Strength training is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles. There are many different methods of strength training, the most common being the use of gravity or elastic/hydraulic forces to oppose muscle contraction. See the resistance training article for information about elastic/hydraulic training, but note that the terms "strength training" and "resistance training" are often used interchangeably. .
When properly performed, strength training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being including increased bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength and toughness, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury, improved cardiac function and elevated good cholesterol. Training commonly uses the technique of progressively increasing the force output of the muscle through incremental increases of weight, elastic tension or other resistance, and uses a variety of exercises and types of equipment to target specific muscle groups. Strength training is primarily an anaerobic activity, although some proponents have adapted it to provide the benefits of aerobic exercise through circuit training.
Strength training differs from bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting and strongman, which are sports rather than forms of exercise. However, participants in these and many other sports often use strength training as part of their training regimen.
Bodybuilding and Resistance Weight lifting Training Tips
Basic principles Edit
The basic principles of strength training involve a manipulation of the number of repetitions (reps), sets, tempo, exercises and force to cause desired changes in strength, endurance, size or shape by overloading of a group of muscles. The specific combinations of reps, sets, exercises, resistance and force depend on the purpose of the individual performing the exercise: sets with fewer reps can be performed using more force, but have a reduced impact on endurance.
Strength training also requires the use of 'good form', performing the movements with the appropriate muscle group(s), and not transferring the weight to different body parts in order to move greater weight/resistance (called 'cheating'). Failure to use good form during a training set can result in injury or an inability to meet training goals - since the desired muscle group is not challenged sufficiently, the threshold of overload is never reached and the muscle does not gain in strength.
The benefits of strength training include increased muscle, tendon and ligament strength, bone density, flexibility, tone, metabolic rate and postural support.
Commitment and Effort
Good news, you can develop a great body that is athletic and functional with our training tips. What do I mean by functional? Let’s start with an outline of several common training methods.
The goal of bodybuilding is intensive muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy is an increase in the size of muscle cells. However, your body may or may not be functional for your objectives. Most bodybuilders make poor dancers. Most bodybuilders make poor basketball players – except centers. You get the point. Don’t waste your time perusing a body type that is not consistent with your goals.
Most of us can increase our strength and not compromise our goals. You can increase your relative body strength and be a basketball player. You can develop a strong functional and healthy body with “strength training” as your goal. But, can this objective or goal be refined? Absolutely, and most assuredly recommended!
If you just want to look good, focus on general health and fitness. Be realistic. Most of us just want to look good and be strong. If this is you, your goal might be to “develop a strong and ripped body”. Sounds good and is good! In addition, this body type is functional. You will be able to do most activities and sports with greater success than the vast majority of people.
Functional training attempts to adapt or develop exercises, which allow individuals to perform the activities of daily life more easily and without injuries. I’d also add that functional training for sports targets improving all physiological aspects of the sport. A functional exercise program should include a number of different elements, which should be adapted to an individuals needs or goals:
Based upon common and everyday activities.
Based upon common and everyday activities.
The program must be specific to the goals of an individual.
Integrated Training – Training should include a variety of exercises that work on flexibility, balance, strength and power.
Steadily increasing the difficulty or resistance of the exercise.
Periodized Schedule – Distributed practice and variation of exercises with a specific time line to achieve a goal.
Exercise performed in a way that closely approximates the objective. For example, functional training for a golf swing should use all or most of the muscles incorporated in the swing, and ideally incorporate the golf swing itself.
Intensity: Being able to put forth a concentrated effort and work to Complete Failure so as to generate enough muscle stimulus for growth to occur.
Intensity is very important for every workout you do, it is important to push yourself to failure with each set, because this will release more hormones which in turn builds more muscle.
Warm up for 10 to 15 minutes on the treadmill, stairmaster, etc. Heading straight for the weights without warming up is a good way to get injured, ESPECIALLY in cold climates. If your main goal is strength development then only go hard enough to break a light sweat. If your main goal is to build strength and endurance then go as hard as you can.
Exercise selection: push something off your body (e.g. bench press), pull something towards your body (e.g. pull-ups), bend your arms (e.g. dumbbell curls), straighten your arms (e.g. dips), push something away with your legs (e.g. squat), bend your legs (e.g. hamstring curl), work your calves (e.g. calf raises), bend your body forward (crunches), bend your body backwards (e.g. hyperextensions). You DON”T need to do three different exercises for your biceps when starting out.
Do at least one ‘warmup’ set for each exercise, followed by two to three ‘working’ sets.
Do your heaviest, hardest exercises early in the workout. Do squats before leg curls, do pull-ups before bicep curls.
The squat is one of the most important exercises for overall strength development, but make sure that your form is good. Don’t let the knees wobble, don’t let the ass come up before the head, make sure that you can go down with your knees somewhere between 90 degrees bent and thighs parallel (even if you have to go lighter).
