HomeHealth & FitnessStrength Training & Weight Training 101: How to Get Strong

Strength Training & Weight Training 101: How to Get Strong

Strength coaching will change your life.

If you need to shed weight, acquire muscle, and/or simply feel and appear higher, power coaching will just do that.[1]

In this complete sequence, we’re going to cowl EVERYTHING you want to find out about getting robust.

By the way in which, hello. I’m Staci Ardison, Senior Coach for Team NF, with a 455 pound deadlift, and power coaching has modified my life.

You can see in these images how strength training transformed Staci.

Here’s that deadlift by the way in which (at a body weight of 150 lbs): 

A deadlift like so is a great way to strength train. Don't start with 400 pounds though!

I assist women and men get robust with our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program, and as well as to this power sequence, I’d love for our group to allow you to get robust too:

In this introduction to Strength and Resistance Training, we’ll cowl:

This can also be rather a lot to take in, so we’ve mixed this text together with the remainder of our power articles right into a “Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know” information.

Grab it free once you be part of the Rebellion by placing your e-mail within the field beneath.

What are the Benefits of Strength Training?

What's so cool about strength training? This LEGO knows it allows him to do tricks like this.

Life is EASIER once you’re robust:

  • Carrying groceries? One journey.
  • Children to carry? No drawback.
  • Car caught within the snow? Push it out with ease.
  • Feel like a badass? YUP!

Plus, whether or not you’re 100 lbs obese or simply want to lose the last 15, power coaching is likely one of the most effective ways to burn fats and build muscle.[2]

This Muppet knows strength training will help him gain muscle and lose weight.

Let’s get the long run advantages out of the way in which.

How Strength Training Will Help as You Age:

#1) Halt and even reverse sarcopenia: As we age our skeletal muscle deteriorates, which is a situation often called sarcopenia. Strength coaching has been discovered to cut back the detrimental results of sarcopenia permitting us to keep an impartial life-style (and out of a nursing house) and dwell longer.[3] 

#2) Prevent illness and degenerative situations:[4a] Heart illness is the main reason behind dying for each women and men.

Strength coaching helps right points relating to ldl cholesterol, hypertension, weight problems, diabetes, and inactivity – all components for coronary heart illness.

Cardiologists are even beginning to advocate power coaching for individuals who have suffered a coronary heart assault as little as three weeks after the assault.[4b]

#3) Improve the standard of life for individuals with: arthritis,[5] osteoporosis,[6] Parkinson’s Disease,[7] Down Syndrome,[8] lymphedema,[9] fibromyalgia,[10] who’ve just lately had a stroke,[11] have had a spinal wire damage,[12] most cancers survivors[13] and scientific melancholy.[14] Clinical train physiologists working with these particular populations listed above strongly advocate incorporating power coaching to decelerate the development of their illness or dysfunction, lower their danger for different comorbidities, and reduce their danger for untimely mortality.[15]

Now, as well as to making life simpler LATER, power coaching has a whole lot of nice advantages proper now.

How Strength Training Will Help You Today:

#1) Lose weight, look good bare: You can discover research[16] after research[17] after research[18] that reveals you the advantages of power coaching for weight administration when mixed with “calorie restriction.”(consuming fewer energy than you burn day by day), reminiscent of better fats loss and enhancements in muscle mass. Additionally, the mixture of those two behaviors additionally decreases one’s danger for the event of power ailments (e.g., CVD) and untimely mortality.[19]

#2) Strength coaching may help improve your metabolism by rushing up your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).[20] It takes your physique extra energy to keep muscle than it does to keep fats!

#3) Strength coaching has a a lot better stage of extra post-exercise oxygen consumption than cardio train.[21]

What does this imply?

When you end a exercise, your physique wants to do a whole lot of work to replenish itself so as to convey itself again to a standard state (the way in which it was earlier than you labored out). This takes a whole lot of power, and a few research have proven that it may possibly enhance your metabolism for up to 38 hours after you end your exercise. If you do your resistance coaching rapidly, minimizing relaxation intervals in-between units, you may truly improve this impact.[22]

This is why it’s essential to keep off of the telephone in-between units!

