The term strength training embraces a group of sports.
Strength sports require muscles. Of course, they need to be built up slowly and sustainably. Your primary goal is to develop a specific type of strength as well as to retain and expand your musculature. Next to aesthetics, your health plays a key role. Thus, strength training supports your back, protects your joints, trains your circulatory system, reduces your body fat, and prevents osteoporosis.

It boosts your immune system and triggers feelings of happiness.
The increase of rapid and maximum power is dependent on certain factors. You can influence some of them. The equipment at your training location, the biomechanics, and anatomic attributes, your motivation and diet are most essential. With an individualized workout, you can build up your musculature effectively.

Yet strength training leads to much more advantages than pure muscle formation.
It hardens your bones, increases your flexibility, protects from diabetes, and keeps you in balance – physically and mentally, as you get older. Furthermore, it reduces stress by releasing endorphins, leads to a better brain perfusion and increases your self-esteem. What are you waiting for?

 
Let us look at my recommendations first before we hit the gym.
 
Training Location: You want to work out. However, where?
Home: I train at home. Others go to the gym. Your decision will be a function of some parameters. Do you want to train time efficiently? The next gym is quite far away. You have a gym at home or at least some equipment. Do you prefer to train alone? Do you have experience with exercises and their appropriate execution? If you have answered several questions with “yes,” you might be better off working out at home. You need to have a plan though, equipment as needed, knowledge about the exercises and a strong will and discipline. In case you are advanced, you might even want to consider outdoor workouts. Home training and outdoor exercises are predestined for body weight workouts. Those can be very effective and keep your body healthy and in shape alike.
Gym: If you have answered several of the above-mentioned questions with “yes”, look for a gym. Ideally close to where you live. Wellness areas or swimming pools are nice-haves. A room with equipment and free weights is necessary. Best case, a cardio room in addition. Prior to signing a contract, get familiar with the conditions and opportunities to book a trainer.
 
Preparation: What do you need to plan and prepare in order to achieve your goals?
Training Schedule: Your objectives will be part of your training schedule. Latter shows you when you have to train which muscle groups as well as regeneration breaks. Training schedules need to be kept flexible to avoid plateaus. Otherwise, your body gets used to the sequences and intensities. This leads to stagnation. Lack of physical progress. Eventually your motivation drops.
Nutrition Schedule: Food plays an important role for strength training. If you do eat or drink unhealthy, your workout has zero effect. Worst case, it even harms you. During your travels across the continent Nutrition & Energy, you will master this component generally. Consume 1.5-2.0g protein per kilogram body weight. Yet choose your food wisely. After training quickly eat a meal or drink a plant protein shake to refill you exhausted reserves. Especially the country proteins & carbohydrates is worth a visit!
Warm-up: Best case, you start your work-out with a light 5-15 minutes run to get your blood circulation going and lubricate your joints (see country running). Do do this outside (e.g. on the way to the gym), on the treadmill or on the cross-trainer. I prefer former. If you spend time on the treadmill, you program your subconsciousness: “I run yet do not get ahead”. You do not want this to apply in other areas of life. However, your training goals determine the speed and duration of your warm-up. Do you want to gain mass or get lean?
 
 
Get started: After warm-up comes workout.
Equipment: At the beginning, you should avoid free weights. Train on the stationary training machines instead. Reason being, former leads you through the exercise and thus prevents the risk of false moves or postures. In addition, specific muscle groups will be trained. Alternatively, you can do body weight training. Push-ups or burpees that are – even more comprehensive – may be part of your warm-up or help you to build a foundation of muscles for more advances exercises.
Weights & Sets: At start, choose a weight, which allows 20 repetitions or even more. This is your warm-up set. In total, you want to strive for 4 sets per stationary equipment. Unless your trainer gives you a different recommendation. The weight of the following three sets depends on your training goals. In case you want to gain mass, you pick a weight, which allows 8-10 repetitions in the second set. During the third and fourth set, you adjust the weight accordingly.
Frequency: As a beginner and advanced trainee, I recommend working out 3-4 times per week at most. Reason being, your musculature grows on regeneration days – not on training days. Hence train overlapping muscle groups (e.g. shoulder and breast) every other day.
Body Data: In alignment with your training goals, keep track of your body data. First, it is your body weight. Whilst men often want to gain muscle mass and thus weight due strength training, women usually strive to get leaner. Both results are possible. It only depends on how you work out. Surely, strength training consumes more energy than endurance sports. Hence, keep an eye on your body fat ratio. Advice: You can document your physical changes visually. Take a photo of yourself every month. If you work out effectively, you will recognize continuous physical changes and the photo series will increase your motivation.
 
Before I get overly thick finger muscles through typing, I hand the mental weight to you now.
 
Status quo, goals, and actions. It is always the same effective process ExperienceZone guides you through. Document your current training schedule. Capture it in your Strength Training Template along the phases above. Example: I train 3-4 times per week at home or in the hotel. I focus on body weight exercises time efficiently. Those are push-ups, crunches etc.
 
After you outlined the current state, define your arget state. Why do you do strength training? What do you want to accomplish? Is it weight loss or muscle gain? Where do you strive to be end-state? Example: One of my training goals is a well-formed body and a healthy balance between rapid and maximum power. Hence, I want to find my optimum between strength training and my other sports. Here I want to listen to my body even more. I will only train when I have slept enough, am healthy and when I am in the mood for training.
 
After you know, where you are and plan to go, commit to actions and associated completion dates, which will bring your closer to your goals in a systemic way. Do you consider signing up for the local gym? Can you go more often, train harder or more divers? Are you looking for a partner or even trainer? Example: Every morning I will listen to myself and ask my body if I should work out. If there are any solid reasons against it, I will not train. In addition, I will research further body weight exercises to diversify my workout. Finally yet importantly, I want to focus on core exercises.
 
What are you waiting for? Live up to your commitments. Get up and train! Remember to check and update the Strength Training Template on an annual basis.

 

Training Schedule
What do you want to accomplish? Many people do not know the answer to this question. They just dive into training straightway. Best case, they have an ideal picture in their head. You have to gain clarity about your goals upfront. Do you want to burn fat or gain muscles? Is latter related to mass or definition? Thus rapid or maximum power? Alternatively, do you strive to increase your energy level in general? Improve your well-being? Get your objectives straight now.
 
Nutrition
“I accomplish my aims primarily through training? Why does ExperienceZone emphasize nutrition so much?” Plain simple: Food is the fuel of your mind and body. If you align your diet to your life style, you will be successful. This especially applies to strength training. In order to get optimal results, all three components are equally important: Training, recovery and nutrition.
 
Posture
If you are training, you are training – physically and mentally. Latter is particularly important. Focus on the sequence of motion, which you are currently doing. Nothing else is important in this very moment. Observe your posture. Otherwise, the training can lead to injuries. A proper warm-up before training is mandatory too. Else, you will have a rude awakening.

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