Strength Training and Muscle Gain

Strength training is an important piece of the fitness equation.  Men and women should participate in muscle-strengthening activities that work the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms) at least two times each week. 


Examples of strength training include lifting weights, using resistance bands and doing push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups.  Even everyday activities such as carrying groceries, playing with your kids and gardening can strengthen muscles.


Strength training promotes getting strong and lean while spurring fat loss and staving off the effects of aging.  Regardless of whether you call it strength, resistance, or weight training, anybody can benefit from gaining muscle.  


A strong core and limbs can help you avoid falling or make lugging groceries up the stairs easier.  Then there’s the added bonus of a leaner composition and weight loss if that’s your goal.

Strength training goes a long way in terms of supporting bone health, making your aerobic exercise more productive, preventing injury, and facilitating healthy aging.  If you knew that a certain type of exercise could benefit your heart, improve your balance, strengthen your bones, and help you lose weight all while making you look and feel better, wouldn't you want to get started?

Well, studies show that strength training can provide all those benefits and more.



Strength training — also known as weight or resistance training — is physical activity designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a specific muscle or muscle group against external resistance, including free-weights, weight machines, or your own body weight.


The basic principle is to apply a load and overload the muscle so it needs to adapt and get stronger.  And what’s important for everyone to know is that strength training is not just about bodybuilders lifting weights in a gym.  Regular strength or resistance training also helps prevent the natural loss of lean muscle mass that comes with aging.


Strength training is an important part of your overall fitness and benefits people of all ages, particularly those with health issues such as obesity, arthritis, or a heart condition. Strength boost benefits:


  • improves balance


  • enhances posture


  • increases coordination


  • prevents injury


  • protects bone health


  • eases pain


  • reduces fat


  • prevents weight gain


  • slows age-related muscle loss


Strength exercise, or resistance training, works your muscles by using resistance, like a dumbbell or your own body weight.  This type of exercise increases lean muscle mass, which is particularly important for weight loss because lean muscle burns more calories than other types of tissue. 


When people drop pounds, they can also lose muscle, so it's important to do resistance training to keep that muscle mass.


Muscle is harder to build and maintain as we age.  In fact, most of us start losing muscle around age 30, with a 3- to 8-percent reduction in lean muscle mass every decade thereafter.  


This is due to lower testosterone levels in men and lower estrogen levels in women — both hormones that help build muscle — as well as changes in nerve and blood cells and the body not converting amino acids to muscle tissue as efficiently, among other factors. 


But muscle loss doesn't have to be inevitable:  For adult men and women, regular resistance training exercises are key to building and keeping muscle. 


Having strong muscles can make it easier to do everyday activities, like gardening or taking your suitcase out of an overhead bin on an airplane.


Thankfully, gaining muscle isn't that difficult, you just need to know how to go about it in the right manner.  There are a few basic principles that, when used in conjunction with one another, almost certainly lead to the growth of significant new muscle.


How can you avoid injury when doing strength training?


  • Weight training offers important health benefits when done properly.  But it can lead to injuries, such as sprains, strains, and fractures if it's not done correctly. You may need to work with a professional trainer to make sure you use the correct technique.


  • If you're just starting out, you should use a light weight that you can lift or push at least eight times, then, gradually add more weight, and then work on lifting this heavier weight until it again becomes comfortable.


  • Warm up. Cold muscles are more prone to injury than are warm muscles. Try brisk walking or other aerobic activity for five or 10 minutes before lifting weights.


  • Start slowly. If you're a beginner, you may find that you're able to lift only a few pounds. That's OK.  Once your muscles, tendons, and ligaments get used to weight training exercises, you may be surprised at how quickly you progress. Once you can easily do 12 to 15 repetitions or more with a particular weight, gradually increase the weight.


  • Take time to rest. To give your muscles time to recover; rest one full day between exercising each specific muscle group. Take care not to overwork tired muscles: training the same body parts too frequently can significantly impair your recovery and perhaps even lead to overtraining syndrome. 


You must be responsive to your body’s cries for rest when you first begin weight training, as this is when you will be at your most vulnerable. The golden rule is never to train an aching muscle.


Reap The Rewards Of Strength Training and Muscle Gain


As your muscle mass increases, you'll be able to lift weights more easily and for longer periods of time. You'll also help to maintain your bone density, better manage your weight and improve your body's metabolism. 


If you have any health issues, ask your doctor what type of strength training is best to meet your needs and abilities. You can also work with a fitness expert to design a strength-training program that will be safe and effective for you.


Who doesn't want to look better, feel better, and live a longer, healthier life?  So what are you waiting for? Get started now with a complete workout program that includes strength training.


Before getting started, consider doing your own research or schedule a session with a personal trainer who can teach you moves that make sense for you.


To schedule a complimentary session, call me at 951-206-7410 to chat or schedule here.

Tags: Strength Training and Muscle Gain, lifting weights, resistance training, senior and elderly training, healthy

Strength Training and Muscle Gain

Strength Training and Muscle Gain - Muscle-Building Basics

You already own one of the best pieces of equipment for building muscle: your beautiful body. And you don’t have to follow a rigid routine to glean the lean-inducing returns.  You can choose the types of movements or fitness styles you enjoy and incorporate strength training into your lifestyle.


A recent study shows that training with lighter loads and more repetitions is just as effective at building muscle as training with heavy weights and fewer reps.  Just do the exercise until your muscles demand a break. Strive for three sets, adding to your number of reps as you get stronger. 


Repeating a movement to fatigue is a great way to gain strength, but muscle contraction of any kind will produce powerful results, says one small study.


To get the benefits from the exercise, you need to work the muscles to the point where it's difficult for you to do another repetition, according to the CDC.  But you shouldn't exercise the same muscle group two days in a row, because your muscles need time to recover. 

Strength Training and Muscle Gain - Avoiding Injury