Why everyone needs proper strength training

CrossFit Chiltern
Why everyone needs proper strength training

- - Hi, I want to talk about the importance of strength training today. Whatever your goals are, strength training will be an important factor in achieving those goals. What those goals are aesthetic, strength training is really, important because if you think about how your body consists or what it's made up of. You've got skeleton, you got organ, you got skin, and you got muscle and fat, and what gives us the shape that we want and the tone that everyone talks about is muscle. It's not fat. You can't shape the fat, okay? You can't manipulate your organs into the shape you want it to be. You can't manoeuvre your skin. I suppose you could have some cosmetic surgery, but realistically, you can't change anything about your body shape without building muscle and muscle tone. If you want to change your shape, you can't just lose fat. You do need to build muscle as well. If you just lose fat, then you end up being a skeleton basically. You need to get that muscle to build tone.

For those ladies out there, I said every single video, tone doesn't mean bulk, okay. Bulk comes from your body weight to being too great, so if you're big and bulky, generally, it's going to be fat on top of that muscle that's going to make you bulky. Conversely, if you see someone that's super ripped and super muscle-y, they are working towards that specific goal. For a girl, it needs, I mean, if a guy that's difficult enough, but for girls, it's super, super difficult, so I don't want to keep going over the same subject, but don't worry about that, but you need strength training to get your aesthetic goals met, so really, important. So, most people, when they go to the gym, I think, their initial priority is to look better. Strength training must be number one on your list of things to do ahead of everything else.

Now, obviously, if you have a lot of fat that you need to get rid of, then yes, you might benefit from some form of metabolic conditioning, cardiovascular training, some of that, in addition to your strength training, but don't think that you can get away with just doing cardio, and you're going to get some benefit because you need to be building muscle as well because don't forget. If you're trying to lose fat, having more muscle will enable you to burn more calories, okay? The more muscle you have, the more energy expenditure you have, basically, because muscle takes up more calories. It uses more calories that you're basically building a bigger engine, so a bigger engine requires more fuel, and therefore, you're going to have more calories to burn. Important, even if your goal is just purely fat loss. Then you have muscle in there because that's going to help.

initially, most people find that if they're overweight, the initial bit of weight loss is the easy part, but when it starts to get difficult, that's when having more muscle will be a real benefit to you, so aesthetically, fat-loss wise, strength training is really, important.

Performance, if you're looking to improve your performance at a given sport or just your general performance in your workouts, then strength training is also equally important. If you want to jump higher, okay, if you want to run faster, then having the correct muscles and more of those and more powerful and stronger muscles is going to really help that, so if you looking to improve performance, it's not just about doing very specific training towards that, so trying to jump higher. It's not just about practicing jumping, building muscle is going to really help with those performance as well, and in other sports as well.

the obvious sports would be stuff like, you know, real power sports like rugby, and sports like that, but really, anyone will benefit from getting stronger and it's going to move onto building more resilience as well, so if you can develop better muscle tone, especially in the muscles you're going to be using for your given sport and in your core stabilizer muscles as well and your glute muscles which are obviously big stabilizers for pretty much every sport, then that's going to really help you perform better, but also be more resilient, to be more resistant to injury which obviously is going to affect your performance, and if you move on from performance because not everyone is training to maybe work for a specific sport or training goal, but obviously, if you are, that's really, really important, then we'll move on and alongside improving your performance, whatever event you're going to go into.

