Here at The Studio we have Team Training, which is focused Strength Training in a small group (team) setting. We lift weights/strength train twice per week and meet again for a cardiovascular workout on Fridays.
Why is Strength Training such a big deal? I'm glad you asked! (smile)
Benefits of Strength Training
Strength training is essential in achieving your wellness goals. Not only does it increase your resting metabolic rate - which is the amount of fat your body will burn at rest - it has many other positive effects that will improve the quality of your life:
-Reduces risk of osteoporosis
-Increases lean body tissue
-Muscles become stronger and more injury resistant
-Prevention of lower back pain and injury
-Reduces blood pressure
-Reduces risk of heart disease
-Relieves arthritis symptoms
-Functional strength increases
-Resting metabolic rate increases (even at rest, your body will burn more fat)
One more reason to strength train - if you gain 5 pounds of muscle over time, you can expect to burn up to an additional 250 calories per day, even at rest. That translates into 15+ pounds of fat loss by the end of the year without cutting a single calorie!
Strength training has been perceived in the past as intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. Many people think that they need to lose weight before they begin to strength train, but this is a myth that causes people to fall short of their goals. In fact, research has proven that those who have taken weight off and kept it off engaged in a consistent, progressive strength training program.
You can lose weight with cardio and good nutrition alone, but basically you’ll be a smaller version of your old self. If you really want to change and reshape your body, strength training is the way to go! Many experts agree that having a strength training program in your routine is the single most important aspect of losing and keeping weight off.
How Often? How Long? How Heavy?
Optimally, strive for 2-3 times per week on non-consecutive days. You'll want to train for just 20-40 minutes if you are just focusing on strength training. If you add interval training (strength combined with bursts of cardio) you can train for 45-50 minutes. The weight load should be heavy enough to cause temporary muscle failure with 8-15 repetitions. Our Team Training Classes are scheduled for one hour - we usually do a 5 minute warm up, focused strength training and then core and a long, relaxing stretch at the end.
What Type of Equipment?
You are free to use any combination of free weights, kettle bells, tubing, body bars or even just body weight. There is no limit to the creativity you can use in training! In our Team Training Classes, we use all the equipment we have here at The Studio at some point! We like to mix things up and keep your body challenged through negative and positive resistance, so TRX straps, tubing, weights, kettlebells and even body weight are always options.
Strength Training Tips and Guidelines:
The resistance should be challenging.
Train on non-consecutive days. A good rule of thumb - rest 48 hours before working the same muscle group again.
Breathe! Exhale on the working phase (exertion), which is typically the lifting motion and inhale while returning to starting position.
Vary your workout and your equipment. This helps steer clear of plateaus.
Move at a minimum rate of 2 seconds on the lifting phase and 4 seconds on the lowering phase. When in doubt, go slow!
Beginners should start out with moderate resistance and focus on form for the first few sessions. Gradually add resistance to your workout.
Warm-up the body by doing 5-7 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, to bring the core body temperature up.
Don’t be afraid to lift heavy, however, lifting too much weight can lead to injury so progress gradually.
You can stretch after you work each muscle or you can stretch at the end of your work out, but don’t forget to stretch! This is very important. It helps bring oxygen to the muscles, clears out lactic acid and helps alleviate soreness and injury.
Simply put, periodization can be defined as progressing toward a fitness goal, while avoiding a plateau by incorporating a variety of methods and apparatus. There are many ways you can do this! Beginners should always start with general conditioning. Every 6 weeks or so, your workout should change to accommodate your increasing fitness level. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
This is basic conditioning. A good example would be 3-4 cardio classes combined with 2-3 days of weight training per week. Weights will be on the lighter side, as your body accommodates to the new activity. Usually this will be 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions in the weights.
Interval Training combines powerful bursts of cardio with strength training (squats, pushups, etc). You can also do an interval training at home. An example would be: 1 set of pushups, 60 seconds of jumping jacks (repeat 2-3 times). 1 set of squats, 60 seconds of running in place (repeat 2-3 times). We offer Interval Training options here at The Studio in our Spin & Strength, Barre Classes and even in our Step Classes. Sometimes our Team Training mixes it up and adds Intervals.
This type of training is where the participant will start with a heavy weight and go through as many repetitions as they can until they cannot do anymore. Then, they pick up a lighter weight and go through it again to failure on the same muscle. One could continue to "drop" down as many times as he or she wishes, but most trainers recommend using no more than three distinct weights e.g. 25, 20, 15.
In resistance training, a pyramid is a basic structure that you create when arranging your sets and reps of a given exercise. It entails starting out light and stepping up the weight you use on successive sets. As you keep adding weight, the number of reps you can do goes down, which illustrates the inverse relationship between the two variables. For example, begin with 25 reps, at 8 pounds for bicep curls. Then, increase the weight to 10 pounds, but do 20 reps. Then take it up to 12 pounds, doing 15 reps.
Super Slow Training
This is a timed workout and is great for those who don’t have more than 20 minutes to workout. Weights are slowly raised in 10 seconds and lowered in 10 seconds non-stop until the targeted muscles reach total momentary fatigue — about 1½ to 3 minutes per exercise. Usually only 4-6 exercises are used in a super slow training set. The benefits of this training include full range of motion, less injury due to slower, controlled movement, and it’s a great way to mix up your routine and keep your body guessing!
High Reps/Light Weights OR High weight/Light Reps?
Low repetitions with high weight increases strength, whereas high repetitions with low weight increases endurance. According to the concept, as repetitions increase there is a gradual transition from strength to endurance. Both are important to your routine and will help you achieve your goals. I recommend high reps/light weights for women who are just starting out and who are still learning about weight training because it will help them to find correct form and build confidence. I also recommend it to someone who is in a rut and needs a new challenge. Any time we mix up the routine, we are going to keep our bodies guessing! There is no right and no wrong when it comes to either type of training. But no matter which you choose, it should only be done for 6 weeks or so before mixing it up!
We hope you will join us in our Team Training Classes! But if you ever want to have a Personalized Training Session, we would be more than happy to get you going on a routine you can do on your own by meeting with you here at The Studio or in your own home. Personalized Training is just $99 (at The Studio) and $130 for a home training session. Call us for more info!