The how to of strength training
Strength training, like aerobic training, can be done in an infinite variety of ways. There are literally thousands of combinations of exercises you can do. People who have been training for years are still adding new routines, refinements and variations to their strength training programme. As a result, there is no reason to become bored or stale in your workouts. It’s a good thing that exercise is a lifelong process, because it takes a lifetime to explore all the possibilities. There is a vast amount of literature on the subject written by scientists, bodybuilders, Olympic coaches and others.
Strength training requires the use of various kinds of equipment or just using body weight. The overall goal of resistance training, whether with machines, free weights or body weight, is to overload the muscle(s) you are working for a sufficient period of time to stimulate growth or improve endurance. In practice this means you should positively stress a muscle to at least two-thirds of its maximum strength. The kind of workout you do will depend somewhat on your goals. You can bias your workout in favour of the particular objective you want to accomplish. If your desire is to build maximum strength you might want to do more strength work and limit your repetitions to four or six on most days, making sure the last rep always stresses your muscle to the point of muscular fatigue (failure). On the other hand you may want to emphasise endurance and do up to twenty five repetitions, with the last few reps taking the muscle (or muscle group) close to the point of failure. Since most of us are not professional or competitive athletes, the best strength workout is a balanced one, incorporating both strength and endurance routines equally. Just remember that neither one is better than the other for building muscular definition, low body fat is what gives you that!
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