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Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training Principles


How do muscles contract?

From How Muscles Work, you might know that the main energy provider for skeletal muscle is ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which releases energy when broken down. But the reserves in the muscles of ATP are very small, literally enough for 2-3 seconds of work, therefore, ATP must be constantly taken from somewhere. The ways to restore ATP in the body are different, and not the same, for different sports. We are only interested in the way of ATP synthesis that occurs in strength sports. So, for example, at maximum muscle tension, for 10-20 seconds, energy supply occurs due to the use of creatine phosphate, with a longer load, 1-2 minutes, another source of energy is connected for muscle contraction –anaerobic glycolysis (without oxygen), resulting in the release of energy + lactic acid.

Thus, strength training primarily consumes creatine phosphate and glycogen (carbohydrates).

Below we summarize and the simplest formulas for a better perception of information.

Cleavage of ATP

  • ATP => ADP + F (phosphate) + free energy;

But there is very little ATP in the muscles, so it is necessary to constantly restore to supply them with energy:

At maximum loads (10-20 seconds):

  • ATP => ADP + F + free energy
  • creatine phosphate + ADP => creatine + ATP

Creatine phosphate is a form of creatine buildup in muscles.

That is, creatine phosphate, restoring ATP, due to the transfer of the phosphorus group of ADP.

For a longer training session (1-2 minutes):

Complex carbohydrates, in the form of glucose molecules connected to each other in a chain, enter our bloodstream with food, supplying our muscles with energy, as soon as there is a lot of glucose, the body begins to deposit excess carbohydrates in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen.

Strength training uses an anoxic pathway (anaerobic glycolysis) to break down glycogen.

The process of anaerobic glycolysis can be expressed as follows:

  • glycogen or glucose + F + ADP => lactate (lactic acid) + ATP

Thus, the body is supplied with energy in strength training.

In aerobic training (running, swimming, cycling, walking), the energy supply of muscles occurs due to aerobic processes:

  • glycogen, glucose, fatty acids + F + O2 => CO2 + H2O + ATP

You should now understand why aerobic training helps you burn fat, and anaerobic training (strength training) helps you build muscle.

Standing EZ Barbell Curl Exercise

Depending on your level of fitness, consumption, glycogen storage and creatine phosphate are different. So, for example, professional athletes have not only large stores of creatine and glycogen in muscles, but also a low consumption of these substances. Therefore, such athletes can train harder and longer, while showing high strength indicators, in contrast to a beginner or an untrained person.

What is strength training to build muscle and lose weight?

Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training Principles

Strength training in the gym or at home is a complex mechanism that involves exerting physical activity on certain muscle groups with the additional use of various types of weights with a weight that is comfortable for a person.

The development of muscles occurs as a result of the appearance of the smallest microtraumas in the fibers. It turns out that the growth and strengthening are facilitated by mechanical damage obtained in the process of working out the muscles.

When the body is resting, it prepares the musculoskeletal system for such physical activity, with subsequent complication in the future. And also the damaged areas are restored to the desired level. Thus, an increase in indicators gradually occurs – the muscles increase in size.

Interesting fact. Strength training includes two types of physical activity – basic and isolating. In the first category, multi-joint exercises that affect most of the muscles and require significant energy expenditure. And in the second – working out individual muscles (used as a supplement).

Strength training benefits

Strength and muscle building training programs have the following benefits:

  • Muscle strength and endurance. Strength training makes the body much stronger and increases physical performance several times. It helps you exercise longer and longer, as well as do your homework much more energetically.
  • Weight management. Strength training can help you cope with excess weight, as well as adjust the volume of the figure, taking into account the increase in muscle mass. An effective lesson will speed up the metabolism. For several hours after the end of the training, the burning of calories continues, which also has a positive effect on the body.
  • Maintain flexibility and balance. The use of various weights during training allows you to maintain the flexibility and strength of the joints. With age, well-developed areas of the body are better preserved, excellent balance is ensured (the probability of falls decreases by 40%).
  • Increased energy and mood levels. High-quality strength training promotes a powerful release of endorphins, which ensures an excellent mood and a surge of vitality. Numerous studies have shown that men and women feel much better when lifting weights. If you do this regularly, you can quickly notice changes not only in the figure, but also in self-awareness.
  • Reducing the risk of injury. During strength training, not only the muscles are strengthened, but also the connective tissues. Ligaments and tendons become much stronger, which has a positive effect on the functioning of the musculoskeletal system. With regular exercise of the joints, the risks of injury are minimized.