Someone on their phone at gym

If you need to study extra about how to do that, take a look at our Guide to Circuit Training

In addition to bodily enhancements, power coaching will enhance your subsequent physician’s go to. 

How Strength Training Can Make You Healthier:

#1) Strength coaching will increase bone density, builds a stronger coronary heart, reduces your resting blood strain, improves blood move, halts muscle loss, helps management blood sugar, improves levels of cholesterol, and improves your steadiness and coordination.[23] This is all nice information as a result of it will lower your danger of creating situations reminiscent of osteoporosis, hypertension, and sort 2 diabetes.

#2) Strength coaching will make you FEEL higher: Not solely will you end up with extra power and confidence, much less stress and anxiousness,[24] and a higher total temper,[25] however you’ll truly start to assume higher (resistance coaching has been confirmed to assist improve cognitive operate[26]).

You could also be asking how that is doable?

Strength coaching permits for neurogenesis and neuroplasticity to happen, which is the method of making new neural pathways within the mind. 

A brain synapse firing

Plus, power coaching additionally permits for sure neurotransmitters (e.g., dopamine) to be launched that performs a task in mind well being.[27]

And whereas coaching too shut to bedtime could be a unhealthy thought, exercising earlier within the day has been confirmed to assist stop sleep apnea and insomnia.[28] 

Someone in a deep sleep

But wait, there’s extra!

I even improved my posture from power coaching – once I began lifting, I used to be 5’4”. Now I’m 5’5.5”.[29]

This can also be a serious concern for right now due to extended cellphone use, which finds individuals continually tilting their head ahead and down leading to neck ache and defective posture.[30]

#3) Last however not least, power coaching is enjoyable! Whether you’re on the lookout for the simplest 20-30 minute exercise (to keep match and look nice bare), or are on the lookout for a aggressive sport which you could actually get into, power coaching may help you meet your targets.[31]

It’s straightforward and enjoyable to see progress as you power prepare, nearly like leveling up (“You gained 100xp and +1 STR with your deadlift today”).

Always choose to level up strength in your RGP. Unless your a mage like this guy.

If you’re wanting to enhance in different areas (a sport, conventional cardio, or an exercise like mountaineering), power coaching is a straightforward selection! Strength coaching will assist hold you damage free too.[32]

We have teaching purchasers from 18 to 80+, and we work on power coaching with virtually each single certainly one of them due to simply what number of advantages it offers! We’d love to work with you too:

Who SHOULDN’T power prepare?

Is strength training good for ALL of these LEGOs? Yes.

Trying to be balanced, I wished to discover research of a single group of people that mustn’t power prepare.

But it didn’t go so properly…

  • I discovered research on how power coaching might be helpful for paraplegics.[33]
  • There are additionally research that present the advantages for kids and adolescents.[34]
  • You can even discover loads of research that specify the advantages of power coaching for pregnant girls.[35]  

Oh, and for those who assume you’re too outdated, I promise that you are not.

And thus I’ve determined, not understanding you, you must in all probability power prepare.

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: for those who do fall into any of those particular populations (e.g., paraplegics, kids, pregnant girls, and so on.) it’s crucial that you simply work with a professional skilled (e.g., scientific train physiologist, power and conditioning coach, and so on.).

These certified professionals will carry out a danger stratification and pre-assessments to allow them to begin you off with the proper coaching program that may enhance your bodily and psychological well being, and can lower your danger for damage and stop your situation from progressing to a extra extreme state. 

Oh, and for those who are already injured, you must verify with a physician[36] or bodily therapist earlier than power coaching.

Long story brief: EVERYBODY ought to power prepare.

Push-ups like this robot is doing are a great way to strength train. Although the bot might not have muscle tissue to rebuild...

Robots too…in all probability.

It’s what we’re genetically designed to do: transfer round, push, pull, soar, and carry issues.

