I have been asked to describe strength training many times. Each time I am asked I provide a different answer. What is strength training? Why does it work? Why is it so good for us? Why do men strength train more than women? So many questions.
I tend to describe strength training in very simple terms. I believe that anything complex will simply lead to frustration. Who wants some long and technical speech about strength training? Not me. I like to keep things simple and sweet.
In order to describe strength training in simple terms I will need to make one statement. Strength training works. Period. That’s about as simple as it gets. To describe strength training any other way is to fluff the answer. Strength training works for fat loss, strength gains and disease prevention. I can describe strength training as a major benefit to your health.
But let me go a bit deeper for you. Let me answer some of the above questions. Strength training is any activity where your muscles are asked to perform at some level of overload. That means that anytime your muscles are required to pick up anything or push or pull or lift then you are performing strength training.
Strength training works because we make it a point to overload the muscles with enough force to produce measurable gains in strength and muscle. Lifting a one pound weight would not do us much justice. But lifting a 15 pound dumbbell would. So strength training is better when we overload the muscles with enough force to see measurable gains.
We can measure progress in many forms. From an increase in lean muscle mass to a decrease in body fat. We can also tell how far we have progressed by how our clothes fit or by how we feel. Men tend to strength train more than women because they can see results quicker. They have more testosterone and can increase lean muscle mass much quicker.
Women cannot build large amounts of lean muscle mass without trying really, really hard. So ladies- strength training is good for you too! It fights osteoporosis and increases bone density. This is just one of the many reasons I describe strength training as a secret weapon against fat loss.
Each pound of lean muscle will burn 35-50 calories per day. Each pound of fat will only burn 5 calories per day. Which would you prefer? The more lean, toned muscle we have- the more calories are burned. This means a greater chance of overall fat loss.
To describe strength training mechanics gets a bit tougher. To talk about bones and joints and tendons and planes… well it is beyond the scope if this page. Just know that strength training is an excellent way to over all health and conditioning. The next time someone asks YOU to describe strength training or asks you why you strength train- send them over to this site!