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Strong not skinny

Remove all images of lifting barbells from your mind. Get rid of the picture in your head of coffee-stained bodies getting into bizarre positions to show off every muscle that you can see (thank goodness for bikinis and speedos!)!

Now remove this from your head!

For long-term health benefits strength training is equally as important as cardio training – it is why with any of my clients training sessions don’t simply focus on getting out of breath and sweating. For lasting results and long-term benefits, you need to be strong…not skinny!

To increase muscle strength your muscles have to work against a weight or a force. If you go into a big gym you’ll notice a lot of fixed weight machines, targeting specific areas of the body – lateral pulldown, abductor and adductor machines, the leg press. Then you have the free weights, the dumbbells and the barbells.

For a lot of people these are quite intimidating and if you’re starting out, or getting back into fitness they are quite off-putting.

But worry ye not! You don’t have to haul around iron to get strong, you can do it with your own body and resistance training.

Your own body provides enough resistance with the right exercises to build muscle strength – if you know how to do the exercises properly and engage the correct muscles (that’s where I come in handy!). Think squats, push-ups, even lunges – when performed well and consistently you can build up strength in your muscles, thus protecting everything else in your body, particularly around your joints.

The benefits of resistance training are plentiful, here’s a few to tempt you into trying it:

- Improve strength and flexibility – keeping you safe doing daily activities, means you are less vulnerable, less prone to falls and injuries.

- Increase bone mass and density – helping protect against osteoporosis – ladies in particular we are more at risk of this simply down to being female and our hormones changing as we get older.

-Build muscle strength – believe it or not after we turn 20 years of age, every decade we lose between 5 and 7lbs of muscle and the only thing to prevent this loss is with strength training.

- Lowers body fat

- Reduces blood pressure

- Reduces lower back pain – with the correct exercise program and correct form.

- Reduce the symptoms of chronic conditions – depression, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and sleep disorders.

If that’s not enough to make you consider incorporating strength training into your life then I don’t know what is.

I have a whole kitbag that I bring along with me to training sessions along with free weights they include resistance bands and resistance tubes that work alongside your own bodyweight. They are great fun and I absolutely love the faces on clients when they start using them and realise just how deep a simple bit of elastic can get deep into the muscles and provide a good workout.

You can begin strength training at any age, just because you haven’t done it before doesn’t mean you can’t start and reap the benefits.

If you want more information on training sessions and how they can work for you then please get in touch. or call me on 07584 414124.

Personal Training isn't just for hardened exercisers; everyone is a beginner at some point; that doesn't mean you shouldn't make the start. x

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