What Is Strength Training? The Basics You Need to Know.

These LEGOs are working the bench and doing some deadlifts. Nerd Fitness approves.

“Strength training” of any form might be defined by two issues:

That’s power coaching!

If you need 7 alternative ways to obtain progressive overload, watch this video:

All this implies for those who do 10 squats and 10 knee push-ups proper now, you might have accomplished a power coaching exercise.

Feel free to do that proper now to give your self a fast win.

And we’re again!

So what’s truly occurring to our our bodies after we power prepare?

Let’s get on our magic college bus and study concerning the wonders of muscle tissue!

It's time to learn about strength training with the kids in the magic school bus.

Here’s what you want to know your muscle tissue and power coaching:

We’ve bought 642 muscle tissue in our our bodies (however who’s counting), they usually all work collectively to assist our our bodies transfer, stand, and exist.

When you bend your arm, your biceps contract and your triceps do the other (elongate) so as to let your elbow bend.

Every muscle in your physique works alongside different muscle tissue to allow you to transfer and do issues. In this explicit instance, the biceps is called the agonist muscle and the triceps is the antagonist.

Strength coaching begins once you transfer your body weight (doing 10 push-ups), or choose up a weight (a 100 pound deadlift) that’s past what your physique is generally used to.

In different phrases:

Strength coaching finds you pushing your muscle tissue outdoors of their consolation zone.

They “break down” and tear barely throughout this exercise, after which over the following 24-48 hours they rebuild themselves stronger and extra resilient.[38]

This is the muse of power coaching, and it’s known as hypertrophy, during which the person muscle fibers packed into your muscle tissue are rising bigger in measurement.[39]

There are a couple of sorts of hypertrophy,[40] which you’ll be able to nerd out about right here (don’t fear, this received’t be on the quiz):

  • Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy focuses on rising the quantity of sarcoplasm, the non-contractile fluid present in your muscle. This sort of hypertrophy helps construct total measurement.
  • Myofibril hypertrophy focuses on strengthening the myofibril, the contractile a part of the muscle. You are strengthening the precise muscle fiber so it helps you construct tremendous dense, robust muscle tissue.
  • Transient hypertrophy is the short-term improve in muscle measurement that occurs throughout and instantly after weight coaching due to fluid accumulation within the intracellular area, that you simply may know as “the pump”.

“Staci, what does this mean for me?” You could be questioning.

We cowl actual methods in our “How many sets and reps?” information, however right here’s what you want to know:

Strength prepare based mostly in your targets!

If you’re building your own workout:

  • If you need dense muscle and power (myofibrillar hypertrophy), hold the reps low and the burden heavy (within the 1 to 5 rep vary).
  • If you’re wanting to build muscle size, (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy), do extra reps with a lighter weight (within the 8-12 vary).
  • If you’re wanting to construct cardiovascular well being and muscular endurance, hand around in the 12-20 reps per set vary.

Please be aware: every of those rep ranges are NOT unique – once you prepare in the next rep vary you’re not JUST getting measurement, you’re additionally getting power.

And for those who get actually robust, it may possibly additionally allow you to with measurement and endurance.

What rep range did Bruce Lee complete for his strength training? All of them I'm guessing.

Don’t overlook that irrespective of HOW you prepare, nutrition will be responsible for 90% of your results.

Three fast factors (which we cowl in additional element all through the remainder of this sequence):

#1) “How often should I work out?For a basic strength program, understanding 3-4 days per week is a lot.[41] This is a type of conditions the place extra will not be essentially higher.

