Strength training has become a fundamental part of most exercise programs.
In strength training, you use your body weight or equipment (i.e., dumbbells and resistance bands) to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance. Strengthening your muscles helps you perform everyday activities and protect your body from injury. Stronger muscles also lead to a boost in your metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn more calories even when your body is at rest. Strength training can also increase your bone density, which can help protect your bones from osteoporosis.
The main types of strength training include:
- Muscular hypertrophy: This type of strength training uses moderate-to-heavy weights to stimulate muscle growth.
- Muscular endurance: This refers to your muscles’ ability to sustain exercise for a period. Training to increase muscular endurance usually involves a high number of repetitions using light weights or body weight.
- Circuit training: This form of full-body conditioning involves cycling through various exercises with little to no rest between them.
- Maximum muscular strength: This type of exercise involves low reps (usually 2–6) and heavy weights to improve your overall strength. It’s best reserved for experienced exercisers who have mastered their form.
- Explosive Power: This training combines power and speed to improve your power output. It’s usually employed among trained athletes to improve their explosive movements.
Starting strength training may feel daunting, but perfecting your form first will ensure you can safely and effectively perform your movements and avoid injury. Once you have mastered the basics, you can add free weights, resistance bands, and machines into your routine. If you need help getting started, hiring a personal trainer can help you reach your goals. If your benefits provider offers a Lifestyle Savings Account, it is likely you can use those funds toward a gym membership and a trainer.