Many years ago, is seems that only bodybuilders and power lifters lifted weights, and health clubs were cardio havens, where people got their heart rate up and worked up a sweat. Much has changed in the past few decades, with an abundance of research on the value of and multiple benefits of resistance. As this information has become more broadly understood, strength training has grown significantly, and now, it seems like everyone is doing it – including women, seniors and youth.
Health clubs are dedicating more space to free weights and weight machines, and the industry has promoted different ways to engage in this increasingly popular activity. Today, there are more ways than ever to work with weights, which encourages participation, motivation, adherence and results. Check out some of the current weight training trends, and give them a try!
Benefits of Strength Training
If you’re still a cardio junkie, you may wonder why you should pick up some dumbbells. There’s a wealth of evidence that exercising with weights can lead to several important health benefits, including:
Strength training can be performed with a variety of tools, including:
None of these methods is inherently better than the others, but all are effective. A well-rounded strength training program incorporates a variety of tools to maintain interest and challenge, and to continue to produce results.
Popular Training Modalities
With so many ways to work with resistance, there’s no excuse for not taking advantage of the variety to get fit and stay fit. You can work with a trainer, take a class, check out streaming workouts, find online regimens or use apps or magazine articles to get routines. Consider:
Functional training typically uses a variety of tools, such as free weights, body weight exercises, suspension trainers, sleds, and more. It’s all about improving execution of movement fundamentals, such as pushing, pulling, hinging, rotating and more – and less about how much you can bench press or what your one-rep max is for a squat.
Tabata is a popular form of HIIT where your work period is 20 seconds in which you sprint or do high knee lifts, for instance; followed by 10 seconds of recovery (walk or step-touch). Then you repeat the intervals with the same or different exercises 8 times for a 4-minute Tabata set. Subsequent Tabata blocks include various other moves and exercises, which can include strength work like lunges, push-ups and plank jacks.
Interval training is very popular because it burns a lot of calories, both during and after workouts, and is time-efficient, particularly if it combines cardio and strength. You can find HIIT at virtually every health club or fitness facility with trainers and classes, or do some quick research online to create your own sessions.
A circuit can have any number of stations, but generally is repeated more than once. Strength exercises can alternate among lower body, upper body, functional and core work; and use machines, free weights, body weight, elastic bands and various accessories. Like HIIT, circuit training can blend cardio and strength stations, such as using a rower, elliptical or jump rope between resistance exercises. The options are virtually unlimited, depending on equipment and space available. Also similar to HIIT, circuits are popular because of their variety and the fact that workouts seem to fly by when you’re constantly performing different exercises.
Some common exercises include overhead squats, pull-ups, deadlifts and thrusters, although you can flip tires, do box jumps and undulate battle ropes as well. Generally, the format is three WODS, followed by a rest day. Stay Fueled!
This content was originally published here.