Work with 8 to 12 repetitions per set. Stay at a given weight until you can do more than 12 repetitions, then increase the weight so that you can do only 8. Now stay at this weight until you can do 12 repetitions with it.
Unless you are injured use free weights instead of machines. You won’t be able to use as much weight in a free squat as you will using a smith machine or leg press machine, but you will build functional strength faster.
Stay well hydrated before, during and after your workout by drinking water or sports drinks to avoid cramping and muscle tears.
Eat a small snack containing some carbs before you go workout to keep your energy levels up.
Make sure you eat some carbs and protein within an hour of finishing your workout – this will help you recover faster.
Limit your workouts to one hour or less – workouts longer than one hour tend to break you down rather than build you up.
Lifting weights once a week is good for maintaining strength; lift two or three times a week to make advances.
Be wary of the training routines in the bodybuilding magazines. They reflect the workouts of bodybuilders who are soaked in steroids and have been lifting for decades. They do not apply to the beginning weightlifter.
Be wary of supplement advice you receive from the bodybuilding magazines and supplement stores. These businesses exist to sell gullible people the latest, greatest supplement. Protein powder works. Creatine works. Not much else works.
To get strong you have to train hard, but also eat well and rest well. If you neglect one of these aspects you will either stall in your training or get injured.
Weightlifting does not mean becoming inflexible – you will maintain your flexibility if you continue to stretch.
Expect rapid strength gains initially. Most people will become up to 40% stronger initially as their nervous system adapts to the stress of lifting. After this your progress will slow down a bit and most strength gains will result from actual growth of muscle.
If you strain the same muscle or body part day after day it will get weaker, not stronger, and eventually get injured. Don’t work a body part until it is no longer sore from your last workout.
If you are new to lifting weights stick with slow, controlled movements. Plyometrics, Olympic lifts and other rapid movements are appropriate only once your strength base is established.
Strength training has a variety of specialized terms used to describe parameters of strength training:
Exercise - different exercises involve moving joints in specific patterns to challenge muscles in different ways
Form - each exercise has a specific form, a topography of movement designed to maximize safety and muscle strength gains
Rep - short for repetition, a rep is a single cycle of lifting and lowering a weight in a controlled manner, moving through the form of the exercise
Set - a set consists of several repetitions performed one after another with no break between them with the number of reps per set and sets per exercise depending on the goal of the individual. The number of repetitions one can perform at a certain weight is called the Rep Maximum(RM). For example, if one could perform 10 reps at 75 lbs, then their RM for that weight would be 10RM.
Tempo - the speed with which an exercise is performed; the tempo of a movement has implications for the weight that can be moved and the effects on the muscle
Types of strength training Edit
Weight training Edit
Main article: Weight training
Weight and resistance training are popular methods of strength training which use gravity (through weight stacks, plates or dumbbells) or elastic/hydraulic resistance respectively to oppose muscle contraction. Each method provides a different challenge to the muscle relating to the position where the resistance to muscle contraction peaks. Weight training provides the majority of the resistance at the initiating joint angle when the movement begins, when the muscle must overcome the inertia of the weight's mass (however, if repetitions are performed extremely slowly, inertia is never overcome and resistance remains constant). In contrast, elastic resistance provides the greatest opposition to contraction at the end of the movement when the material experiences the greatest tension while hydraulic resistance varies depending on the speed of the submerged limb, with greater resistance at higher speeds. In addition to the equipment used, joint angles can alter the force output of the muscles due to leverage and the relative overlap of actin and myosin contractile proteins.
Resistance training Edit
Main article: Resistance training
Resistance training is a form of strength training in which each effort is performed against a specific opposing force generated by resistance (i.e. resistance to being pushed, squeezed, stretched or bent). Exercises are isotonic if a body part is moving against the force. Exercises are isometric if a body part is holding still against the force. Resistance exercise is used to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles. Properly performed, resistance training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being.
The goal of resistance training, according to the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), is to "gradually and progressively overload the musculoskeletal system so it gets stronger." Research shows that regular resistance training will strengthen and tone muscles and increase bone mass.
Isometric training Edit
Main article: Isometric exercise
Isometric exercise, or "isometrics", is a type of strength training in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. Isometric exercises are opposed by a force equal to the force output of the muscle and there is no net movement. This mainly strengthens the muscle at the specific joint angle at which the isometric exercise occurs, with some increases in strength at joint angles up to 20° in either direction depending on the joint trained. In comparison, isotonic exercises strengthen the muscle throughout the entire range of motion of the exercise used.
Realization of training goals Edit
According to popular theory:
Sets of one to five repetitions primarily develop strength, with less impact on muscle size and none on endurance.