What exercises are included in the strength training program?

Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training Principles

The training program for men and women in the gym includes a whole range of strength exercises. The main (basic) ones include the following:

  • Bench press of a bar or dumbbell in a prone position.
  • Barbell squats.
  • Deadlift.

Basic exercises aimed at working out several muscle groups at once are necessarily diluted with auxiliary or isolating ones. Most often, programs include:

  • Extension of the arms on the block while standing.
  • Bending the arms with dumbbells or with a barbell.
  • Extension of the legs while sitting.
  • Crossover on the simulator.
  • Seated Calf Raises.
  • Bending the legs while standing or lying down.
  • French bench press, etc.

The list of exercises in the complex may vary. It is optimal if the training program includes a combination of basic and isolating elements.

Interesting fact. Strength training, like cardio, requires a responsible approach and careful attention to your health and fitness. If you do not have experience with weights, it is worth consulting with experienced trainers who will help you create a training plan based on your actual body condition.

Strength training and their types

Strength training is a type of physical activity that includes the implementation of a set of exercises with resistance to achieve the desired result.

Strength training is used to achieve a variety of goals:

  1. For the development of endurance. These are all types of wrestling, athletics (running, swimming, walking), exercises with kettlebells.
  2. To increase strength. This includes weightlifting.
  3. For the development of muscles (training on simulators, exercises with additional weights, with your own weight).

Strength training exercises are divided into separate groups according to the type of resistance:

  • with external resistance (with the help of simulators, elastic mechanisms, other parterre, in water);
  • on statics
  • with its own weight;
    – with self-resistance.

To gain muscle mass

Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training PrinciplesThis type of strength training has one main goal – muscle hypertrophy. Muscle volume is determined by the number of muscle fibers, cross-sectional area and intercellular space. To increase muscle mass, we need to increase the number of these indicators, primarily muscle fibers. This is what this type of strength training is for.

Due to the fact that anaerobic training, as we have already said, disrupts the balance between consumption and restoration of ATP, microtrauma occurs (damage to myofibril filaments), and it is these microtraumas that respond in the form of muscle pain the next or every other day. Microtrauma causes an increase in cross-sectional area. Thus, after recovery with the same type of load, microtrauma will no longer occur, since the load will already affect a large area. This is muscle hypertrophy – a natural adaptive response of the body to the stress experienced.

It should be noted right away that the concept of microtrauma does not mean muscle damage – only the integrity of the internal structure of the fiber is violated, and not the fiber itself.

Thus, this type of strength training is aimed at gradually increasing the strength load, which would lead to stress and microtrauma, thereby causing hypertrophy. But, alas, if everything were so simple, there would be no questions related to the dietary habits of bodybuilders and the use of anabolic drugs. The process of constant muscle hypertrophy under conditions of constant adaptation and a genetically set physiological “ceiling” does not allow a person to grow indefinitely. But that is another story.


Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training PrinciplesThis type of strength training is aimed at increasing physical strength endurance (not the endurance that is achieved with marathon running). Also in the article about anaerobic training, we already said that with constant energy consumption, the body adapts and begins to accumulate more creatine phosphate and glycogen, allowing you to work much longer. This is what lies at the heart of the development of strength endurance. But some types, more precisely, most of them, require a combination of aerobic and anaerobic endurance, i.e., for example, wrestlers, boxers, sprinters are forced to work both under conditions of anaerobic and aerobic processes.

Strength development

Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training PrinciplesSome types of strength training, such as powerlifting and weightlifting, require the development of maximum strength. In a sense, their training coincides with the training of bodybuilders, i.e. they gradually increase the load in order to be able to lift large weights. However, the principle of their training is significantly different from the first, since one more task is added – the development of endurance and contractile abilities. That is, roughly speaking, it is strength training that combines all the previous types.

A natural question may arise here – why don’t bodybuilders train like athletes? In fact, they train, they just have a different range of tasks – to achieve hypertrophy of all muscle groups in such a way that the body looks harmonious and aesthetically pleasing, while maintaining the lowest possible percentage of subcutaneous fat. Strength athletes, on the other hand, develop in their own narrow direction, for example, weightlifters – their task is exclusively to push and snatch the barbell with the maximum weight, and how they will look like their deltoid muscles, by and large, they do not care.

Group strength training

As we said above, strength training is physical activity with resistance. Group groups can also be considered as such, of which there are a lot now. They are designed mostly for women who want to have a slim, fit figure, while not wanting to have excess muscle mass. Such workouts are conducted in the cardio + strength format, i.e. a certain pulse fat burning zone is kept and strength exercises are performed with minimal weights, and for beginners only with their own weight.

