How to Get Started With Strength Training Exercises

By Stanley Middleton

Why are strength training exercises important? These days, more and more people are looking for ways to make their bodies look leaner and sexier. The men want to store muscle mass and women want to have curvaceous bodies. To achieve both goals, you need to undergo strength training exercises to build muscle mass and at the same time burn off excess fat.

Without enough strength, men will not be able to lift heavy dumbbells and women will not be able to keep up with strenuous cardiovascular exercises. In order for you to build strength, you need to have the proper workout routine to achieve your fitness goals.

Many gyms have been established to help those who want to build strength and for those who want to lose weight as well. Once you have decided to join a fitness center, a good strategy is to get a fitness trainer so that he will be able to guide you thoroughly on what types of exercises you should do and the type of diet that you should follow.

If it is your first time to enroll in such an exercise program, here are some things that you have to remember:

1. Educate yourself about the fundamentals of strength training. Knowing as much as you can about it will help you achieve your goal more easily.

2. Choose a program that allows you to work all the muscle groups in your body. Do this once or twice a week.

3. Before you start lifting weights, be sure to warm up first with some cardio workouts. Do some warm-up sets of each exercise for 5 to 10 minutes before lifting your first and lighter set of weights.

4. As a beginner, it is strongly advisable that you start with 1 to 2 sets of 15 to 16 repetitions of the exercise. You can increase the resistance and the number of reps as you go along, whenever you feel comfortable.

5. For those who are enrolled in a fitness center, you can start using strength training machines first. This will give you more power if you decide to do the exercises manually.

6. Rest every other day. This will give your muscles enough time to recover from fatigue.

7. Level-up every week. Meaning, increase the number of reps that you do or better yet add a few more pounds to the weight that you are currently lifting.

8. Challenge yourself, but never overdo it. For example, in the first few weeks you can focus first on learning about the exercise. Then, proceed with increasing the amount of weight that you lift over time.

9. It is recommended that you do consistent strength training for 6 weeks. After that, you can change your routine and make it more difficult.

10. Incorporate new routines or movements so you will not get bored and give up.

People now lead fast-paced lives and do not all have the luxury of going to fitness centers. But it does not mean that you cannot do strength training exercises in the comfort of your own home.

Here are two of the most effective strength training exercises that you can easily do.

1. Squats

What is it: Many trainers will agree that squats are one of the best exercises there is. This simple movement works your quads, hamstrings, legs, seat muscles, abs, and calves all at once.

How to: You need to stand with your feet at hip distance and toes facing straight ahead. Slowly bend your knees and lower your hips while you keep your torso straight. Just like you are going to sit in an imaginary chair, but do not go lower than 90 degrees.

Number of repetitions: Do 12 to 16 reps for at least twice or thrice a week.

2. Push-ups

What is it: Push-ups make use of your whole upper torso. You are giving your chest, triceps, back, shoulders, elbows, arms, and abs a workout.

How to: Position yourself facing the floor while balancing on your toes. With your hands wider than your shoulders, your body should be in a straight line. Slowly bend your arms and lower your body to the floor.

Number of repetitions: Same with squats, do 12 to 16 reps for at least twice a week.

Strength training exercises are not really hard to do, especially if you are armed with the knowledge of how to properly execute every routine. Work your way towards a healthier you.

About the Author: The Yowza Captiva elliptical trainers have uniquely designed handlebars to increase the strength of your core muscles. You will also want to check out top 5 cardio exercises and heart healthy diet.


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Five Leg Blasting Strength Training Exercises

By Callie Durbrow

We have all seen it before; the long, lean, tan legs that look great in jeans, skirts or swim suits no matter what. Have you ever asked yourself, “What do they do to get those legs?”

Well the answer may be some good genetics, I can guarantee that that is not the only reason they look so good. Training your legs and your entire body takes a lot more work than most people even imagine.

In order to develop a tight lower body figure, you need to make sure you are training the right way. Many people go into the gym and hop on the treadmill or elliptical because they think it is working their legs. This is not quite what you are looking for when it comes to lower body and leg blasting training.

Steady state cardio training will not elicit the metabolic response that your body needs to eventually develop the tight and toned look that everyone wants. Cardio training will get your heart rate up and burn quite a few calories during the workout, but it will not boost your metabolism to the level that will keep torching calories for up to 36 hours after the training session.

In order to efficiently and effectively burn calories (and fat) when you are not working out, you must perform resistance and strength movements. These exercises will use more muscles, will mobilize fat to eventually burn it for energy, and will keep your metabolic rate high even when you are not working out.

Many women avoid strength training altogether because they do not want to look bulky or manly. This transformation will not happen because women lack the high levels of testosterone and other growth hormones that stimulate serious muscle hypertrophy (size).

Strength training for women is very beneficial because it adds lean muscle tissue which gives us a nice toned looking figure, and it also elevates your resting metabolism which burns calories when you are not working out. This helps to keep you in shape and any training that you do will just cause the metabolism to soar through the roof.

When it comes to training your legs and lower body, here are the five best exercises. All of these exercises require stability, use all major muscle groups, and will be much more fun and rewarding than slow, steady cardio training.

1. Squats- back squats, front squats, overhead squats, box squats, single leg squats

2. Lunges- multi directional lunges, walking lunges, bench lunges

3. Step Ups- lateral, forward, with dumbbells or barbells

4. Dead lifts- traditional barbell, sumo, dumbbell, single leg dead lifts

5. Glute/Ham Raises- glute ham bench or Nordic hamstrings with a partner

If you are working out on cardio machines or Nautilus circuit machines, you must change your workout plan. Incorporate multi-joint movements like the ones listed above and you are guaranteed to see changes in your lower body. Pick two of the five and perform anywhere from 3-5 sets depending on your training level. These movements will kick your butt into shape, literally, and will also burn a very high level of calories because of their complex nature.

Not only will you leave your training session feeling great, you will continue to burn those calories for up to 36 hours after the training session.

About the Author: Callie Durbrow is a personal training expert in Cambridge . She conducts small group personal training programs for busy individuals looking to lose fat, boost their energy levels, and look and feel amazing. For more fitness and training information please visit Cambridge Personal Training


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