Sets of six to twelve repetitions develop a balance of strength, muscle size and endurance.
Sets of thirteen to twenty repetitions develop endurance, with some increases to muscle size and limited impact on strength.
Sets of more than twenty repetitions are considered to be focused on aerobic exercise. They do still use the anaerobic system, but usually at a rate through which it can consistently remove the lactic acid generated from it.
Individuals typically perform one to six sets per exercise, and one to three exercises per muscle group, with short breaks between each set - the specific combinations of reps, exercises, sets and break duration depends on the goals of the individual program. The duration of these breaks determines which energy system the body utilizes. Performing a series of exercises with little or no rest between them, referred to as "circuit training", will draw energy mostly from the aerobic energy system. Brief bursts of exercise, separated by breaks, are fueled by anaerobic systems, which use either phosphagens or glycolysis.
For developing endurance, gradual increases in volume and gradual decreases in intensity is the most effective program.
It has been shown that for beginners, multiple-set training offers minimal benefits over single-set training with respect to either strength gain or muscle mass increase, but for the experienced athlete multiple-set systems are required for optimal progress.However, one study shows that for leg muscles, three sets are more effective than one set.
Beginning weight-trainers are in the process of training the neurological aspects of strength, the ability of the brain to generate a rate of neuronal action potentials that will produce a muscular contraction that is close to the maximum of the muscle's potential.
Progressive overload Edit
In one common method, weight training uses the principle of progressive overload, in which the muscles are overloaded by attempting to lift at least as much weight as they are capable of. They respond by growing larger and stronger. This procedure is repeated with progressively heavier weights as the practitioner gains strength and endurance.
However, performing exercises at the absolute limit of one's strength (known as one rep max lifts) is considered too risky for all but the most experienced practitioners. Moreover, most individuals wish to develop a combination of strength, endurance and muscle size. One repetition sets are not well suited to these aims. Practitioners therefore lift lighter (sub-maximal) weights, with more repetitions, to fatigue the muscle and all fibres within that muscle as required by the progressive overload principle.
Commonly, each exercise is continued to the point of momentary muscular failure. Contrary to widespread belief, this is not the point at which the individual thinks they cannot complete any more repetitions, but rather the first repetition that fails due to inadequate muscular strength. Training to failure is a controversial topic with some advocating training to failure on all sets while others believe that this will lead to overtraining, and suggest training to failure only on the last set of an exercise. Some practitioners recommend finishing a set of repetitions just before the point of failure; e.g. if you can do a maximum of 12 reps with a given weight, only perform 11. Adrenaline and other hormones may promote additional intensity by stimulating the body to lift additional weight (as well as the neuro-muscular stimulations that happen when in “fight-or-flight” mode, as the body activates more muscle fibres), so getting "psyched up" before a workout can increase the maximum weight lifted.
Weight training can be a very effective form of strength training because exercises can be chosen, and weights precisely adjusted, to safely exhaust each individual muscle group after the specific numbers of sets and repetitions that have been found to be the most effective for the individual. Other strength training exercises lack the flexibility and precision that weights offer.
There are many theories as to why weight training creates muscle growth. All muscle contractions are traumatic, this is mediated by the protein dystrophin. The function of weight training is to stimulate hypertrophy. Repeated training increases production of dystrophin and increases the rate of lactic acid metabolism. Weight training programs should therefore allow the muscles time to repair and grow, otherwise overtraining can occur. Therefore the individual should exercise caution in increasing the level of exertion. Muscle growth is normally completed within 36 to 96 hours, depending upon the intensity of the workout.Novices may work out every other day, often scheduling workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As weight trainers grow fitter and stronger, it takes more intense workouts to fully challenge their muscles. More advanced practitioners may exercise specific muscle groups only every three or four days - since they are capable of producing maximum force output from the muscle, their workouts have the potential to damage the muscle to a much greater extent and require longer periods to repair and replete to a greater strength. Recovery must also take longer because high level forces produced by proficient weight trainers cause far more damage to the ligaments, tendons and bones involved; because many of these tissues are not heavily vascularized, it takes longer for them to repair than blood-rich muscles. Depending on the workout regimen, the limiting factor may not be muscular damage or energy levels, but may instead be the ability of the body to repair the supporting tissues around joints and bones.
One solution to scheduling workouts around these needs is to split one's routine between several workouts, by exercising certain muscle groups on one day and the remainder on another. By targeting different muscle groups, workouts can be scheduled more frequently than would otherwise be possible.
Intensity, volume, and frequency Edit
Three important variables of strength training are intensity, volume and frequency. Intensity refers to the amount of force required to achieve the activity, and in this case, refers to the mass of the weights being lifted (lifting 20 kg requires more force or intensity than lifting 10 kg regardless of how many reps/sets are done). Volume refers to the number of muscles worked, exercises, sets and reps during a single session. Frequency refers to how many training sessions are performed per week.
