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Build Strength to Lose Weight, Feel Healthy, Compete

Jul 18, 2013

Strength training offers a triple-threat approach to full body health and fitness. By focusing on building muscle, you get more bang for the buck by kick starting your metabolism, elevating fat burn and improving muscle strength for overall increased health, performance and weight loss.

“If you can build muscle through strength training, then you’ll continue to burn fat and build strength throughout the day,” says Kyle Radomski, personal trainer and studio owner at Fitness Together Santa Monica. “Whether you’re a first-time gym-goer or a seasoned athlete, you can benefit from adding strength training into your fitness routine.”

The Benefits of Strength Training
Despite common misconceptions that lifting weights is only for men and only bulks you up, the truth of the matter is that adding strength training into your fitness routine is a key element for both men and women to look better, feel better and perform at levels they never thought possible. The overall benefits of strength training include:

Increased Muscle: Building muscle not only creates a stronger, more balanced core, but it also stabilizes your body movements during your regular daily activities – whether you enjoy running, swimming, biking, walking or playing outside with your kids.

Increased Bone Density: Strong bones help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Improved Performance: Strength training both helps you move better in day-to-day activities and can also help increase your energy levels and compete more efficiently during athletic activity.

Decrease Weight: Adding lean muscle mass to your body promotes burning calories more efficiently, allowing you to live a healthier, more mobile lifestyle.

The Seven Basic Movement Patterns
A weight room can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t done much strength training before. To add strength training into your workout routine, it’s important to keep it simple by mastering the following seven basic movement patterns.

Lunge – Forward, Back
Pull – Pull Ups
Push – Push Ups
Squat – Shoulder Width, Plié
Rotation – Medicine Ball Rotations
Bend – Deadlift Variations
Single Leg – Step Ups

Radomski suggests starting out with body weight movements for all seven exercises before progressing to loaded weight movements.

“We believe in training everyone as an athlete,” Radomski says. “I always recommend with any strength training program that you work with a trainer to learn the proper techniques for each of the exercises.”

The Advantage of Total Body Compound Movements
While we all wish we could have more time in the gym to strength train, perform cardio exercises and stretch, the reality is that the majority of the population only has a limited amount of time each week that they can allocate to working out.

To use your workout time as wisely and in the most beneficial way possible, Radomski recommends total body compound movements to build muscle and burn fat in the fastest way possible. Some of his favorite compound movement exercises include a Romanian Deadlift/Bent-Over Row combo and a Front Squat/Overhead Press combo. Perform eight to 12 repetitions of each compound exercise in succession without resting in-between, then rest for 90 seconds and repeat two to three more times.

Radomski suggests doing strength training three to five times per week, allowing for proper recovery time.

“Any time you do compound movements, you’re setting yourself up to build muscle and burn fat in the most efficient way,” Radomski says. “With compound movements, you’re getting more metabolic stress to get your heart rate up, burning more calories and becoming more efficient with each movement. You also hit all muscles groups more frequently with total body movements.”

If you feel like something is missing in your workout routine or you need a new spark of motivation to keep training throughout the summer, try incorporating these strength exercises to jump start your health and fitness goals. Your waistline, metabolism and muscles can all benefit from maximized movements that lead to real results.

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