Why You Need To Strength Train, And How To Do It
Being strong isn’t just for professional athletes, it is for anyone and everyone wanting to move well, pain-free. It can seem quite daunting to start an exercise programme as you may think you aren’t strong enough to begin with, or you fear injury, but a well structured plan designed around your current fitness levels is something you need to be doing.
You might also think a strength programme has to be performed in a well equipped gym, but it really doesn’t. In fact, your living room is a great place to start. A chair, sofa, bench are all great pieces of ‘equipment’ to get started. Once you start the plan and begin to enjoy the process, you may find yourself searching for weights, resistance bands or a TRX suspension trainer. All of which help increase your armoury for exercise selection.
Once you have the location and the equipment ready, you now need to find the time in your week. The excuse of having ‘no time’ actually translates to ‘this isn’t high enough on my priority list’. Swap the 2 hours per day of TV, 2 hours of mindless social media scrolling, or wake up 30 minutes earlier. Everyone’s priority list will include the likes of family, work, pets, travel but this shouldn’t stop you from your training plan. To begin with, 2-3 times per week is great, but if you can dedicate 3-4 times per week, that is even better. Don’t set yourself up for failure by planning to do 5 or more sessions per week. This rarely actually happens and when you miss a workout, you’ll feel bad about it, which could lead to motivation issues soon after starting.
Structure your 3 day strength plan as follows:
Of course, each exercise should be bespoke to the individual. I would recommend using a 1-10 scale of difficulty (also known as an RPE scale) to identify the correct intensity of each exercise. For example if you were performing a bodyweight squat and it felt like a 2/10, try and increase the tension by adding a pause at the bottom, lowering slower or even adding some extra weight. Ideally working between a 5-8/10 on the scale.
Remember that form and technique is king, so if something doesn’t feel quite right, stop and reset. If a pain is persistent, seek professional help via a personal trainer or physiotherapist. The last thing you want to do is more damage than good!
I offer bespoke personal training plans, so if you want some extra guidance, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or on my instagram page @robcarrpt. Good luck with you strength training, I hope you can make it an enjoyable part of your lifestyle.