These variables are important because they are all mutually conflicting, as the muscle only has so much strength and endurance, and takes time to recover due to microtrauma. Increasing one by any significant amount necessitates the decrease of the other two, eg. increasing weight means a reduction of reps, and will require more recovery time and therefore fewer workouts per week. Trying to push too much intensity, volume and frequency will result in overtraining, and eventually lead to injury and other health issues such as chronic soreness and general lethargy, illness or even acute trauma such as avulsion fractures. A high-medium-low formula can be used to avoid overtraining, with either intensity, volume, or frequency being high, one of the others being medium, and the other being low. One example of this training strategy can be found in the following chart:
Type Low Med High
A common training strategy is to set the volume and frequency the same each week (eg. training 3 times per week, with 2 sets of 12 reps each workout), and steadily increase the intensity (weight) on a weekly basis. However, to maximize progress to specific goals, individual programs may require different manipulations, such as decreasing the weight, and increase volume or frequency.
Making program alterations on a daily basis (daily undulating periodization) seems to be more efficient in eliciting strength gains than doing so every 4 weeks (linear periodization), but for beginners there are no differences between different periodization models.
Periodization is the modulating of volume and intensity over time, to both stimulate gains and allow recovery. Commonly, volume is decreased during a training cycle while intensity is increased. In this template, a lifter would begin a training cycle with a higher rep range than he will finish with. For example, a lifter might begin a training program performing sets with 8 reps. Throughout the course of his/her training program, the lifter will slowly increase the weight while slowly decreasing the reps. This is enough time for the neuromuscular system to adapt and become more efficient.
High reps or low reps?
If you want to build muscle mass then a lower rep range is generally more efficient, usually 4-8 reps is good for muscle mass gains. A higher number of reps (usually like 10 or more) is only good for several reasons:
Improves your form
increases muscle glycogen stores (this is good to give you that pumped look).
increases your endurance.
It's good for beginners just starting out.
But high reps doesn't do as good of a job at building muscle than lower reps.
Machines or Free Weights?
I use all free weights because it puts the natural resistance on the muscles and makes them grow better. Free weights allows for better muscle mass growth. I consider machines a waste of time in my opinion. Stick with the basics like bench press, incline bench press, nosebusters (lying tricep extension on bench with e-z curl bar), chin ups, pull ups (don't use a LAT machine, I used one and does nothing for building muscle mass), curls, military press (shoulder press), lateral raises with barbell, rows, shoulder shrugs, calve raises with barbell, squats, and deadlifts (I consider deadlifts one of the best exercises you can possibly do to get real strong). Machines are nothing but gimmicks in my opinion, free weights is the way to go no matter what your goals are.
How many sets should I perform for each muscle group?
3-7 sets for large muscle groups (chest, legs, back).
1-3 sets for smaller muscle groups (triceps, biceps, traps).
Example weight lifting routines
Typical Bodybuilder's routine:
This is the typical routine most bodybuilders use, it basically involves training each bodypart once a week, and provides PLENTY of rest, one can follow this routine even if you don't have a whole lot of motivation, because the workouts only last about 20-30 minutes. This is an excellent long term workout routine.
Day1 - Chest & Triceps - 2-3 sets of bench press, 1-2 set of incline bench press, 1-2 sets of skull crushers, Ab crunches.
Day2 - REST
Day3 - Back & Biceps - 2-3 sets of chin-ups (or pull-ups), 1-2 sets of bicep curls.
Day4 - REST
Day5 - Shoulders & Traps - 2-3 sets of shoulder press, 1-2 sets of lateral raises, 1 set of rear delt raises, 2 sets of shoulder shrugs. Ab crunches.
Day6 - REST
Day7 - Legs & calves - 3 sets of deadlift or 3 sets of squats and 2 sets of calve raises. (note: some people alternate every other week with deadlifts one week then squats the next, calves should be done 1-2 times per week though)
Day8 - This day is up to you, whether you want to take the day off or repeat and start over at day 1.
Train chest on a day by itself or only with triceps. That's it. Do not train with shoulders or any other body part. This is important!
You want to rest enough to recover as much as possible before doing your next set. None of this 1 minute crap. More like 3 to 5 minutes. You're not circuit training. Fatigue is not intensity. Fatigue is fatigue. Short rest periods promote quick fatigue. Fatigue limits overload and fatigue limits growth.
Here is one of the biggest mistakes most lifters make - both beginners and experienced alike. For some unexplained (at least not rationally explained) reason lifters have this need to do a "burn-out" set as their last set to an exercise. Why? What is this accomplishing? I'll tell you. Nothing - except impede the muscle growth and certainly the strength gaining process - not to mention it's a total waste of time, energy, and effort. Remember, every set, every rep, every workout should build muscle. This will not be accomplished with light weight and high reps no matter how intensely you do the set.
