Why You Should Be Strength Training!
If you’ve ever wondered why strength training is good for you then read on...
“I am too strong” – Said no one. Ever!
If you could take a pill that could benefit your heart and lungs, improve your balance, strengthen your bones, build muscle, help you lose weight (or body fat), make you look better, feel better, perform better, wouldn't you want to get start taking them immediately?
Well, studies show that strength training can provide all those benefits and more- so why wouldn’t you do it?
Some people won’t lift weights because they don’t want to get big and bulky- let me assure you, only too many calories each day will cause that. It takes a lot of time, dedication and consistent effort to get big and bulky.
Other people feel put off by lifting weights because they aren’t sure if they are doing it correctly. Ask your personal trainer or the gym instructor if they could show you how! It will maximise your results and help you prevent injury from poor form. The benefits of weight training far out-weight the risks!
Some people are put off weights because they don’t want to look weak in front of other weight lifters. Well, we all have to start somewhere… they did too.
* * *
If you are taking part in a sport, be it, Football, Rugby, Cricket, Netball, Hockey, Golf, Running, Athletics, Boxing, Martial Arts and many more- you WILL benefit from Strength Training!
Here are 5 of the key benefits of Strength Training for Sports Performance:
Helps to Minimise Injury Risk
Strength training improves the strength and resilience of the muscles, tendons, and even the ligaments and bones. The stronger muscles and tendons help hold the body in proper alignment and protect the bones and joints when moving or under impact. The bones become stronger due to the overload placed on them during training and the ligaments become more flexible and better at absorbing the shock applied to them during dynamic movements.
It can be a problem when a structure that is weak (whether a muscle, ligament, joint, or specific bone) is called into play suddenly during an activity. That area cannot handle the sudden stress placed on it and an injury occurs. Strength training, using a balanced program, will eliminate these weak areas prepare the body for the demands placed upon it.
Helps to Correct and Control Muscle Imbalances
Muscle imbalances are one of the most common causes of injuries in athletics. When one muscle, or muscle group, becomes stronger than its opposing group, the weaker muscles become fatigued quicker and more susceptible to injury. A forceful contraction, near maximal output from the stronger muscle can also cause damage to the weaker opposing muscle due to the inability to counter the force.
Muscle imbalances also affect the joints and bones due to an abnormal pull causing the joint to move in an unnatural pattern. The stronger muscles will cause the joint to pull in that direction causing a stretching of the opposing ligaments and a tightening of the supporting ones. These can lead to chronic pain and an unnatural wearing of the bones. A balanced strength training program will help to counter these effects by strengthening the weaker muscles to balance them with their counterparts.
Helps to Enhance Speed, Agility & Quickness
Speed, Agility & Quickness are essential components to sports performance and athleticism. All of which require you to produce directed “force”. Without adequate strength training you will be unable to produce sufficient force, or be unable to control it effectively.
The stronger you are, the more force you can produce.
The more force you can produce the more speed you will be able to generate.
Helps to Enhance Your Energy Systems
Playing sport requires fitness. Fitness requires you to train your energy systems (of which there are 3).
ATP/CP (Creatine Phosphate) System- Explosive Movements & Maximum Effort
100m Sprint, Long & High Jump, Olympic Lifting etc
Anaerobic Lactic Acid System- High Intensity & Small Recovery
Most ball sports such as Football, Rugby, Netball, Basketball, Hockey etc
Aerobic System- Low Intensity & Continuous
Endurance based sports such as Running, Rowing, Cycling, Triathlons etc
Weight training variables can be manipulated to train and improve any of these three systems depending on the demands of your sport.
Muscle Hypertrophy and Body Composition
Building muscle is important for many sports. Not all of them but most- especially contact sports.
Controlling body weight and composition is also important. For example, a Rugby player with very little muscle wouldn’t fair too well on the pitch. An overweight endurance runner would struggle to perform their best.
* * *
If you no longer play sport, you should still take part in Strength Training- it is absolutely essential to your health and longevity!
Here are 5 of the key benefits of Strength Training on Quality of Life:
It Helps to Boost Your Metabolism
Strength training results in tiny injuries to the muscle fibres- this is why you sometimes may experience DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness). The body has to “fix” the muscles and recover. This process is called re-modelling and requires quite a bit of energy to be carried out.
Regularly-performed resistance training will increase Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) by 5-10% for re-modelling purposes. Traditional “cardio” doesn’t do this- but lifting weights does. Simply put, your body will continue burning an increased number of calories for up to 24 hours after you have finished your training session. Not only this, but as you build more muscle- you burn more calories.
Reduces the Effect of Aging
Physical activity, especially as we age results in a steady decline (de-conditioning). Age related weakness, flexibility and muscle loss can be slowed down and minimised through strength training. So, the sooner you start- the better.
It can also prevent fat infiltration of the muscles which becomes increasingly more common as we age, which is associated with metabolic and mobility impairments.
Helps Prevent Lifestyle Diseases
Physical inactivity, poor dietary habits, and age-related decline can all cause poor health.
The health benefits of strength training can prevent and reverse most co-morbidities (lifestyle diseases) such as:
Type 2 Diabetes
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Heart Disease / Cardiovascular Disease
Improves Mental Health
Lifting weights will help to improve your physique by building lean tissues and reducing body fat. This will improve your self-perception of body image and your self-esteem. A release of endorphins (the feel-good hormone) will also give you a good natural buzz and make you feel good about yourself.
Strength training is also known to significantly reduce depression and anxiety and enhance self-confidence.
Enhances Bone Mineral Density
Strength training helps to improve your bone health- specifically increasing your bone density. As you age you could start to develop osteoporosis and have weak bones- leading you more prone to breaks and fractures.
* * *
Not all strength training is the same. There are many variables such as the amount of weight, repetitions, sets, movements, rest periods, tempo etc
Depending on how these are programmed, this will determine the outcome. So, you need to think about what your goal of strength training is.
The below image provides a brief summary:
* * *
Foundations of Strength Training Sessions
If you are curious about strength training and want to know more, or want to start giving it a try with the proper professional guidance then let us know!
If you want to get stronger, fitter, healthier- then now is the time.
We are running 1-2-1 foundation of weight lifting sessions that will take you through all of the basics to start your weight lifting journey.
Learn how to lift- properly, effectively and safely and achieve your goals.
Just £35 a session!
* * *
Injury Prevention & Sports Performance Programme
If you take part in sport and want to prevent injury, get fitter, leaner, stronger, faster, more agile and athletic- then we also have the perfect programmes for this.
Don’t lose game time due to injury and/or poor fitness.
Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail.
A full functional assessment
A 12-week strength and conditioning programme specific to the demands of your sport and specific to your muscle imbalances is just what you need!
If you need any further information simply email email@example.com
Danny Baker MSc BSc (Hons) GSR
Peak Performance Therapy Ltd