The most popular classes today are:

  • Upper Body – muscle groups of the torso are trained (back, abs, arms);
  • Body Sculpt – complex strength training for all muscle groups;
  • ABS and ABL – respectively, training for the abdominal muscles and the muscles of the legs;
  • Body Pump is a class in which additional equipment is always used – a lightweight barbell.

In fact, there are a lot of classes, they differ in intensity, duration, level of training and equipment used. This, in its own way, pleases and inspires fitness lovers, because when you get tired of one direction, you can always switch to another. Thus, you have the opportunity to constantly add variety to your training program. In addition, unlike the strength training described above, some of the group exercises allow you to organize fitness at home, i.e. take dumbbells, a rug and perform a set of exercises on the video.

Strength training options

Good strength training means doing a lot of work on all the muscles in your body.

Home workouts

In most cases, these are exercises without weights, reminiscent of a mixture of exercise and gymnastics. This technique of strength training is typical, in particular, for the military, and has been practiced for a very long time.

Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training Principles

Strength exercises at home from the outside are similar to circuit training: you squat, do push-ups, swing your abs, do other exercises. Such strength fitness develops endurance, strengthens the heart, and somewhat increases strength indicators.

Strength training without iron is used in various types of wrestling as a warm-up or for general strengthening training. Often a partner acts as an additional burden.

Horizontal bar and parallel bars

The methodology of strength training of the armed forces of any country also implies exercises on the horizontal bar and uneven bars. The soldier must be able to do pull-ups and push-ups on the uneven bars. His body must be strong and flexible in order to effectively carry out the assigned combat missions.

Look at people who are into street workout. They do not look pumped up, but their muscles are an order of magnitude stronger than those of an ordinary person who is not familiar with the horizontal bar.

We can say that strength training on horizontal bars is an almost harmless physical activity. Its harmfulness manifests itself only at the moment when you jump from the horizontal bar to the ground – try to do it softly and on your toes, not on your heels. In the latter case, you create an artificial concussion for the whole body (from heel to head) and a traumatic load on the spine.

Beginners can be advised to perform a strength complex on a horizontal bar and parallel bars without weight. That is, you are doing without weights, being content with your kilograms. Further, the strength program can be complicated by the addition of various elements to it: power output, coups, etc. But all this should be mastered when your muscles can safely tolerate 15-20 pull-ups and the same amount of push-ups from the uneven bars.

Then, when you can complete the specified number of repetitions in your strength training, you can stop there, or you can start working with additional weight. In the latter case, it is time to move to the gym.


The entire set of powerlifting exercises is based on the chest press, squats and deadlifts, their various combinations and training exercises.

In weightlifting, the barbell snatch and clean and jerk is a mixture of the squat and deadlift. Overhead lifting is practiced separately using the army bench press.

Classic triathlon is bench press, squat, deadlift. Of course, it makes sense to work only with these 3 exercises only for those who aim to develop their maximums in them.

From the point of view of influence on the figure, this will not bring cardinal changes (strength cannot be judged by appearance). Therefore, if you want not only to develop strength, but also to change your proportions, it is recommended to include additional exercises for specific muscle groups in the strength complex.

When it comes to spinal health, people with back problems can avoid deadlifts and squats (or limit them to their own weight). The squat can be replaced with a leg press. But now nothing can completely replace the deadline. It is better to do hyperextension instead.

Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training Principles

Heavy workouts should be planned in such a way that one muscle group experiences the load once a week. It makes no sense to train more often. Instead of a second hard workout in one week, you can give a light one in order to pump the target muscle group with blood.

The morning period is not the best time to lift weights, it is better to train in the afternoon and evening. Strength training in the morning will not be as effective as at a later time, since the body is still asleep. Exceptions to the rule are people who are nocturnal. For them morning is like evening for the rest.

After a powerful strength workout, it makes sense to pedal a stationary bike or work on an ellipsoid.

Circuit training, crossfit

CrossFit develops endurance and strength at the same time. This is strength training for all muscle groups. Sometimes all these groups work on the same day, which is not always correct and safe.

Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training Principles

Part of the exercises can be done at home, as already mentioned. A more serious crossfit strength training program can only be implemented in a gym.

