What if I told you I had the secret weapon that would help you achieve your health and fitness goals faster? How valuable would this information be? Would any of you be surprised if this was the opposite of what you thought worked best?
Well, I’m here to tell you that strength training is the secret weapon.
Want to lose body fat? Strength training is the foundation of any successful fat loss program and can transform your body more effectively than aerobic training or high-intensity interval training. A proper strength program helps build lean muscle (fat is burned in the muscle). More muscle means a greater ability to burn fat while giving your body the shape and firmness you are looking for.
Want to improve your endurance capacity for running, cycling, rowing, etc.? Strength training is the foundation for improving your endurance capacity and helps combat the overuse injuries that come with cyclic sports such as running and cycling.
Want to build muscle and increase bone density? Strength training is the key component for stimulating muscle growth and creating the minimal essential strain that is required to cause the bone to adapt and become denser.
Want to become more powerful in order to hit a golf ball, tennis ball or baseball harder? The ability to produce force and display explosiveness is all built on a foundation of strength. Without enough strength, your capacity for force production will be greatly limited.
While doing endless cardio sessions on your bike, running miles at a time or taking every metabolic conditioning / boot camp class you can find might seem like the right thing to do since they can all make you feel tired and like you’ve had a good workout. But have you had an EFFECTIVE workout?? The results you are looking for are all due to the adaptations that are caused by a properly designed strength training program.
All other forms of training are fine, but they should not make up the bulk of your workout routine when trying to lose body fat, build muscle or change how your body moves and performs. It depends on how much time per week you can commit to fitness. Use what’s most effective, and for fat loss (outside of nutrition) strength training is the most efficient and effective activity.
If you’re trying to improve performance and compete in a sport, the frequency of your strength training should be cycled depending on the time of the year.
If it’s the offseason, sports practice should be lessened (and at some point even eliminated to allow for recovery) and strength training should be increased. As the competitive season comes and your sports activities are increased, strength training should be decreased to a maintenance level in order to allow you to keep as much of the strength and muscle gains you made during your offseason.
Now you know. Let’s do it.