Strength Training - why you need it and how to do it.
If you do one thing today make it a short and snappy strength training session. Strength training is often neglected in female fitness But it is absolutely essential. As we age our body naturally loses muscle mass and this only is only accelerated by hormonal changes post menopause. The bottom line is if we want to be able to get out of a chair, off the toilet, or up off the floor in our 80s - it is essential that we do strength training through our 30s, 40s and beyond.
Starting a strength training program can be daunting. Where to start? How often to train? What kit do I need? Here are a few of my tips to make it super simple.
1: strength training needs to be done at least twice a week.
2: we need to work the major muscles of the body in the legs, bum, chest, back, core and arms.
3: there are heaps of exercises out there and literally millions of videos to follow. However many of these are so hard You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to follow them. So long as you are completing exercises to the point that you can’t do any more then your muscles are getting a great workout. Focus on simple moves that you can perform well. I’ll soon be releasing a series of videos on simple exercises to work for major muscle groups of the body.
4: in terms of kit it is possible to do a good strength training session using just your body weight however to see you real improvements in muscle strength it’s a good idea to invest in something heavy to load the muscles. I find kettle bells a great way to exercise as are dumbbells. Obviously the weights you need will be different for each person but as a rough guide 3 kg - 5 kg will be adequate for most women.
5: It’s easy to get very confused by the number of repetitions you need to do. Personal trainers have done a great job of making it seem quite confusing! Really simply you want to be carrying enough weight or making the exercise hard enough that you can do about 8-10 repetitions before your muscles start to feel tired. This number of repetitions means that you will be building strength through the muscle. The all you need to do is repeat this x2 or x3 for each muscle group!
6.If you still need help then having some Personal Graining sessions can help get you off to a great start.