Strength training is very important for your longevity. Not just for your quality of life as you get older, but also for your length of life. Research studies have shown that, when they've done studies on the markers of what causes you to have a longer life expectancy the ones the most people thought was stuff like cholesterol and blood sugar and all those numbers. They did have a great impact, but a lot of the biggest impacts on life expectancy when they did measures of people that live longer and people didn't live as long were strength regimen. Percentage of muscle and grip strength tests, leg strength tests, all of those indicated, were indicated of people that were going to live for longer. So being stronger will help increase your life span,

I think more importantly than the quantity of life you have remaining, will be the quality of that life. As you get older, pretty much from 30 years onwards, you experience some form of muscular atrophy. In other words, as you get older, if you don't use your muscles, you lose your muscles. You will get progressively weaker and your amount of muscle in your body will reduce year upon year upon year if you are not doing exercise specific for strength training, and as you get weaker, daily tasks become more difficult, so you talk about sort of infirmed older people that struggle to get in and out of chairs, struggle to go up and down the stairs and then out of the bath. Those sorts of things are the result of muscular atrophy. I'm not talking about when people have had trauma or injury or any other conditions, but those conditions, even if you have some conditions like arthritis or other, those conditions can be improved and your symptoms lessened by being stronger, but just in general, if you want to have a better quality of life, you want to be able to play with your kids, play with your grandkids, just be able to enjoy if you're moving into retirement, enjoy that retirement or just enjoy your 40s and your 50s as well, then you need strength training.

It becomes more and more of a priority the older you get because the better, the stronger you are, the easier it is for you to be able to move and do more activities and be more active and enjoy your life for a long period of time, so really, important. Yes, I know, some of us say alongside that, obviously, as we get older, we've got to look at mobility as a key issue as well, but this video's not about mobility, but yes, it is a priority, but strength training is going to give you the best bang for your buck in terms of improving the quality of life for most people, so you need to be doing that. Now, I talked about the why and why you need to be doing strength training.

What about the how because a lot of people don't really understand training for strength, and I see a lot of people doing exercise where they do multiple reps, loads and loads of volume of exercise, so maybe hundreds and hundreds of press ups or, you know, body weight squats, that kind of, I kind of talk about boot camps a lot, but that kind of boot camp material, we're just doing loads of stuff. You know, you're sitting down in a wall sit for three minutes. You're doing loads of squats. You're doing loads of press-ups, and all of that is that there's definitely a benefit to doing multiple reps, doing lots of exercise, making it almost into a cardiovascular session, and that's kind of a great way of doing cardio without what people associate with cardio which is like running or cycling or single stay cardio which is very boring for a lot of people, so it is a good variation on that, but in terms of getting that strength benefit, it's not going to be your most efficient way to do that. You're not going to get the best result from just doing that. So yes, there's a place for loads and loads of reps and you know, kind of like the body pump style classes, the Les Mill stuff, or all that kind of stuff. There's a place for that. 

what are we looking for when we're looking at improving our strength? Well, most of the time, when you need to recruit that strength, it's not over multiple reps. Okay, so the practical reasons of needing strength. For example, if you're looking at an older person, if they're looking to be able to get out of a chair, that's one rep, yeah? It's not 10 reps. They don't get up there into that chair 10 times in one minute, okay? It's generally one rep they need to get better at. If you need to jump, let's say you're out playing basketball. You would jump higher for that shot. You're going to do one rep, and then you're going to run around on the court, and then you're going to do that again. You're not going to be popping up and down 50 times in one go. Okay, we're looking for explosive, but if you're playing, you know, I'm obviously a golf pro as well, so if you're playing golf, a golf shot is one rep. You then walk, look for your golf ball for 10 minutes, and then you hit your next shot. We need to be training sort of, I hate the word functional training, but that kind of functional ability to improve ourselves, we must have some of our strength training for minimal reps, maximal load. Don't necessarily have to be one rep stuff, but, I think a lot of the training should be done in sets of five or fewer to really build that maximal strength. That strength that you're going to recruit in, you know,

if you're picking up a heavy load, you know, a heavy, let's say a heavy box from the garage. You're moving that. You want to be able to move that, yeah. Pick it up. Move that load. Okay, so you need that maximal strength in short number of reps, so if you're not doing high load, low rep training, you need to start having that into your programming. Before you do that, obviously, same as you would do in maximal rep, multiple reps, you need your technique to be on point, so you need to get someone who is an expert at teaching the movement to teach you how to move safely and also to guide you towards what load you should be starting and what load is going to keep you within the threshold of quality because I call it the threshold of shite, and when you get a bit heavier, too heavy, that technique goes wrong, but really, really important you've got someone who can monitor you, make sure that your movement is correct, so whether that's someone who you know is qualified or if you've got a friend that you trust and you think they might be qualified enough, then yeah, try them