Never - never - never - do a final set of an exercise where you drop the weight and try to pump out a bunch of reps to get that pumped or burning feeling. This does "zilch" for building muscle and strength. In fact, I feel it stops growth in its tracks.
For Incline Bench Press: Most inclines are done way too steep. Don't make this mistake. 30 degrees puts your body at a perfect angle for hitting upper chest.
After an intense workout you'll feel different than usual. You'll feel a deep dull ache. This is normal. You won't feel that burn most of you are used to. You know that burn you get from high reps that do nothing but burn - burn up muscle. The soreness sets in about 12-24 hours afterwards.
Gym or no gym?
Going to a gym is not necessary. I hear a lot of people complain saying, "The only way to get big is to go a gym". That is not correct. All you need is one good barbell and a chin-up/pull up bar, a curl bar, and a bench, that's it. You don't need dumbbells (although it might help a little bit), You don't have to go out and buy the latest machines. Don't even think about buying a bow flex, solo flex, or any other machine. Don't bother with any ab machines or any thing in that nature. Save your money and don't bother going to a gym, with less than 500 dollars you can get your own home bodybuilding gym. What's the point of going out of your way in a day to travel all the way to a gym to workout for about 20 minutes then go all the way home? When all you have to do is just stay home and complete your short workout and then get on with life. Don't make your workouts the most important thing that you have to do, just do it at your own home and get them over with.
Although going to a gym might be a good idea for some people, since your working out with other people, it may increase your intensity, it may simply just give you something to do other than staying home a lot. What ever makes you happier I guess.
Neutral Body Position and Stable Core
With exercise and especially with weight lifting, start your movement in a neutral spine position and then activate your core for stability. Then progress through the range of movement in a neutral position and with balance and coordination. More Info
Muscle Confusion – Exercise Induced Adaptation
Exercise induced adaptation is the unique ability of the human body to adapt or adjust its functional capacity to meet desired needs. This is the root of all conditioning. However, how can the adaptation process be maximized? One of the ways is to change your routines on a regular basis (muscle confusion). As an example, a very successful systematic model is to split conditioning into three different routine blocks: stabilization, strength and power. This progression facilitates optimum levels of physiologic, physical and performance adaptations. A simplistic approach to adaptation is simply to change your routines, exercises, splits, set, reps, tempo, and rest intervals. Changing only one of these exercise elements will cause an adaptation response, but changing more elements is optimal.
This is a concept that incorporates many forms of exercise into one progressive system. This includes flexibility (including Yoga), cardiorespiratory conditioning, core work, balance work, reactive work, speed, quickness, agility and strength training. The goal of integrated exercising is to achieve optimal strength, stability, balance and performance. No single form of exercise can achieve these goals.
As an example, almost all of the new programs have resistance conditioning days that alternate with a day of Yoga. They can also include aerobic days with programs such as Kenpo. So a typical sequence might be as follows:
Day 1: Upper Body Free Weight Workout
Day 2: Yoga 60 minute Routine
Day 3: Lower Body Home Workout
Day 4: Rest or Active Recovery
Day 5: Plyometric Conditioning
Day 6: Upper Body Home Workout
Proprioception and Proprioceptive enriched environment
Proprioception is the cumulative sensory input to the central nervous system from body receptors that sense body position and movement, and a proprioceptive enriched environment is an unstable but controllable exercise that causes the body to incorporate balance and stabilization mechanisms. These exercises introduce more challenge to balance and stabilization systems of the body, versus simply increasing the load or resistance. Additionally, by using proprioception techniques the core is greatly strengthened and the body becomes much more efficient athletically.
Bodybuilding Techniques and Principles
Bodybuilding is a form of body modification that involves intensive muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy is an increase in the size of muscle cells. There are many new methods, but there are also the time-tested methods that have been used very successfully over time. The following are the basic principles of our exercise routines.
Strength and Power Principles
Strength training is exercising with the objective of increasing physical strength. There are two kinds of strength. Relative strength is building maximal force without increasing body-weight. Absolute Strength is the maximum force you can exert irrespective of body size or muscle size. Absolute strength is about becoming strong regardless of body-weight.
There are many benefits to Strength conditioning. The stronger you become the more muscles you will have. Strength conditioning is not bodybuilding however; building muscle is a by-product of strength conditioning and not necessarily its objective. Secondly, strength conditioning burns calories and keeps your metabolic rate high and lastly, it can sometimes help prevent conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and arthritis.
There are several methods to building strength and include:
Stress and Adaptation: Strength training stresses your body and your body adapts by getting stronger and building muscle.