#2) Recovery: The normal rule is to wait 48 hours earlier than working the identical muscle group once more. For instance, for those who educated your biceps and triceps right now, then you must wait 48 hours earlier than hitting them once more. However, restoration is completely different for everybody relying on many alternative components reminiscent of what the precise exercise is, how outdated you’re, your sleep quality, diet, and different restoration components (reminiscent of therapeutic massage, together with the favored therapeutic massage weapons, foam rolling, and stretching).[42]

#3) Soreness after a exercise: The day after an intense power coaching exercise – or 2 days after – you’re going to be VERY sore. This is named “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness(DOMS)”. It’s a standard a part of the method of repairing your muscle tissue from the harm to the fibers you created whereas exercising. More just lately, analysis proof has discovered that the eccentric a part of a carry, or the a part of the carry during which the muscle tissue are lengthening and stretching, produces the best diploma of soreness.[43]

Expect to be extra sore after doing an train for the primary few exercises. As your muscle tissue get used to that motion (and adapt to being put underneath stress), they may get much less and fewer sore each time.

If you’re sore, don’t skip the following exercise!

That’s as a result of:

The finest approach to alleviate soreness is to proceed exercising

This will increase blood move to the muscle tissue and helps them heal.[44]

You can take a look at our Guide for Active Recovery for some tips about how to do this.  

Already overwhelmed and simply need to be instructed what to do? I hear you. It’s why we created our teaching program:

Can I power prepare to shed weight?

This woman knows that strength training can be a great tool for weight loss.

We get questions relating to weight reduction and power coaching on a regular basis, and it’s a BIG a part of this complete Strength 101 sequence.

Let me rapidly deal with it right here:

Fat and muscle are two various things – one can’t rework into the opposite.

We all have loads of muscle proper now (in any other case we wouldn’t give you the chance to transfer, stroll, sit up, and so on.), the muscle is simply hiding beneath a layer of physique fats.

Yep, the bigger you are, the more calories you need.

In order for us to lose weight and look higher, we wish to do two issues:

  1. Build our muscle tissue stronger and tighter.
  2. Burn the fats on high of it!

And fortunately, each of these issues occur concurrently by way of power coaching!

So NO, you don’t want to shed weight first earlier than you begin power coaching.  

You will shed weight BY power coaching (and hold the muscle you might have).

You do NOT want to do hours of cardio for weight reduction – weight reduction is 90% a result of your nutrition. So truthfully, you don’t want to ever set foot on a treadmill once more (until you WANT to).

Homer likes a treadmill...as long as he can watch TV. We'll get him to strength train soon.

Strength coaching will allow you to shed weight and look higher IF you do two key issues for efficient weight reduction:

  1. Calorie restriction: eat fewer energy than you burn day by day.
  2. Strength train with progressive overload (selecting up heavier stuff).

As we cowl in our “Why can’t I lose weight” article (stuffed with enjoyable Harry Potter references), combining a caloric deficit and power coaching is magic:[45]

  • You’re not consuming sufficient energy to perform your physique’s each day capabilities. Our our bodies require sufficient energy to assist regular physiological capabilities reminiscent of coronary heart price and respiration. Additionally, sufficient energy are wanted to assist keep our blood glucose, which is the most important power supply for our brains.[46] 
  • Your physique wants to use plenty of energy to rebuild the muscle that was damaged down in the course of the strength training workouts. Our our bodies use energy to facilitate a course of often called protein synthesis, which is the method of muscle hypertrophy.[47] 
  • Your physique has no selection BUT to pull from fats shops to get stuff achieved! As talked about earlier, higher-intensity power coaching ends in a better post-exercise oxygen consumption, leading to better caloric expenditure post-exercise.[48]

Just by doing these two issues (get robust, cut back energy), all kinds of wizardry and witchcraft takes place in your physique:

  • Get stronger and hold the muscle you might have.
  • Build tight dense muscle.
  • A revved up metabolism whereas rebuilding muscle.
  • Burning of physique fats to get issues achieved.

Yeah, you’re listening to me appropriately.

Lose the physique fats that sits on high of your muscle tissue and you’ll make your muscle tissue tighter and denser = look higher with out garments on.

So how do you set this into follow?

  1. Pick one of many power exercises in our “How to start strength training” part.
  2. Calculate your daily caloric needs.
  3. Learn which diet is best for you, and make a small change.

Oh, what’s that? You simply need any individual to inform you precisely how to prepare in your physique, and the way to eat in your targets?


