Strength training has many benefits for our health and mobility by increasing our muscle strength and therefore enabling us to run, lift things, and do many of the everyday tasks. Also, strength training results in gaining muscle mass which mainly men look at as a benefit, trying to look more athletic, while in women this trend is more subtle and more for the aesthetic reasons.
Fitness science pointed out that “Strength training decreases the risk of metabolic disorders and diseases”. As our body is more active the metabolic system is too, and one of the main substrates that our body uses for energy are carbohydrates that are connected to disease like type 2 diabetes if excessively used in the diet.1
For whatever reason, you want to increase your strength, whether for health and mobility or aesthetic reasons here are the top 5 tips we prepared for you!
It’s proven that the training frequency affects strength building. By training 2-3 times per week, we improve strength and increase lean muscle mass. Sounds logical. But also, training frequency regarding the number of sets and repetitions is important too. We just need to be careful by implementing rest intervals between sets and by planning which muscle we train through the week and how much. Over-training can have negative side effects on our body which prevents us from continuing our progress and that is not our goal.2 In the Journal of Exercise Physiology researchers have concluded in their study that “two to four weekly training sessions are sufficient to produce significant strength gains”.3
Resistance training is the best choice if you want to gain more strength. Working with your machines or free weights, whatever is the case, the point of the resistance is to increase it over time but do it slowly. In the article written by JOHNSON FITNESS on April 8, 2019, Ken Grall pointed out that “As a rule, many fitness professionals will say not to increase your weight by more than 10% at a time”. Increasing the weights you lift is also a reflection of your own progress.
Many trainers, coaches, and fitness specialists recommend squats, deadlift, and bench press for the whole-body strength training. Continue reading to find out why.
The squats are a great exercise for working on your lower limbs. This exercise has many variations and represents a closed-chain movement, meaning the limb, in this case – the foot is fixed in space and can’t move. It activates the gluteus maximus and the level of the activation of this muscle depends on the depth the squat is performed. More depth, more muscle activation. Besides the glute muscle, squats activate the quadriceps, hamstrings, and the calf muscle. Squats are very beneficial by increasing the overall performance of everyday life because they mimic the tasks our body performs regularly.4
The bench press is the most popular exercise for the upper body amongst bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. Preformed on the flat bench, the exercise is done lying on the back with the feet flat on the floor. There are many variations of the bench press exercise. Only difference between the variations is the grip width of the bar. It activates the chest and triceps muscle but also the leg back and core muscles.6
These tree exercises with all of their variations complete the sequence of the whole body workout, and no wonder they call them – the big tree.
Set a goal and plan ahead, this is the case if you want to achieve your objective! Planning ahead has benefits, for example: When you come to the gym you know exactly what to do and there is no wasting time. This means that you can immediately move on to the point without much thinking about it, which makes you more efficient. Planning means you know what you want and how to do it.
Having the workout plans Creating a workout plan is important because it also allows you to plan the rest time for your body. And after all, people in general, get excited when they plan stuff it keeps them motivated.
The right nutrition is one of the key things if you want to gain more strength. The food we eat can have drastic effects on our whole body.
You should create a meal plan if you want to build more muscle, just like with the workouts.
To build muscle we need the right and sufficient amount of nutrients. The diet needs to be balanced. Enough calories and adequate proteins are needed to rebuild the muscle tissue which broke down during the training.7
The study published by Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute suggests that “Consuming higher amounts of protein during typical moderate energy-deficient weight loss diets (i.e., 500–750 kcal/d deficit ) preserves muscle mass in an otherwise catabolic physiological environment”.8 So, this means that the right diet can help us preserve the muscle mass while losing weight.
Here are the protein-rich foods you can add to your diet:
You can check out the list provided by ISSA which can help you to find a plant-based protein.
Knowing what to eat to gain muscle mass
After all, we want to make all these things simpler and that’s why we created the Smart Fitness app. Our app will help you achieve your fitness goals and will make your workout routine much easier because, it allows to plan ahead your workout routine and track your progress.
To download the app click on the link Smart Fitness.
1 – Joram D. Mul, Kristin I. Stanford, Michael F. Hirshman, and Laurie J. Goodyear, Exercise and Regulation of Carbohydrate Metabolis, Published in final edited form as: Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2015; 135: 17–37., Published online 2015 Aug 20. doi: 10.1016/bs.pmbts.2015.07.020
2 – Rhodes Serra, Francisco Saavedra, Belmiro Freitas de Salles , Marcelo Ricardo Dias, Pablo B. Costa, Hugo Alves, Roberto Simão, The Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Strength Gains(Journal of Exercise Physiology), February 2015 Volume 18 Number 1
3 – Francisco Saavedra, Rhodes Serra, Roberto Simão, The Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Strength Gains (Journal of Exercise Physiology online), February 2015 Volume 18
4 – Vecchio LD. The health and performance benefits of the squat, deadlift and bench press. MOJ Yoga Physical Ther. 2018;3(2):40-47. DOI: 10.15406/mojypt.2018.03.00042
5 – Vecchio LD. The health and performance benefits of the squat, deadlift and bench press. MOJ Yoga Physical Ther. 2018;3(2):40-47. DOI: 10.15406/mojypt.2018.03.00042
6 – Vecchio LD. The health and performance benefits of the squat, deadlift and bench press. MOJ Yoga Physical Ther. 2018;3(2):40-47. DOI: 10.15406/mojypt.2018.03.00042
7 – John W. Carbone and Stefan M. Pasiakos, Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit, Published online 2019 May 22
8 – John W. Carbone and Stefan M. Pasiakos, Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit, Published by Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute online 2019 May 22