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What is Strength Training?

By Erika Peterson
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Strength training is an exercise, or set of exercises, that helps the different muscles in your body to become stronger and more powerful. When a person has stronger muscles, they will have additional strength and stamina for daily activities. If a person’s body muscles are strong it also means that the body is more likely to recover quickly from injuries, and it is sure to burn calories more efficiently and effectively.

As a method of exercise that increases the power, and sometimes the size, of a muscle or group of muscles, strength training is part of a balanced exercise routine. Along with cardiovascular exercises and flexibility methods, strength work is part of a complete exercise routine. A balanced exercise routine is a type of workout that is imperative for improving anyone’s and everyone’s health. It is also essential for creating a person’s ideal body and look. Without a balanced exercise routine, some parts of the body will be left out and not get the appropriate attention in order to stay healthy and strong.

One of the main things that strength training does is to build anaerobic endurance. This is accomplished through the use of resistance. Resistance is most often in the form of weights. The resistance is used against the contraction of the muscle. Using resistance to muscular contractions makes the muscle work harder that it usually does; thus building and increasing anaerobic endurance and strength.

Weight training is one of the most common forms of resistance strength training. One or more of the major muscle groups are used during strength exercises. The major muscle groups include the: gluteals, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip abductors and adductors, calfs, lower back, abdominals, pectoralis major, rhomboids and trapezius muscles. There are specific exercises that can be done to work different muscles. Some strength training exercises even work multiple muscle groups. It is best to work on a routine that is best for your body. A fitness professional or personal trainer can customize a strength workout to target specific muscle groups.

Strength exercises are completed in what are called sets and reps. A set is a group of successive repetitions. These are performed one after the other, and without resting. A rep, or repetition, is the name for the number of times that a movement or exercise is completed during strength training.

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Discussion Comments

By anon266092 — On May 04, 2012

What weights would I have to use if I train with weights for strength training, for getting stronger and faster without any added unnecessary muscle mass?

Would I have to use heavy weights, while doing lower sets, like advised by other sources/websites or light weights and more sets. I have been told that more sets stimulates muscle growth, which is what I don't want.

By cupcake15 — On Dec 04, 2010

Sometimes athletes like to do boxing strength training routines.

Boxing routines work the core strength training area with dumb bells, but they add the punching bag which also helps the core.

In addition, they do sets of cardio exercises in between their weight lifting and punching bag routines.

They will usually do sets of jump roping in between sets. This not only burns more calories but it gets the boxer in fighting shape.

By oasis11 — On Dec 03, 2010

I just want to say that fitness strength training requires following proper breathing techniques as well.

You should always exhale and never hold your breath. Strength training for women involves performing three sets of an exercise and varying the weight lifted between sets.

For example, if you using strength training equipment for the lower body instead of using dumb bells you can do one set at 30 pounds a second set a 40 pounds and the third set at 30 pounds again when using a leg press machine.

By cafe41 — On Nov 30, 2010

Strength training routines involve performing sets of upper and lower body workouts. Ideally there should be a break of a day between workouts.

When getting involved with strength training programs maintaining proper form is essential.

Weight lifting causes the most exercise injuries. If you lift weight that is too heavy or perform the exercise too quickly you will develop severe pain.

Strength training for women involves the use of dumb bells. These dumb bells should be between three to five pounds initially.

The movements should be slow and controlled. You should work the upper body one day and the lower body the next and alternate until you finish the week.

It is important to stand with your feet about a shoulder width apart and hold the count for up to four seconds when you perform an exercise.

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