Strength training is incredibly beneficial for adults (18+ years) to undertake for a number of reasons.
- Make everyday activities easier
- Promote a healthier body
- Increase activity levels in a sedentary lifestyle AND
- If done correctly is safe and easy to implement
Last week we focused on strength training recommendations for teenagers, however this week we’re highlighting advice for adults.
As a starting point we suggest the do’s and don’ts below.
Let’s get the negative things out of the way up front:
- Go too hard, too early
This is all about a lifelong behaviour change. If you go too hard, too early, you will likely experience significant muscle soreness, potential for injury and decrease in performance. All these things add up to not having much fun in strength training, and if you aren’t enjoying it you’re less likely to keep doing it.
- Do not rush to expensive gyms and equipment
The best improvements in the early stages come from increased coordination, improved connective tissue strength and positive adaptation of your nervous system. None of these require you to spend too much on expensive equipment and gym memberships. Starting with your own bodyweight is key.
- More is not better
If your goal is to improve your upper body strength, do not focus all your attention on this area. The body requires a stress to be applied, then recovery so that the body can make the necessary adaptations and improvements can take place.
Now the positive elements to focus on:
Your program needs to be balanced. For every upper body ‘push’ exercise you do, you need to do an upper body ‘pull’ exercise. Aiming for an equal measure of strength in both. This is the same for the lower body.
- Fuel for training
Strength training can demand a lot of energy during the session and after the session while the body makes the adaptations. A well-balanced diet will support this process.
- Rest and recover
As you will have noticed by now the body’s ability to improve comes from rest and recovery. Ideally you would have 24-48 hours rest between training the same muscle group. As you get older your body’s ability to regenerate slows down. In this time eat well, stay hydrated and sleep consistently.
While you will no doubt have specific goals to target you must include a variety of training stimulus. This may include different types of strength training, different physical activities (running, swimming, bike riding etc) and more formal sport. The more variety you place in your program the better your results will be.
With this knowledge gained you can now begin planning your strength training, simple and effective strength programs can be found here.