Sports experts say: strength training is just as necessary as endurance sports. What strength exercises do, what you should pay attention to Strength training? That sounds like gyms where bodybuilders lift heavy weights to work their biceps. “This idea is outdated,” says Erik Frank, sports, health, and personal trainer and owner of a fitness studio in Worms are Rhein.
Nowadays, according to Frank, the focus is not so much on training on equipment but instead on gymnastics and special exercises that simulate natural movement sequences.
What Does Strength Training Do?
You build muscle through strength training. As a result, your body will become firmer and more toned over time. Weight training also helps you lose weight. On the one hand, fat is reduced, and muscle mass is built up. On the other hand, muscles consume energy – when you move and sit on the couch. The more power you have, the more calories you burn.
You gain muscle mass even in endurance sports, but less so. In addition to strengthening your muscles, you also strengthen your entire holding apparatus with strength training. That said, tendons, ligaments, and bones also benefit. With strength exercises, you can “prevent falls, fight back pain and counteract osteoporosis, “explains the sports expert.
Strength Exercises: At Home Or In The Studio?
You can do strength training at home – lay down the exercise mat, put it on comfortably, set up a book or video with instructions, and off you go. Disadvantage: “You may do the exercise incorrectly or overwhelm yourself,” says Frank. For example, squats can put too much strain on the knee joint. Or the back pain is getting worse because you twisted too much doing the exercises.
If you go to a good gym, you can get advice on which strength training is proper for you and how the exercises work correctly. Sometimes it is enough to strengthen individual muscle groups to counteract specific complaints. In other cases, what is known as functional training may be an option. “Here, you train natural movement sequences and use numerous muscle groups,” explains Frank. This makes everyday movements easier and can prevent falls or injuries, for example.
Does A Lot Help A Lot?
Experts recommend exercising two to three times a week if you want to build muscle. To maintain fitness, even one strength training session per week is enough. How long this takes depends, among other things, on your physical condition and how motivated you are. “You can achieve something with just 15 to 30 minutes of strength training,”. Important: do not overwhelm! Especially as a beginner, you should slowly approach the exercises and stop when the muscles are twitching or even trembling. If you work out in a gym, you will be instructed accordingly by the experts there.
Is Weight Training Suitable For Everyone?
Everyone can benefit from weight training. If you have problems with your knee or hip, for example, you should clarify with your doctor beforehand which strength training is suitable for you. The best thing to do in this case is to train in a gym under supervision. The same applies if your blood pressure is increased or there are other cardiovascular diseases. Here, among other things, so-called press breathing can negatively affect you: You hold your breath during the exercise or press the air out. This increases blood pressure, and the heart has to pump against increased resistance.
Very Important: Before you start again with strength exercises, it is essential to clarify with your doctor whether there is anything against it from his point of view! This applies to all newcomers over 35 years of age and to all people who have chronic diseases such as diabetes. It may be necessary to adapt the training individually so as not to take any risks.
If you decide to go to a gym afterward, it is best to try a trial course. Then you can see whether you like the program offered. Alternatively, some so-called personal trainers explain the exercises to you at home. It is best to ask beforehand what the costs will be.Ideally, you combine endurance sports and strength training. This is how you strengthen your heart and circulation and build muscle mass.