,You need to make sure though, whatever movement you're doing, you're coached properly, you're moving properly because if you're going into those maximal loads, obviously, you want to be doing it safely, and we talk in the future about how you should be breathing for those maximal loads as well, but you need to make sure that some of your training and for most of the time, that's going to be that sort of, once you've warmed up and everything else, the first few sort of exercises you put into your training program are more maximal effort ones. You’re going to improve your ability to move weight, heavy weights, and that's what's going to get you stronger. Yes, alongside that, you can add some accessory work. You can add some what we call hypertrophy work where you're building more muscle for the aesthetic and just generally for muscular endurance as well, so you can add some higher rep stuff later, but make sure you have that high low one.

Alongside that comes rest. So very important that when you are doing that sort of training that your rest period during your workout is long enough. So, for example, for something like, let's say a barbell bench press, you want to have probably between a minute and 90 seconds rest. It depends on how heavy you're going, obviously, and how heavy you go. The stronger you are, the more muscle fibres you're recruiting, the heavier that load is you're moving, the longer that rest needs to be, and that goes for exercise as well. For example, a deadlift is probably the exercise where you're going to move the most amount of weight, that or the squat, you might have two to three minutes of rest on some of your maximal sets. Really, important that you can recover, your central nervous system recover, so you can give it your all on the next set. Don't try and push out the set, then try another set 30 seconds later. That kind of training has a place, and obviously we did it in our CrossFit classes as well, but we also have our strength phase where we have full rest periods, so make sure you value your rest period. It's not always about just getting a sweat on and just collapsing on the floor. It's about quality of movement, really getting the maximum amount of load out and getting your rest,

We talk about rest in the workout. Rest outside of the workout is super, super important, too. Your body doesn't grow muscle during a workout. It repairs and grows that muscle because of that workout over the next between 24, 48, or even 72 hours. So that rest period that you're having needs to be enough for your body to recover and grow muscle. If you don't do that, then you're going to suffer effects of reduced performance and high risk of injury, so important. Your rest period is great, and that's why it's important you structure your program properly because you don't have to be, doesn't mean you do one workout and you rest three days. What it does mean is the day after you do your lower body on a Monday, you would then not do your lower body again 'till probably a Thursday, and I'm talking, we talk about doing it again to back like doing it heavy session, you can do some stuff where you're doing light, body-weight squats, some of that. In between, that's good with keep moving, and you can do your cardiovascular stall, metabolic conditioning stall stuff in between, but for the heavier load days, you need at least 72 hours, I would say, as a suggested rest period if you're going to be training for that pure strength that we're looking for.

Some bodybuilders might be looking at it and say okay, I'll do more than that, but they're looking for aesthetics, so they're looking to just get more and more pump on. Your rest period is really, your body's important, you structure your programming, so your rest is that way because I think people just try and batter themselves and think, oh, just the higher amount of volume in training, the better. That is not the case. You won't get great results out of that. Pretty soon, you will see the in-effects of that and it will come back to you and you'll going to negatively affect your training. Rest is really, important.

nutrition. If you're going to be doing any kind of training, you need to be fuelling yourself with the right amounts of nutrients, proteins, water, all those things that are going to help you with training. What I want to stress is if you are not doing proper strength training in your programming, you need to start. Really important because it's going to get you looking better. It's going to get you moving better, so performing better, and it's going to increase your quality of life and hopefully, the length of your life as well. I hope this helps, guys.

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