does, the lunge imitates a primary movement pattern. This movement can be seen whenever you:
- Walk up and down stairs,
- Up and down hills, or
- Simply walk.
There is a version of the lunge which is suitable for most clients. For example, there is one with limited depth supported lunges for beginners as well as full-depth lunges loaded with dumbbells or barbells for more clients who are more advanced. Lunges can be utilised in order to help with burning calories as well as firming or toning muscles. Lunges are also a great exercise to build strength as well as size in the lower body.
The deadlift, in fact, combines two primary movement patterns:
- The squat, and
- The pull.
This is because a weight is pulled into the body and lowered at the same time.
When properly loaded, the deadlift makes use of more muscles as opposed to any other resistance exercise. As such, it is a great movement for burning calories, firming, toning and developing muscles, building strength and size as well as losing weight.
The deadlift is definitely more complex as opposed to the squat. Given this, it may make it not suitable for beginners. However, nevertheless, the deadlift can be modified in order to suit different clients.
Don’t be scared of doing anything incorrectly. There are always personal trainers and fitness consultants on the gym floor who are more than happy to help you and put you on the right path.
Want to learn more about becoming a personal trainer yourself? Check out our Personal Training Diploma to find out how you can do this.