Progressive Resistance: As your body adapts and you will need to increase the resistance systematically to avoid plateaus. Schedule weight increases using a Periodization Schedule.
Intensity: To make gains in strength use approximately 80% – 100% of your One Rep Max (1RM).
Speed or Explosive Movements: The faster and quicker you move, the more fast twitch muscle fibers are recruited.
PAP: Post Activation Potentiation: PAP includes heavy loading before an explosive movement.
There are also several types of Strength Training:
Weightlifting: Using Barbells and Dumbbells is the easiest way to build strength. Start light and focus on progressive resistance. Examples of weightlifting exercises are the Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift.
Body-weight Exercises: You use your own body-weight as resistance such as with Pull-ups, Chin-ups, Dips, and Push-ups.
Machines: They balance the weight and control the movement. Machines can make exercises easier and safer than free weights. However, machines generally are not as effective as free weight dumbbell or barbell training.
As I explain in this article, I think the ideal strength training program for most people lies somewhere in the middle of these two extremes (I’ve trained both ways for years). If you don’t understand some of the exercise terms I use, you can check out my article 15 Strength Training Terms You Should Know.
Bodybuilders vs. Powerlifters
Powerlifters: “Form Follows Function”
Powerlifters, (aka “strength guys”, or “function guys”) love lifting really heavy weight, performing compound movements like bench presses, squats, and dead lifts with lower rep ranges and lower volume. Powerlifters on average boast large forearms, necks, and butts and some look like they eat a moose for breakfast every day.
Bodybuilders vs. Power lifters
Powerlifters also rest a lot between sets, even up to 5 minutes. Cardiovascular activity is limited to very short, strong bursts, known as interval training. Strength guys are all about function, helping you jump higher, run faster, get stronger, be able to catch your next meal.
The less extreme example is an athlete, who may have a more aesthetic and athletic body, but most exercises are compound movements, with many Olympic lifts and other momentum based lifts thrown in (like the snatch, clean and jerk etc.).
These strength guys argue that form follows function. The biggest challenge with focusing too much on strength is that the risk/reward spectrum is skewed toward risk for most people.
If you’re a guy, or gal sitting in an office all day, using complicated compound movements like deadlifts and hang cleans is an accident waiting to happen. The reward is NOT worth the risk! This is especially true if you don’t have a strength coach who has spent a couple months coaching you, which most people don’t.
Olympic style movements can take months, if not years to master and again, are not worth the risk unless you want to become a competitive athlete. Every time I see someone deadlifting at the gym invariably with terrible form, I cringe. I never recommend any beginner attempt Olympic lifts without the guidance of a strength coach.
Bodybuilders: “How Does The Inner Head of My Biceps Look?”
Bodybuilders vs. Power lifters
On the other hand you have bodybuilders who lift a ton of volume, higher reps, perform isolation exercises, tons of exercises per muscle group, and do long, slow, boring cardio, known as “steady state” cardio. Reps are very strict, slow, and controlled, without any momentum. Bodybuilders mostly care about how they look and it doesn’t matter as much how they feel, or if they have strength imbalances.
Fitness models in general also lift like bodybuilders who typically focus on one muscle group per day, such as chest on Monday, back on Tuesday etc. Powerlifers on the other hand complete full body strength training workouts, so that they hit all muscle groups in one workout. I prefer full body for beginners and intermediate exercisers, then a modified body part split for those who are more advanced, so that you are hitting 2-3 muscle groups per workout session.
Strength Training Landscape Chart:
Below is a chart summarizing the extremes of the strength training landscape:
Bodybuilders vs. Power lifters Chart
So How Should YOU Strength Train?
Ultimately, that’s up to you and what your goals are. I think the most efficient, safe training method for most people that maximizes form and function lies somewhere in the middle. My strength training philosophy can be summarized by completing short, intense workouts with moderate volume and minimal rest between sets, focusing on compound exercises. I love interval training like the strength guys, but I also love lifting slow and controlled (most of the time) like bodybuilders, which is much safer in my opinion. You can check out my Efficient Strength Training article series along with 8 Weight Training Tips to Never Forget to learn more about my personal strength training philosophy and tips.
I hope this analysis was useful for you to improve your knowledge of strength training!
Bodybulding information for the older or senior bodybuilder and people with a disability including resistance weight training for health conditions and general fitness exercise.
Bodybuilding is the process of maximizing muscle hypertrophy; an individual who engages in this activity is referred to as a bodybuilder.
The high levels of muscle growth and repair achieved by bodybuilders require a specialized diet. Generally speaking, bodybuilders require more calories than the average person of the same weight to support the protein and energy requirements needed to support their training and increase muscle mass. A sub-maintenance level of food energy is combined with cardiovascular exercise to lose body fat in preparation for a contest. The ratios of food energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats vary depending on the goals of the bodybuilder.
