Thursday, 1 September 2016

Eat & Move Series | September Goal

Eat & Move Series | September 2016 Goal | Building and Increasing Strength through Strength Training

Strength Training is a key component of overall health and fitness for everyone.  A major key in achieving success at any physical activity is increased strength, for both beginners and veterans alike.  I included Strength as a component of the Eat & Move Series because I know how important it is, especially as a female who may or may not be in her early thirties.  Strength isn't just for the men.  Strength isn't just the ability to power lift and squat 500 in the gym.  Each and everyone of us benefits when our bodies are strong.  While some of us may naturally be stronger than others, the majority of us require some training to get our bodies to a desired level of strength.

5 Benefits of Strength Training to Every Body

  • improves your ability to complete everyday activities - such as lifting groceries, pushing a lawn mower
  • decreases risk of injury - improves balance and stability by building strong, resilient muscles which are sturdier decreasing risk of falls and accidents
  • reduce risk of osteoporosis - by increasing bone density and preventing bone brittleness
  • reduce blood pressure - strengthens the heart increasing its efficiency
  • increased metabolism - burning more calories throughout the day, leading to better weight management and maintenance
  • builds muscle strength - prevents muscle loss and rebuilds what may have been lost with age
Specific Strength Training isn't mandatory to increase your strength.  By regularly undertaking a fitness regimen, such as running, yoga, cycling etc you can consistently increase your strength.  In the last 8 months I have noticed a change, increase in my own strength without explicitly strength training.  However, by focusing specifically on Increasing Strength you get a better understanding of how the body works and can identify and target areas that are weaker (which your body may be compensating for in other activities), develop them, improve how your muscles work together, and improve health.  Not to mention acquire the benefits mentioned above.

Strength Training Methods

There are many different programs from which you can choose for your Strength Training.  Regardless of your strength and fitness level, whether you prefer to work out at home or at the gym, alone or with a group. 
  • Body Weight - uses resistance of your own body weight with exercises such as push ups, lunges, squats
  • Free Weights - add more resistance to and increase variety in your exercises, they also add more exercises to your program using dumbbells, barbells, and weight bars
  • Weight Machines - are perfect for novices and regularly used by veterans as they assist in ensuring proper form (reducing risk of injury and strain), and precisely target muscle groups and areas
Faster results will be achieved with the assistance of weights, but don't rule out strength training if you don't have access to these.  Remember change doesn't happen overnight in any event, and it's sometimes so much more rewarding and arguably safer to see what your body can accomplish on its own.  The choice is yours.

I have had experience with all mentioned methods of strength training, for me personally there are advantages and disadvantages of each, and of course personal preferences, which may skew views on (dis)advantages.  The program I will undertake for this series will include a combination of all methods.  I am relying on my trusty NTC app to provide a 4 week program to help me achieve my goal of Increased Strength.  If you haven't yet, down the app its free, and add me so we can keep at this together - Username: Josie Jo
Results of Initial and Final Benchmark test provided by app

Bi-weekly benchmark tests

Increase in strength determined by ability to successfully complete workouts with a combination result of increased intensity, heavier weights, and shorter time, as determined by the app
As a female I don't fear strength training. I'll admit this wasn't always my perspective, but I trusted in my trainer and I am here to tell you to that the fear of bulging muscles and loss of boobs is unfounded.  You will never look like the ladies in competitions by following a regular strength training program, and without the use of unnatural supplements.  With a normal and natural diet, strength training only enhances your natural body type, giving you lean muscles, tone and definition right where you want it.


Ongoing Goals

April Mini Goal in Eat & Move Series 2016 by This Natural Thing
May Mini Goal in Eat & Move Series 2016 by This Natural Thing

What is your preferred Method of Strength Training?

~ Josie Jo ~


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