kay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but it’s no stretch to say that strength training gives you the best bang for your exercise buck in terms of strength, stamina and calorie burn.
If you’re already doing cardio, adding strength training can be as easy as doing an at-home routine doing moves that use nothing but your own body weight.
If you’re new to exercise, you might prefer the social aspect and accountability of a strength training circuit class at your local gym. Bringing a friend or tagging along with someone you know that already goes is a great way to keep your motivation strong.
Whether you’re new to exercise or a seasoned veteran, if you want one-on-one coaching and supervision, consider hiring a personal trainer to help you with form and specifics on the best exercises for you. Whichever path you follow, the results of consistent strength training will astound you.
Here is a short list of the major benefits I see with my clients, Marilyn included!
Strength training increases metabolism and muscle mass: As we age, we lose muscle mass at a pretty alarming rate – roughly 3-5% of muscle mass every decade. And make no mistake: muscle is the only thing that burns fat in the human body. Strength training is a great way to build and maintain muscle mass and keep metabolism burning strong as we age. In fact, strength training elevates metabolism and keeps it elevated for literally days after a workout. The metabolic boost we get from cardio typically wears off within an hour of stopping that exercise. The muscle we build during strength training keeps rewarding us by burning calories much longer than does cardio.
Strength training improves joint strength and stability: The aches, pains, and even instability we feel in our joints become more common with the passing years. Unfortunately, these aches and pains lead most of us to become less active – which is exactly the opposite of what we’re aiming for! Strength training improves the muscle tone around critical joints, which can actually ease pressure (read: pain) and excess movement (again: pain) in the joint.
Strength training improves quality of life: Many of my clients are skiers. They do strength training to keep up with their kids on the slopes come mid-winter break. Maybe you don’t ski but you want to be able to pick up your child or grandchild with ease, or take your dog for a walk or run without your legs feeling like lead, or maybe you just want to walk around Disneyland with your family. The quality of life benefit often gets overlooked, but being stronger can make all of these activities easier and more enjoyable.
Marilyn interjecting: I had knee surgery more than two years ago; I have no cartilage in my right knee. (Darn it!) But Taryn and I work hard to keep the muscles that support my knee strong. In doing so I can avoid overtaxing the dominant muscles and becoming unbalanced, which can lead to injury.
Taryn here again: Marilyn’s situation is not at all uncommon among my clients who are her age. (MM: Hey! Watch it kiddo!) Everybody’s got a few battle scars and it’s important to have a game plan to build strength and balance into your workouts as you get older so that you can keep doing all the things you want to be able to do.
And because Marilyn and I are such big believers in the benefits of strength training, she’s going to be doing a series of videos on Fridays demoing a variety of strength training moves. She’ll show proper form and talk about the different ways to modify moves to make them either easier or more challenging, so you can customize them to suit your ability. So stay tuned for that!
If you’d like to learn more about my training philosophy and how I train my clients, please check out my website: www.performancecolorado.com.
Go get your sweat on!
Marilyn: Holy cow, can I be her when I grow up??? Proof positive, you get tickets to the gun show with strength training, not cardio!