"Best ever leg workout", "Top 5 workouts for massive biceps", "3 Workouts you should include for the perfect V-shape back", "crunches routine for ribbed 8 pack ABS" , "How to lose 10 kilos in a month"..blah bla blah & many more.... I am sure like me you also stumble upon such articles on the internet every other day. The good part is we read these articles very carefully and try to follow the routines which means we care for body; we want to get strong and look good :-) That’s the bottom line isn't it..so let me repeat "We want to get STRONG and LOOK GOOD!!".
Now the not so good part is (which is not as bad but a BIG fundamental flaw) these routines/workouts can't just be simply followed to make a strong body, meaning these concepts don't exist in vacuum. These concepts exists as a part of your training as a whole to continue to progress into that later stages of your training.
At first, we need a much deeper understanding than these articles provide to comprehend the fundamental reasons of why and how we get bigger and stronger naturally and then learn to manipulate our training to continue progress. In this post I am going to attempt explaining the fundamentals of strength training, why some types of training are better than most of the mainstream common but ineffective routines.
I am going to reveal to you a training plan that is by far the best and most likely the only training plan you should be following if you are looking to get strong and shredded. A fraction of qualified and educated trainers will take their clients through this or a very similar program for long term gains (they would probably hate me for revealing the secrets) but 99% of trainers who are busy teaching their clients curls, extensions, crunches and many other routines available on the internet wont have a clue about the fundamentals of strength training.
First things first...what is the objective here?
To get strong..or rather stronger than strong.
Ever since mankind learned the traits of survival in the woods, strength has been his primal weapon of choice. Strong and active people survive under the toughest conditions. Knowingly or unknowingly we are all trying to hang on to our prime strength levels..simply put we don’t want to grow old and weak. While we cannot stop the ageOmeter (I just made it up) but we can however put brakes and slow down the age related physical declines.
Therefore, strength training is extremely important for a STRONGER and active life. To list a few benefits of proper strength training..
1. Muscle – fat balance (metabolism) – Strength training increases lean muscle which in turn will boost metabolism meaning calories consumed will be directed towards muscle maintenance and repair instead of fat storage. Extremely important for weight management.
2. Increase bone density – Strength training can increase bone density and muscle tissue around bones. Can definitely help avoiding arthritis pain and osteoporosis (porous or fragile bones) condition.
3. Glucose metabolism improvement – With age glucose sensitivity decreases and poor glucose metabolism is associated with type two diabetes. Several studies one of which is Hurley (1994) has reported a 23 percent increase in glucose uptake after 4 months of strength training.
4. Lowers Blood pressure – Proper weightlifting along with moderate cardio can reduce you systolic and diastolic numbers. Weightlifting will cause a temporary rise in blood pressure because of muscle contraction under tension this temporary spike in blood pressure causes arteries to expand which on a longer run will benefit in controlling high blood pressure. (Please note, if you already have high BP or a history of high BP you should consult your doctor before starting a lifting program or even running because any exercise will increase your heart rate thereby your BP by some points).
5. With proper strength training you will not only put brakes on your ageing cycle but also you will experience the increased energy levels as a carryover into your everyday life as well. You may not believe me but start getting stronger in the gym and you will witness this change first-hand. Getting stronger in the gym will reveal to you what you can do. Challenges and obstacles that once overwhelmed you will feel a lot easier with greater self confidence.
6. This one is my favorite and writing per my own experience..I worked with few folks who took to strength training, followed the program religiously and made remarkable progress. Most importantly many of these folks were active to heavy smokers some even had alcohol addiction. Our mind and body have a strong connection; strength training is very taxing on the body. Smoking and alcohol makes recovery difficult and in the program the more advance you become the more recovery you need and ultimately you cannot keep up with activities (smoking, alcohol, bad diets) that make recovery very challenging
KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
While it is important to focus on building your strength levels it is wise to not get discouraged by watching freaks showing off their inhuman strength demonstrations on youtube or in the local gym. You should be inspired but always keep things in perspective. For example..I can full squat 360 lbs and dead-lift little above 500 lbs, that's my PR (personal record) and I am very proud of what I have achieved in my mid 30s. For a commercial gym standard I am pretty strong. But there are power lifters who are probably my weight and height busting double the weight I do. It is wise for me not to get carried away and shoot for something completely illogical and perhaps the best way to get injured :-)
The TRAINING PROGRAM ( If you want to get leaner and stronger watch this space for the full program)