The benefits and harms of strength training

Strength training (anaerobic), at home, or in the gym, differs significantly from aerobic, starting from the principle of energy supply to muscles (mentioned above), ending with injuries that can be obtained. But, strength training can give what aerobic training cannot give, therefore, an amateur athlete, an experienced athlete cannot do without strength training. We list below the main advantages and disadvantages of such training.

Benefits (pros) of strength training

If you do everything in moderation, do not load your body with exorbitant loads in the gym, do it for your own pleasure, then such training will have a beneficial effect on your well-being, strengthen the immune system, muscular-ligamentous apparatus, in addition, becoming stronger, your confidence in myself, in my strength will increase, with each workout.

The realization that you are doing what others cannot, do not want, to be lazy, pleasant thoughts, thoughts of a strong person will bring you.

As for the body, reasonable, power loads will bring you the following advantages:

  • strengthening the cardiovascular system
  • increased metabolism
  • growth of muscle mass and strength
  • an increase in the production of testosterone, growth hormone, as a result, your libido will increase, the body will rejuvenate
  • increasing the strength of ligaments, tendons, muscular apparatus (without fear of tearing your back, you will lift everything heavy if necessary)

Let’s immediately dispel the myth that training in the gym, strength training, makes girls masculine. Not a single girl will be able to build big muscles in the gym, from strength training, because for this you need to inject hormones, steroids. Maximum girls will be able to maintain their muscles in good shape, round out, make the buttocks elastic, you can read more about women’s workouts.

Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training Principles

The benefits and harms of strength training

The harm (cons) of strength training

Strength training with improper training, as well as with crazy loads, which are most often experienced by advanced and professional athletes, to stimulate the growth of muscle mass and strength, can sometimes cause irreparable harm to health (in extreme cases), in all other cases, any strength training, will bring a person a healthier body.

Incorrect exercise technique, non-recovery of the body after physical exertion, lack of proper nutrition are the main reasons for getting any injuries during strength training. To fix this, you just need to familiarize yourself with our website in more detail, consult with a competent trainer.

The following disadvantages of strength training will relate rather to professional sports, which implies very heavy loads on the body, bringing it to exhaustion.

  • wear, hypertrophy of the heart muscle
  • torn muscles, ligaments, tendons, various spinal injuries

This is the end of the list, of course, athletes do everything in order to avoid this, use sports nutrition, anabolic steroids, and recover properly.

Duration and frequency of strength training

During strength training, muscle trauma occurs and the body takes time to recover. Experts recommend that beginners avoid overly intense exercise and include strength training every other day, alternating with rest days or cardio training. The same option is suitable for Full Body workouts. In Split programs, the muscle groups being worked out alternate with each other on different days.

A workout is considered effective if its duration does not exceed 1 hour. Experts believe that this time is enough to work out the necessary muscles and start the process of fat burning.

Features of women’s training

Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training Principles

Strength training for women has some characteristics due to metabolism, the distribution of fat and muscle mass, the hormonal system, and the presence of the menstrual cycle.

The opinion that exercising with large weights can acquire a masculine figure is erroneous. The female body produces ten times less amount of the hormone testosterone, which is responsible for muscle growth, so women should not be afraid of strength training.

The most effective workout for weight loss is long-term aerobic exercise while keeping the heart rate (heart rate) at the lower limit. Women are advised to avoid interval training.

The menstrual cycle also dictates its own rules. If you feel well, then training at the beginning of the cycle will be most effective. After the period of ovulation, the female body begins to accumulate energy for bearing offspring, and intensive training does not make sense.

Women are encouraged to work on the muscles of the upper (back, biceps, triceps), multi-repetitive training of the legs and buttocks, a balanced diet with calories and regular aerobic exercise.

Nutritional Basics for Strength Training

Strength areas of fitness. Weight Loss Significance: Strength Training Principles

If strength training is for weight loss, you should create a calorie deficit. In the event that an athlete is gaining muscle mass, a calorie surplus is required. It is possible to track calories only after calculating the individual daily intake of KBZhU and carefully tracking the diet.

There are some general rules:

  • Breakfast should not be ignored. A full breakfast allows you to exercise effectively while avoiding the unpleasant feeling of hunger.
  • Fractional food. Athletes are advised to eat as often as possible in small portions, dividing the daily diet into 5-6 meals.
  • Inclusion in the diet of protein (fish, eggs, cottage cheese, white and red meat), fresh vegetables and fruits, healthy fats (vegetable oils, nuts, fish oil). Exclusion of sweets, pastries, carbonated drinks, alcohol.
  • Adequate intake of fresh water.

A competent diet will allow you to achieve maximum results when engaging in strength training.

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