For most beginners, starting a bodybuilding program may be a very challenging task primarily because of its high demands. One, it requires you to commit to a routine in order to achieve your desired results. Many experts in this area would ask you be determined and self-motivated in following a specific workout or fitness routine. However, any beginning bodybuilder's efforts may become a waste if he over-strains a specific muscle group. This happens when too many reps and sets are made in a single session.
For both men and women, a set of well-defined triceps is a very common goal. Men enjoy bulging biceps, and women enjoy a svelte upper arm. But both groups, whether their goals are insane mass or just lines and class, desire the look of a cut upper arm, particularly the triceps.
Symmetrical training is the balanced exertion of exercises on all the major regions of the muscular system. For the purpose of developing both the back and the lower muscular regions that support the thorax, symmetrical training should be implemented.
The implementation of symmetrical training can be done by paying attention to the two major regions: the upper and lower parts of the body. As many would already know, many fall into the trap of the "bodybuilder's syndrome" where only the upper part of the body is developed.
The loss of lean muscle mass is proving to be a major contributor to increasing disability in old age. And this unfortunate muscle loss occurs naturally for most people at a rate of 0.5% to 2% per year after the age of 40. That means by age 65 at just 1% loss per year we may lose 1/4 of our valuable muscle! With this loss of muscle and overall strength, comes a decreased ability to perform even simple everyday tasks of daily living. It's no wonder seniors are increasingly hurt by falls and have difficulty simply climbing stairs. Generally, teens and those in their twenties can train a bodypart every 48-72 hours (twice a week). Thirty year olds and those in their fourties benefit more from once every five days. Fifty year old and older, once every seven days.
Carbohydrates play an important role for bodybuilders. Carbohydrates give the body energy to deal with the rigors of training and recovery. Bodybuilders seek out low-glycemic polysaccharides and other slowly-digesting carbohydrates, which release energy in a more stable fashion than high-glycemic sugars and starches.
Protein is probably one of the most important parts of the diet for the bodybuilder to consider. Functional proteins such as motor proteins which include myosin, kinesin, and dynein generate the forces exerted by contracting muscles. Current advice says that bodybuilders should consume 25-30% of protein per total calorie intake to further their goal of maintaining and improving their body composition.
Bodybuilders usually split their food intake for the day into 5 to 7 meals of roughly equal nutritional content and attempt to eat at regular intervals (normally between 2 and 3 hours). This method purports to serve two purposes: to limit overindulging as well as increasing basal metabolic rate when compared to the traditional 3 meals a day.
Weight training is a type of strength training to develop the skeletal muscles.
Weight training causes micro-tears to the muscles being trained; this is generally known as microtrauma. These micro-tears in the muscle contribute to the soreness felt after exercise, called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It is the repair to these micro-trauma that result in muscle growth. Normally, this soreness becomes most apparent a day or two after a workout. However, as muscles become adapted to the exercises, soreness tends to decrease.
In weight training there is a requiremnt of specialised equipment for a particular muscle. Weight training completely differs from powerlifting, bodybuilding, weight lifting which are related to sports rather than exercise. Weight training is also a part of athletes training program. Weight training exercises are safest if done slowly and properly. If pain is felt during a weight training exercise then stop exercise otherwise it can cause injury. Before starting weight training exercise a person need to spend 15 to 20 minutes time on warmup exercises.
Some bodybuilders use drugs such as anabolic steroids and precursor substances such as prohormones to increase muscle hypertrophy. Most of the substances require medical prescriptions to be accessed legally. Anabolic steroids cause muscle hypertrophy of both types (I and II) of muscle fibers caused likely by an increased synthesis of muscle proteins and are accompanied with undesired side effects including hepatotoxicity, gynecomastia, acne, male pattern baldness and a decline in the body's own testosterone production, which can cause testicular atrophy. Other controlled substances used by competitive bodybuilders include human growth hormone (HGH), which can cause acromegaly.
RAW POWERLIFTING AND BODYBUILDINGBY DANIEL GREEN | IN BUILD MUSCLE, POWERLIFTING
It’s no secret to those who pay attention to the world of raw powerlifting that it is a sport dominated by lifters who are or who look like bodybuilders. And I’m referring to the “absolutely jacked” quality of these lifters, not the propensity for wearing shimmery thongs and fake tanning (had to take at least one shot). The point being that carrying around a ton of muscle and then doing so without a lot of body fat is part of the formula for high caliber lifting.
Gaining this muscle mass can be very beneficial, and is by no means a new concept. As lifters we must train for strength first and foremost, but there are times when it is helpful to train some extra lifts “like a bodybuilder.” Packing on muscle in the right places to compliment what is left lacking by the main lifts will ensure that you give yourself a chance to later strengthen some of your weak areas—which likely negatively affect your technique on the main exercise or limit your ability to execute it under progressively heavier weights. Additionally some bodybuilding training can be used to build up the stabilizing musculature or antagonist musculature in a region of the body to keep the body in balance.
