Fitness / Strength Training

All Your Strength Training Questions, Answered

We're demystifying the weight room.

One question we get from Aaptiv members on a regular basis is: Should I try strength training workouts? In short, the answer is yes.

Everyone should incorporate a strength training program into their overall exercise plan. To explain why strength training is such a vital habit for both women and men to adopt, we spoke to fitness expert Sultan Malik and got answers to all your burning strength training questions.

Why You Should Start a Strength Training Program

First of all, we hear terms such as strength training and body weight training a lot, what do those terms really mean?

“They both mean the application of all forms of resistance for the purpose of strengthening the body. They are in that aspect interchangeable. However, the former is more specific to weights—tools added to produce the strength building result: T-Bands, cables, kettle bells and the like. Body weight can also be used to produce the same general affect. However, there are inherent limitations such as increasing the need for resistance for further strength gains. For the novice, strength will begin to be developed right away with these types of exercises, but at a certain point, we enter a muscular endurance phase. Your muscles adapt to the exercises you perform using your body weight. At that point it helps to introduce tools.”

As you get started, it’s of the utmost importance to maintain proper form to avoid injury. Aaptiv’s strength classes show visual workouts for each strength exercise so you know exactly what to do and which muscles to use.

Who can benefit from strength training?

“Everyone can benefit from the development of strength. That encompasses all genders, ages, fitness levels, and those with physical disabilities. Strength is what we all will need to move more efficiently as we age. Additionally, it serves to prevent injury as well as to expedite post-injury recovery.”

If a person prefers to do cardio, should he or she try to weave in some strength training?

“All modalities of exercise should be incorporated into all training regiments. It doesn’t matter what the end goal is—sports performance, a marathon, triathlon, or general exercise. However, if you only have time for a pared down fitness routine, I am a proponent of strength training over cardio. Reason being, we are not going to need to utilize the benefits of running a 5k or more in our daily lives. We are going to develop the strength to perform simple daily activities such as carrying groceries, lifting boxes, performing garden work, and doing household chores over the long term.”

That being said, you should do a healthy mix of cardio and strength to maintain a healthy fitness level—and Aaptiv can help you with both.

A lot of women shy away from strength training for fear they’ll bulk up, is that a real concern or a myth?

“Women should simply alter strength training exercises to fit their needs. It is an absolute myth that bulking is caused by strength training alone. Strength training is hugely different from body building which causes true bulking up. For the latter a lot goes into it, including consistently and strategically planning weight progressions and a huge nutrient-dense diet regiment—to name only a couple components.”

What are a few strength/body weight training moves anyone can do?

Stick to the basics—they are always the go-to for any knowledgeable trainer. When strength training with weights ,the big three are a must: bench press, squats, and deadlifts. As for body weight training, incorporate squats, pushups, and pull-ups. Include exercise that work both lower body and upper body.”

How often should men and women be strength training?

“At the very least, to cause real changes, I recommend three sessions per week separated by a rest day. Think one day on, one day off.”

What’s the best way to get started on a strength training program?

“The best approach is to set the stage mentally. Some clients actually wear their training clothing to bed the night before their session. Whatever works. It’s all about strategy. Again, the tried and true method is to stick to the basics. Every other move has been developed from them. Once confidence is developed in those movements, adding more challenging ones will be easier.”

Any major don’ts for strength training?

“Remember the phrase and application of ‘form follows function.’ If the form or technique is incorrect in training of any type, injury can ensue. Safety comes first.”

What’s the best way to recover after strength training?

“Post strength training recovery is best achieved by stretching. Lead with dynamic stretching followed by static stretching. Getting enough rest and eating nutritionally dense food will also assist in repairing damaged muscle cells.”

What are some effective Aaptiv workouts people should try?

“I recommend followers of Aaptiv to utilize all types of workouts available, but with an emphasis on the specific training goal. Example, if you’re training for a 5k, incorporating yoga helps with flexibility and increased skeletal muscular strength providing better movement and increased power and speed.”

Try strength training workouts in the Aaptiv app today!

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