Strength Training should be the cornerstone to every training routine. It helps improve quality of life through developing muscular strength and endurance, bone strength, balance and it can help prevent injury. Strength training will also reduce the effects of sarcopenia as you age. Sarcopenia is muscle loss relative to the effects of aging. We will all be effected by sarcopenia as we age but we can slow down the effects through strength training. I would recommend a minimum of 2 strength based sessions per week as part of your training routine. Our bodies adapt quickly to the stress we put it under so overload is critical if we want to continue to see progress. Our strength can improve greatly by doing something as simple as increasing the weight on a specific lift every week.
One of the main goals of strength training is to get stronger in the foundational movements needed to help us execute every day tasks. The foundational movements to human performance would be your push (upper body), pull (upper body), squat (knee dominant), hinge (hip dominant), lunge (single leg), carry (core). These are movements you carry out every day be it in your day job or during your down time in the evening. Improving strength in these foundational movements enables you to be more structurally stable when carrying out everyday tasks. As you age the body breaks down slowly, gradually leading to diminished movement quality.
Strength training plays a vital role in sports performance by increasing the rate of force production in the muscles when they contract. Many of our clients are undertaking the half marathon in Barcelona in February 2018 and strength training is a staple of their training programme. The more force you generate when you move the more efficient you will be in your performance or, in the context of the half marathon, getting from A to B in the quickest time possible. This applies to any performance goal you may have from team sport to individual performance.
Through a 24 hour cycle the body rebounds between muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and muscle protein breakdown (MPB). Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is critical to the maintenance of lean muscle tissue. We want to avoid MPB as much as possible. Strength training will stimulate MPS and help maintain muscle mass.
CoachPACT.com clients are short on time and often report in their initial consultations that they are unsure of what strength exercises to do in the gym or at home. This uncertainty causes people to panic and more often than not resort to the designated cardio section in the gym, jump on an exercise bike or treadmill and blast out 20-30 minutes of high intensity spinning or running. Working with a remote coach will help you over come this barrier and ensure that you are incorporating strength training into your routine. Through the CoachPACT app we can create a bespoke training plan for our clients so they know exactly what exercises to do in each session and how to perform them with the correct technique.
If you are not currently incorporating any form of strength or resistance training into your programme I would suggest you start, your body will thank you for it in the long run.