Strength training is a type of exercise that improves the strength and endurance of muscles. It’s not necessarily the same as weight lifting, so free weights or weight machines can be used. But, you can also choose to use your own body weight instead of external weights. If your goal is to be strong, the obvious choice is to do strength training.
Strength training is needed to do strength training for improving overall muscle strength and endurance, lose fat, get better results with shorter workouts, etc. Of course, cardio does offer many health benefits and helps with weight reduction. But, do you know you can lose fat along with muscle, when you are doing cardio? You want to lose fat, the excessive fat that’s stored in your body.
For real fat loss, you need to include strength training into your workout routine. When you do cardiovascular training, the fat burning stops once your exercise session is over. This is due to EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption), which isn’t very high for cardio. With strength training, the EPOC continues, for hours after your exercise session is over.
Strength training also helps prevent and fight degenerative health conditions. Strength training can help correct health issues like high cholesterol levels, hypertension, Obesity, diabetes, etc. Many cardiologists suggest strength training as a way to prevent heart attack (heart is a muscle too), even in those who have endured a first attack. Strength training is a proven way to manage Osteoporosis, Arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, Lymphedema, Down Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, etc. Those recovering from stroke or spinal cord injury and even cancer survivors are suggested strength training. The best strength training exercises include deadlift, squats, shoulder and bench presses.
Every other exercise including chin ups are great and can compliment these four exercises, but these four are the best when you want to strengthen your muscles. Barbells are best when you want to use weights for strength training, followed by dumbbells. However, if you are just starting off, it may be easier learning with dumbbells, before making the plunge. If you want to stay fit and strong, strength training is the way to go. If you’re goal is to burn excess fat, build muscle strength and endurance, then strength training is your solution.