Build Powerful Muscles with Strength Training

A good Strength Training Program is just what you need for building strong, useful muscles. Muscles for your job, sports or just carrying the groceries.

Strength Training Pages

In October 2008, the US Department of Health and Human Services released their report - Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

This report stated "Adults who are physically active are healthier and less likely to develop many chronic diseases than adults who are inactive. Adults should do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week."

But don't worry, the research was done by scientists and physicians not politicians.

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strength training with dumbbell

8 benefits of training for strength:

  • Improved Muscle Function

  • Increased Energy

  • Stronger Libido

  • Lower Blood Pressure

  • Increase in Testosterone and HGH

  • Increased Bone, Ligament and Tendon Strength

  • Improved Joint Function

  • Preserves Muscle Mass

What everyone should know about resistance training:

By definition, training for strength involves using resistance against muscle contraction to build muscle strength, endurance and size. The two most popular forms of resistance are gravity and elastic/hydraulic.

The principles of training for strength are simple. Through changes in weight, reps, sets and tempo, your muscles are overloaded. This causes changes in endurance, strength and size of muscles.

Types of Training:

Weight Training-Uses free weights, barbells, dumbbells,kettlebells, and machines as resistance. The various methods provide different challenges to muscle contraction.

Resistance Training- The use of elastic or hydraulic resistance for building strength. The elastic power bands or Bowflex are examples of this type of training tools.

Isometric Exercise-Refers to training the muscle against an equal opposing force. Strength gains occur mainly around the joint angle of the exercise performed.

The most important facet in strength training is technique. Maximum muscle contraction is needed for maximum strength gains.

To build strength you must lift heavy. But not too heavy. Experts recommend using 70-80% of your one rep max. Good form is a must and do not train to failure.

Your reps will be in the 1-6 range per set. The magic numbers of 5 reps/5 sets (aka the 5X5 program) build size and strength. Check out our bodybuilding page for the

5X5 Bodybuilding Program.

Short frequent workouts give better results than infrequent long workouts. Hitting the iron for one set, 5 days a week will build more strength than five sets, one day a week.

Good technique is a must.

    Powerlifters rely on these major strongman skills:

  • Power Breathing- Pavel Tsatsouline says " the greater the pressure inside your belly- the greater your strength in any effort." If you are serious about strength training, I highly recommend Pavel's book- Beyond Bodybuilding at It has over 300 pages of muscle training articles, including some great techniques Pavel learned in Russia.

  • Staying Tight- Tightening your entire body during a lift will improve your strength.
Use these techniques in your next workout and build some serious strength.

man strength training with dumbbell

Do you recognize these potential health issues?

It's a good idea to check with your physician before you start any exercise program, especially if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Cholesterol count over 200
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Extreme Obesity
  • Hypertension

If you don't follow these strength training rules, you'll hate yourself later:

  • Warm Up- Proper warm up reduces the chance of injury.

  • Stretch- Maintain or increase your flexibility.

  • Use the proper weight- Too much weight too soon is asking for trouble.

  • Use good technique- Goofy technique will only help your Chiropractor.

  • Breathe properly- Don't hold your breath. Exhale on tension, inhale on release of tension.

You don't have to live in the gym to gain strength:

Many programs require only 15-20 minutes, three times a week. Use the following links to find the routine that fits your needs.

For more fascinating strength training information jump to our Strength Training Routines page.

For professionally designed programs go to Programs for Strength.

If you don't have a lot of time for working out, but still want results, you need to check out Escalating Density Training. This is a world class size and strength program by renowned coach Charles Staley.

If you would like to maximize strength and power while minimizing your workout time, check out The Power Circuit by strength and conditioning coach Christian Thibaudeau.

If you are into sport fitness, you will want to increase your power, strength, speed and agility. Train for Strength with proper drills and exercises.

Go to Shoulder Exercises
Go to Back Exercises
Go to Leg Exercises
Go to Arm Exercises

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