Strength training. It is part of our name here at Recalibrated Strength & Conditioning. You can simply define strength training by the action of practicing strength in an attempt to increase overall strength. We do this by lifting heavy weights then lifting a slightly heavier weight next week which allows us to progress overtime and eventually we can look back at how far our journey has taken us. The benefits do not stop at increasing weight on a barbell, strength training also builds muscle, reduces risk of injury, increases quality of life and helps you look better naked. Building muscle causes our metabolism to increase, this happens because it is very “expensive” for our body to maintain that muscle mass. We also will start to feel better in our everyday lives because we will be strengthening muscles that may not get used often and when muscles go idle for a long time they tend to tighten up and become very weak causing tasks that may have once been easy to become more difficult and sometimes even painful. Sound familiar? So with benefits like this, why isn’t everyone doing it?
The answer may be due to people simply overcomplicating things. All over social media posts go viral of people in supposedly great shape performing awful exercises that do nothing more than ask for injuries. Box jumping with their squat max on their back, power cleaning onto two boxes in a split-like position and plenty more that I have seen. Please be aware this is not what strength training looks like. The truth is we have known what truly works for some time now: progressing on key compound lifts. Compound lifts are those involving squatting, deadlifting, upper body pressing (think bench press and shoulder press) and pulling (think of rowing and pull-ups). I am sure you have heard of K.I.S.S, and no I am not talking about the great rock band KISS, but the acronym meaning “Keep it simple stupid.” This is the perfect way to describe properly executed strength training. We do our key compound movements and each week we try to progress a little bit at a time. Maybe we add 5 pounds, maybe we do a few extra reps, or maybe we do a variation of a key lift. The variations are limitless; for instance instead of using the barbell we use dumbbells, a front squat instead of a back squat, etc. These progressions are very easy to keep track of and week to week it may not seem like much, but looking back at your number from months or even years ago can be a great reminder of how far you have come. Compound movements also give you the most bang for your buck since they work multiple muscle groups at a time, this drastically cuts down on the time you need to be in the gym, which is why our workouts here are less than one hour long. It almost sounds too good to be true. Strength training does not have to be complex in order to be effective.
Sticking to the basics will build the athleticism you need to maintain a healthy and happy body. Besides having more muscular definition, you will not be able to relate to those who rant about their lingering aches and pains since you took the time to strengthen those muscles, so applaud yourself and keep working hard. And if you have not started yet, the best time to start is now. If you are tired of being intimidated by strength training, click the link below to schedule a free consultation with one of our coaches.