Kevin Turner – Turner Strength & Performance
When many people hear the term strength training, they have images of extremely muscular and very low-fat bodybuilders or big hulking guys with handle bar mustaches lifting massive amounts of weight. While these people are strong, they represent different sports within the spectrum of strength training. I would like to begin with what strength is. Strength is by definition the quality or state of being physically strong. Training by definition is an organized system of instruction. You don’t have to strength train for the purpose of sport or to build bigger muscles to reap the health-related benefits of a regular strength training program.
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- Women can strength train without bulking.
Strength training shapes your body in a way that cardio alone cannot. The secret to a tighter, firmer body is to build a solid muscular base.
- Burn more calories.
An increase in lean body mass will boost your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories outside of the gym. (1)
- Improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Strength training has been shown to control joint swelling and pain, lubricate and strengthen the surrounding muscles to help manage arthritic pain. (2)
- Improves function, mood and sleep.
A strength training program has been shown to help relieve symptoms of depression and elevate mood. (3) (4)
- Reduction of age-related muscle loss known as sarcopenia.
After the age of 30, men lose 3-5% of muscle per decade and up to 30% of muscle mass in their lifetimes, meaning less mobility and greater weakness that can lead to injuries. (5)
- Increased strength and muscle mass will help prevent the risk of falls and fractures.
In a study of older people who were at a higher risk of falling, moderate intensity exercises improved stability and reduced falls by up to 40% in the control group. (6)
- High intensity resistance training can help influence multiple risk factors for osteoporosis including improved strength, balance and increased muscle mass.
Osteoporosis is estimated to contribute to more than 1.5 million fractures in the U.S annually in people 50 years old or older. Weight training is believed to provide the stimuli necessary for bone health maintenance and improvement. (7)
- Strength training along with weight loss results in greater fat loss than weight loss alone.
Aerobic training alone has been shown to decrease weight in fat and muscle compartments. By incorporating a combination of strength and aerobic training, an individual can retain or increase important lean muscle mass that will allow them to more efficiently achieve their desired body composition. (8)
Developing a training program with clear and reasonable goals will help ensure that you reach your desired outcome in the most productive manner. Strength training is more than a number of pounds that a person can lift, it is about creating healthy habits that will provide a better quality of life filled with happiness and independence for years to come.