One of the more common misconceptions when it comes to getting into shape is that strength training is somehow going to be detrimental to your health and that you ought to steer clear of it all together.
The term “strength training” is just another term for resistance training, lifting weights, or weight training. It is not EVERYTHING in a fitness program, but it is very important for a complete and well-balanced approach.
An important point to instill here is that strength or resistance training can take on many forms: bands, your own body weight, dumbbells, kettle bells, barbells, sled pushing or dragging, etc.. The possibilities are endless.
Too much emphasis on only cardiovascular work is missing out on the benefits strength training brings: improved posture, boost in confidence, increased metabolism, and the “toned” look most people are striving for.
From our experience working with many men, women, and student-athletes in our community, there is usually some form of fear of the unknown, combined with the things they have heard in magazines, TV shows, or from a friend or family member who might be repeating a myth they once heard too, without any real experience or knowledge on the subject.
For one, we don’t blame people for being concerned. There is a ton of misinformation out there stating all sorts of things. No wonder people in general are very confused when it comes to fitness. One person says this, another article said that, well my mom’s friend’s sister’s brother said this! Yikes.
The truth about strength training is that it is completely safe and very beneficial for everyone to do, regardless of your goal or where your current level of fitness is.
The key is to start gradually and ease your way in to it, just like with anything else that you start out with. If it’s your first day in the gym we wouldn’t expect you to run 5 miles would we? Nor would we expect you to squat 300 pounds. You must crawl before you can walk, and you must walk before you can run.
Strength training has been proven over and over again to help decrease body fat while maintaining lean muscle mass, even while dieting to lose weight.
Finally, it is important to remember that as we age we begin to see faster losses in muscle tissue. When this happens quality of life begins to diminish and bone density also starts to decrease. One of the ways you can slow this process down is to utilize some form of resistance training a few times per week.
Remember, strength training isn’t the means to an end, but it is important to include in your weekly fitness routine.
If you need help, we invite you to reach out to us at CTS and see how we can be of service to you and your fitness goals.