Motivation Monday: Strength Training

Last week our topic was about roadwork, but what’s road-work without strength training. In order to keep your mind and body strong, it is necessary to add in some weight training into your daily or weekly exercise routine. A lot of you who exercise or are new to the fitness world feel that strength training might think that this is reserved for the professional athletes or muaythai fighters. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Also, for muaythai practitioners, it is often debated whether or not to add weight training to your regimen. On one side of the argument, there are those that say that lifting weights won’t increase your power or will slow you down. On the other side, there are those that swear by weight training and say that it will indeed improve your muaythai.

When used correctly, strength training benefits you in many more ways than one. It helps enhance your athletic performance, alleviates you from possible injuries, accelerates weight loss, increases self-esteem, relieves stress and it makes you look physically good!

And ladies, strength training will not make you bulky! That is a myth. If done properly with the right exercise you will reach that goal of yours in no time. It’s the very high protein diets and other supplements that make women bulky.

Strength training varies with the different goals you want to reach. For those who want to expand in size and strength, actual weight lifting is recommended along with what we call compound exercises where it works several muscles at once in order to increase the release of growth hormones (eg. squats, deadlifts, overhead press, bench press..etc). The key is gradually increase your volume and reps. Once an exercise starts getting too easy for you, increase the weight and reps. Volume and weight increase equals to muscle expansion!

For those who are less keen on getting bulky but would just like to get fit and firm and lose that bit of extra fat, body weight is the best option to opt for. Nowadays, mini-circuit training is very popular, as it combines a bit of cardio as well as strength training. A circuit can be a combination of 15 squats, 10 pushups and 5 burpees that you repeat 3-4 times. You can combine other exercises together, depending on the area of your body you want to concentrate on. The key is to keep to do more sets with less reps. And do not forget to rest in between those sets!

There are many ways and options to do strength training, sometimes you do not even need to go to a gym to do so! If you are someone who is busy and cannot really find the time to go to the gym, the mini-circuit training in the morning for 15-30 minutes is perfect to get that body working for the day!