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There are good reasons, although they are different for Ella and Josh, why both teens should do strength training: it builds muscle strength, tones the body, builds endurance, develops stronger bones and even promotes weight loss. But they need to do strength training properly to avoid injury. Here are some questions, answers, and tips about strength training:
Q.What Is Strength Training?
A. Strength training is a program of exercises that increases muscle strength and endurance. Strength training is not necessarily the same thing as power lifting or even weight lifting. While power lifters use heavy weights to build large muscles, people who strength train may use lighter weights or resistance and multiple repetitions. You can do strength training with weight machines or free weights. But you can also do it with resistance bands, ankle or wrist weights, or using your own body weight as you would with a pushup.
Q. Is Strength Training Dangerous?
A. Strength training is not dangerous if you do it with proper supervision and instruction. It's a safe and effective way to strengthen muscles (including the heart), look more toned, and help control weight. It also helps strengthen bones. But because teens are still developing, it's important to get an OK from your doctor and to seek professional instruction to make sure you do it correctly.
Q. Do Girls Get Big Muscles With Strength Training?
A. It would be tough for a girl to get big muscles with strength training -- unless they do a lot of it. Girls produce less testosterone (male hormone) than guys, so their muscle size builds less rapidly. Guys who've started puberty will be able to build bigger muscles lifting weights.
Q. Is Strength Training Aerobic?
A. Endurance exercise like walking, swimming, or biking is aerobic, as your muscles use oxygen more efficiently to strengthen your heart and lungs. Aerobic activity increases your heart rate and keeps it up for an extended period of time. Strength training is usually anaerobic (meaning "without oxygen"), as your muscles work against the weight.
Q. What if I Don't Have a Gym Membership?
A. You don't have to go to a gym to do strength training. Teens can use resistance bands from a sporting goods store, free weights, and do water-resistance exercises. You can even use cans of vegetables or fruits from your kitchen pantry as free weights!
Q. Should I Use Heavy Weights?
A. Don't use heavy weights yet! Teens should start out with lighter weights, proper form, and more repetitions. A good rule of thumb is to start with a weight you can easily lift 10 times, with the last two repetitions being increasingly difficult. For some teens, this might be 1 pound to 2 pounds. If you are strong and fit, you might start at 15 pounds to 20 pounds. When lifting, move the weights in a smooth, steady motion. Avoid jerky movements and sudden drops.
Weight Lifting and Strength Training Tips for Teens
Q. Is "No Pain, No Gain" True?
A. No pain, no gain is a myth. If it hurts, you're using too much weight or resistance. If your muscles are very sore, do not do strength training until you are relatively pain-free.
Q. Will I Get Bulky and Inflexible?
A. To look toned and lean, it's important to do other exercises along with strength training, including stretching and endurance exercise (like walking, swimming, stepping).
Q. Will Strength Training Give Me Flat Abs?
A. You can't "spot-reduce" abs or any other body part with exercise. You need to exercise the total body for maximum results. However, properly done abdominal "crunches" will improve abdominal muscle tone. Again, you need to be trained in how to do these correctly for best results without injury.
Q. Do I Have to Breathe a Certain Way During Strength Training?
A. Always remember to exhale during exertion (pulling up a weight), and inhale on the downswing. Many people forget about doing this. But if you intentionally practice the breathing, you'll remember.
Q. What Can I Expect From Strength Training?
A. You'll feel stronger with strength training, and find it easier to be physically active. You'll have more energy and you'll probably lose weight, depending on how regularly you work out. Some findings estimate that for each pound of muscle you add to your body, you burn an additional 35 calories to 50 calories per day. So, an extra 5 pounds of muscle will burn approximately 175 calories-250 calories a day. That's an extra pound of fat every 14-20 days. Guys will look toned and see a difference in muscle size; girls will look fit and toned. Sometimes your actual weight may stay the same but your body will feel firmer with more defined muscles.
Strength Training Tips for Teens
For teens wanting to start strength training, here are some tips for getting started:
Warm Up and Stretch. Always warm up before starting your workout routine. A warm-up like walking in place or riding a stationary bike for 5-10 minutes boosts circulation and prepares muscles and joints for activity. After you warm up, do some stretching to increase flexibility. Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds. Don't overstretch or bounce during the stretch, to avoid straining your muscles and joints.
As you plan your strengthening program, start two to three times per week for about 20 minutes. Allow at least 48 hours between sessions for your muscles to recover.
It takes several weeks to see results with a strengthening program, so once you make the commitment, stick with it. Over time, you'll notice a difference in your strength and appearance.