Strength Training Should Be At The Heart Of Fitness Plans
Home is a great place to do this stuff. Equipment is more space-efficient than ever. You can get more done, more often, and do it properly. Fit better with your own plans. More flexibility. So, get better results. And no contracts, queues, distractions, waiting for equipment, annoying music, travel time - and wasted time.
Not just strength, but weight loss, leanness, and cardio fitness
No longer regarded as a sweat-drenched activity just for testosterone-laden males, strength training can give you the best of everything in strength and fitness and associated health gains. It offers cardio benefits and fat loss on top of strength gains. You simply do higher numbers of repetitions and take shorter breaks. And it's much less boring than a treadmill, exercycle or cross trainer. Better still, your body doesn't adapt to the exercise, and sabotage your fat-burning effort the way it does with steady-state cardio. How? Because strength-training, with its highly varied intensities, isn't steady-state! Your body doesn't get a chance to figure out the adaptation. So you get lean strength.
Or, if you want greater mass, slow up, do heavier weights, fewer repetitions, take longer rests. (If you want to gain mass, it helps to be male and have the right genes. Women only get big if they take steroids. Otherwise they just get to be a sleeker version of what they naturally are; as do most men. And if you're still worried about getting big....you can stop! Nothing happens overnight)
And when you build strength, you build a bigger calorie burning capacity, even at rest. So you get the best of everything - power, sleekness, vitality, variety, greater cardio strength, and push a lot of health risks nearer the door. In fact, you can strength train and increase your VO2 Max - your ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles...the essential cardio (aerobic - oxygen transporting) action.
Strength training done a certain way improves your body's ability to draw glucose from your bloodstream. After all, by creating stronger, denser muscles, and training them to respond better the resistance, you improve your capacity to transport oxygen in the first place. Keeping your heart rate at an elevated level, and following a high-reps, short-rests plan, provides excellent aerobic action. And if you want, add in intervals of fewer-reps, bigger weights action, and you get anaerobic gains - the ability to draw on energy stored in the muscles, rather than oxygen transported through aerobic exercise.
An occasional brisk walk, a run, swimming, cycling...are all great. But they aren't as complete a solution as well-planned strength-training, which you can accomplish more efficiently. (There are other aspects of fitness to consider - amongst them power and speed of movement, and agility and balance - much of which can be achieved efficiently in a strength training context. Of course, it almost goes without saying that to get good at any particular sport it generally pays to do a lot of training in that sport as well!)
A platform to be added to
Strength training the way we recommend it is a platform you can add to and modify for specific interests and sports and variety. There is no perfect exercise plan, for every person, all the time – but this gives you a great basis to start with.
And this is sound strategy. There’s nothing faddish. You don’t have to travel a long way to pay expensive fees (subs) for doubtfully-effective ideas.
What’s this got to do with Fitness and Leisure?
We looked for and found equipment that emphasises compound exercises – exercises that use entire groups of muscles, and which reflect natural everyday movement. They fire up the strongest brain-muscle connections, and encourage the best increases in strength, which in turn bring other benefits, like getting things done with more ease and vitality, speed, control, and faster natural calorie burn and improved health, physical and mental. Certainly, our products offer the other type – isolation exercises – but in their place as add-ons, therapies, finishing touches. (That's all some equipment seems to do)
And we found the best brands from long-standing companies who've done this sort of design for a long time in the biggest market. Check their reputation independently through Google, and at the biggest strength training forums, like Bodybuilding.com.
Strength training, done the way we suggest, offers a simple and practical way to cover the key aspects of a plan for strength and general fitness, and associated health gains. We offer you guidance. See FitnessandLeisure/Strength01
Doing it at home is the best way to do it, if you have the space. And if you’re not interested in group-based competitive approaches to health and fitness, and fuss and pressure of planning and travel.