Check out our 1-on-1 Coaching Program – it’s helped 1000’s of individuals shed weight by way of power coaching – and correct diet. We work with you on behavior constructing and life-style design to truly get stuff achieved!

Am I Too Old to Strength Train?

Is this wizard too old to strength train? Does he need magic to lift weights?

As we cowl in our “am I too old to strength train” article, no – you aren’t.

I promise.

I cited dozens of research above that present power coaching is helpful for individuals of all ages. And even for the frail aged, research have proven that drastic outcomes are doable in simply 10 weeks of weightlifting (for each women and men of their 70s by way of their 90s).[49]

In reality, weight coaching has additionally been proven to delay Alzheimer’s and stave off dementia.[50] As talked about earlier, power coaching permits for neurogenesis and neuroplasticity to happen, which is the method of making new neural pathways within the brian. And, power coaching additionally permits for the dopamine (i.e., neurotransmitter) to be launched that performs a task in mind well being.[51]

Research has additionally proven that older adults can safely have interaction in higher-intensity power coaching leading to enhancements in power, physique composition, illness standing, and impartial life-style.[52]

So, for those who assume you could be “too old,” you’re in all probability the precise sort of individual that SHOULD be power coaching!

Team NF’s Steve’s gramma is 89 and he or she power trains. You should not too outdated!

We have loads of coaching clients who’re retired and simply STARTING to power prepare now of their 50s or 60s+. In reality certainly one of our coaches, Kerry, is licensed as a Functioning Aging Specialist, and also you higher imagine she has her purchasers power coaching!

By the way in which, if you’re 90+ and studying Nerd Fitness, please e-mail us at contact@nerdfitness.com – I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Will Lifting Weights Make Me Bulky?

Will lifting weights make you bulky like the Hulk?

No (until you’re TRYING to get cumbersome).

Let me first deal with this from a girls’s perspective, then I’ll get to the boys.

“Fear of bulk” is likely one of the biggest myths surrounding women and strength training and it makes me a tragic panda.

Sad Panda wants you to not be afraid of strength training

The photos of “bulky” girls that you’re conjuring up are from bodybuilding magazines.

When I began power coaching, I didn’t get cumbersome, I got lean:

Strength Training transformed Staci as shown here.

And I’m only one instance.

We have a whole bunch of examples right here at Nerd Fitness.

These are girls who power educated to get robust and lean, not cumbersome. Like Leslie, who lost 100 pounds by getting strong:

How did Leslie transform? Strength training.

Or Christina, who got strong as hell, misplaced 31 complete inches, and now crushes units of pull-ups! 

Christina found her perfect workout.

That “bulky” look in girls doesn’t occur by mistake or in a single day – we merely wouldn’t have the hormones mandatory to get there on our personal.

To obtain this look, girls have to eat unbelievable quantities of meals and devour unbelievable quantities of medication.

When we power prepare usually, with out these dietary supplements, we find yourself wanting like athletes.

And for the boys: in case your worry is getting too cumbersome, you may relaxation straightforward. Steve, creator of Nerd Fitness, has spent his total life attempting to get “too bulky.” It was solely after fixing his food plan (and hiring an online coach) that he went from Steve Rogers to Captain America.

Steve Kamb turning into Captain America with the help of an intermittent fasting plan.

That’s proper, power coaching is simply 10% of the “slim down or bulk up” equation. The different 90% is diet and complete energy consumed.

  • Want to shed weight? Strength prepare + caloric restriction. It is really helpful that you simply search a calorie deficit by consuming 250-500 much less energy per day beneath your typical calorie consumption. This will lead to a practical weight reduction objective of 1-2 kilos per week.[53]
  • Want to get greater? Strength prepare + caloric surplus. It is really helpful that you simply search a calorie surplus by consuming 250-500 extra energy above your typical calorie consumption.  This will lead to a practical acquire in lean muscle mass of about 0.5 kilos per week.[54] 

“My focus is on running/basketball/quidditch and I need to stay slim! How do I strength train for this scenario?”

