Learn about strength training and find out why you should add it to your exercise routine.
By Toni Gasparis
Strength training is any sort of exercise done against resistance that aims to strengthen your muscles. You can do this form of exercise with body weight such as pushups and crunches, freestanding weights like dumbbells or a barbell, with weight machines or with elastic bands. Many people avoid strength training because they are skeptical about its effectiveness, or concerned it’ll make them bulk up and gain weight. Have your biggest doubts and questions answered here and learn why you should reconsider strength training, here.
“People only use strength training to bulk up. I don’t want to bulk up, so I won’t lift weights."
While it is true that certain types of strength training can bulk a person up, it can also be used to tone overall and get in shape without looking like a bodybuilder. In general, it’s hard for most women to bulk up because they don’t have the high levels of testosterone that men do. The amount of resistance you use and your repetitions are important: people who lift heavier weights tend to build bigger muscles. Doing three sets of 12 repetitions of a strength training exercise just a couple of times a week can benefit your health and your body without a dramatic increase in muscle mass. Plus, strength training improves balance, reduces your risk of falls, and can even reduce the pain of osteoarthritis as you age.