Why Should You Strength Train & 5 Rules to Start
My response is, “why are you not strength training?” But that doesn’t really get anybody anywhere.
How about a list of the things we usually hear which people ACTUALLY care about:
- Improve the strength of your bones, your tendons, and your ligaments
- Improve your body’s durability
- Strengthen your core
- Improved posture because who wants to walk around with rounded shoulders all the time?
- Improving your bio-markers including cholesterol and blood glucose [sugar]
- Fitting better into clothes
- Improved mood
- Improved energy levels
- An improved means of fighting chronic disease
- Being self-sufficient and not NEEDING anybody else’s help with most physical demands
And if these items are not enough, what about the liberating feeling of simply feeling strong? In CrossFit we are in the business of making strong, self-sufficient, men and women. Part of this is you taking ownership of your health and fitness.
So… Where Do I Start?
It can certainly be intimidating to start strength training. Matter of fact, new gym goers will usually to the cardio equipment and then jump from machine to machine without real direction.
Let’s go through 5 simple rules to follow to make it easier to start:
- You don’t ACTUALLY have to lift any weights to perform a strength training exercise
- In fact, we teach our clients how to move their own bodies before we begin to attack heavy weights. It’s an important prerequisite and one which will make you safer in the long run. Bodyweight squats, box pushups, and inverted rows. Oh my!
- Three (3) days per week is a great starting point
- Depending on your goals you could always do more or less but three (3) days per week is a great starting point
- When you’re first starting out, don’t go with isolation-type exercises
- Think squats and not leg extensions. Standing pullups instead of bicep curls. You will yield way more benefit with the global movements than the isolation movements
- Sticking with a routine for the first month or so is important
- Just like learning a new skillset, it’s important to build to spend lots of reps and sets making these new movements second nature. When you add weights, you will be glad you did
- Take rest when necessary. This is two-fold:
- First, your strength training workout does not need to be constant movement from start to finish like a circuit class might. Make sure you rest between sets of an exercise
- Second, when you first start strength training, you need to take some rest days. In a 3 days per week schedule, rest a day or two between workout days
- BONUS RULE:
- When it comes to performing strength movements and doing them safely, nothing beats guidance and instruction from a qualified professional. We are, after all, talking about your body. You only get one of them.
There are less and less reasons why you shouldn’t be strength training and frankly, we’ll be here when you’re ready for it!
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