Studies have proven that power coaching will increase the endurance of your muscle tissue.[55]

In reality, resistance coaching and weight coaching not solely assist to tune up an out of practice nervous system and improve the activation of motor items inside your muscle tissue, but additionally helps improve their total endurance. More particularly, power coaching may end up in enhancements in how a lot power muscle tissue can generate and in addition how a lot fatigue they’ll resist main to higher train financial system.[56]

Want to run your first 5K? Strength coaching will hold you damage free. One of our coaching clients, Aylette, used strength training to keep her injury free and he or she just lately one a triathlon! 

If you’re apprehensive about getting too large, keep in mind: there are many types of strength training (and alternate types of power coaching like acro yoga and rock climbing!), and measurement and power don’t all the time go hand in hand.

I Don’t like Gyms. Can I Still Strength Train?

Do you have to work out in a gym like this to strength train?

You don’t ever have to set foot in a health club for those who don’t need to.

Sure, gyms are nice, so long as you join the right gym.  

And we will additionally educate you how to train in a gym so that you keep away from that “lost sheep” feeling.

But they aren’t for everyone!

You can get actually robust as hell doing simply bodyweight exercises at home.

Remember how I talked about “progressive overload” earlier? That applies to body weight coaching too.

You simply have to continually improve the problem your muscle tissue face. Like transferring from our Beginner Bodyweight Workout to our Advanced Bodyweight Workout.

And then advancing to handstands and even gymnastic ring muscle-ups.

Steve always travels with rings, so he can do his training from any part of the world.

You simply have to hold difficult your muscle tissue and get robust as heck.

Look at any gymnast, male or feminine – these physiques are constructed by way of body weight coaching!

Proof that you can get big and bulky with just lifting yourself up.

To progress in body weight workout routines, you want to begin, so you might have one thing to advance from. You can start by attempting our newbie body weight routine RIGHT NOW:

Do you understand how to properly build a workout routine that has body weight workout routines that correctly scale up as you get stronger?

It’s tremendous enjoyable constructing your personal program, however many individuals simply need to comply with a plan that they know is aligned with their targets. If you hate gyms and nonetheless need to get robust, allow us to assist!

How to Start Strength Training Today: Next Steps

You don't need a gym to start strength training, as shown here.

If you’re prepared to begin, implausible.

We’d advocate a easy program to get your ft moist.[57] You know, to study the actions, construct some confidence and show to your self which you could DO this!

If you need to take the Next Step, right here’s how Team Nerd Fitness (that’s us!) may help you:

1) Work with knowledgeable Yoda! If you need confidence that you simply’re following a program that’s tailored in your busy life, scenario, and targets, take a look at our in style 1-on-1 Coaching Program.

You’ll work with a licensed NF teacher who will get to know you higher than you understand your self, hold you accountable, and allow you to attain your targets.

Nerd Fitness Coaching Banner

2) Join our wonderful free neighborhood, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion! It’s free to be part of, and we offer you free goodies like our Strength Training 101 book once you join:

3) Read ALL of the opposite wonderful sources on Nerd Fitness. We’ve revealed hundreds of thousands of phrases over 800+ articles at Nerd Fitness which you could learn, however these are the guides that would be the most useful to you in your journey:

I don’t care which subsequent step you choose, so long as you PICK a plan that works for you

  • It’s easy to comply with
  • You have the entire tools out there
  • It focuses on compound, full physique actions

Congratulations: You simply made it by way of the primary class of Strength Training 101!

What large questions do you might have about power coaching? 

Has power coaching labored for you?

How else can Team Nerd Fitness allow you to?

Now go choose up one thing heavy!


PS – Please learn half two, “5 Strength Training Workouts for Beginners!

PPS: Be certain to take a look at the remainder of Strength Training 101 sequence too:


Photo Source: Stepan Popov © 123RF.com, LEGO one armLYT, lego bench press, Belly, Wizard, Not Happy, Free Weights, acrobat



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