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Strength Training Main Page
Strength Training Exercises
of Strength Training
Strength Training Programs
Getting Started: Safety
If you feel your body is not ready for strength training for any reason,
talk to your physician. Here is a list of risk factors to help you decide
if you should talk to a physician before beginning a strength training
Also see the Getting Started Page
any cardiovascular disease including chest pains at rest or exertion
family history of coronary heart disease before the age of 55
high cholesterol, generally above 200
abnormal ECG, or cardiac arrhythmias
any chronic muscular or joint problem
currently pregnant, or within 3 months of delivery
years of a sedentary lifestyle
10 Quick Tips To Help You Get
Remember to warm up. Warming up gives the body a chance to deliver plenty
of nutrient rich blood to areas about to be exercised, to actually warm
the muscles and lubricate the joints.
Stretch - Increases or maintains muscle flexibility.
During the first week of starting an exercise program keep it light. Work
on technique-good body mechanics and slowly work up to heavier weights.
Quick tips to maintain good body mechanincs: go through the complete range
of motion, move slowly and with control, breathe, and maintain a neutral
spine. Never sacrifice form just to add more weight or repetitions.
The intensity of your workout depends on a number of factors, including
the number of sets and repetitions, the overall weight lifted, and the
rest between sets. You can vary the intensity of your workout to fit your
activity level and goals.
Listen to your body. Heart rate is not a good way to determine your intensity
when lifting weights, it is important to listen to your body based on an
overall sense of feeling of exertion.
The MINIMUM amount of strength training recommended by the American
College of Sports Medicine is eight to twelve repetitions of eight
to ten exercises, at a moderate intensity, two days a week. You will get
more overall gains with more days per week, sets and resistance, but the
progression is one in which you must listen to your body.
Strength training session are recommended to last one hour or less.
As a general rule, each muscle that you train should be rested one
to two days before being exercised further in order for the fatigued muscles
"No pain, no gain." This statement is not only false, but can be dangerous.
Your body will adapt to strength training, and will reduce in body soreness
each time you workout.
Strength Training Principles:
Overload: To see gains in strength you must always stimulate the
muscle more than it is accustomed to.
Progression: The active muscle must continue to work against a gradually
increasing resistance in order to meet overload.
Specificity: Gains you receive are dependent on the muscle group
used, and movement pattern performed. (See Specific
Strength Training Programs)
Strength (maximal force): If you are interested in strength gains you want
to train with higher weights and closer to your 1 RM.
Endurance (submaximal force that is repeated): If you are interested in
gains in endurance, you should concentrate on lifting lower weights and
Breathing: When lifting weight or working muscles against resistance,
exhale through the mouth as you are performing the work. Caution: Failure
to breathe correctly during heavy weight lifting may cause drastic increases
in blood pressure that may be harmful.
Warm-up - the warm-up should be "sport specific". In other words,
if you are performing the bench press, begin your warm-up with a light
intensity and perform 8-10 reps.
Stretch - it is important to stretch to promote increased blood
flow to the muscles, and to increase flexibility, range of motion and decrease
the risk of injury.
Workout - work larger muscle groups first, then smaller muscle groups.
Cool-down - keeps the body active and prevents pooling of blood
in the extremities. The cool-down is done at a lower intensity.
A Basic Strength Training Program:
The American College of Sports Medicine Position
Stand (1990) on "The Recommended Quantity and Quality of Exercise for
Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory and Muscular Fitness in Healthy
Adults" outlines several basic guidelines for strength training programs.
"Strength training of a moderate intensity, sufficient to develop and
maintain fat-free weight, should be an integral part of an adult fitness
program. One set of 8-12 repetitions of eight to ten exercises that condition
the major muscle groups at least 2 days a week is the recommended minimum."
The following are example exercises for a basic strength training program:
Chest: Dumbbell Fly, Butterfly's,
Incline/Decline Press, Pushup, Wall
Back: Seated Row, One Arm
Dumbbell Row, Pullups
Shoulder: Lateral Dumbbell
Raise, Front Dumbbell Raise, Upright Row, Bent-over Flys
Biceps: Hammer Curls, Pull-ups
Triceps: Tricep Extensions
Quadriceps: Lunges, Leg Press
Hamstrings: Straight Leg Dead Lift
Calves: Calf Raise
Legs: Hip Abduction, Hip
Specific Strength Training Programs
College of Sports Medicine
Strength and Conditioning Association
Go to The Exercise and Physical Fitness Home Page
Exercise and Physical Fitness Web Page is an ongoing project by graduate
students in the Master of Science program in Exercise Science in the Department
of Kinesiology and Health at Georgia State University. This project was
created by J. Andrew Doyle, PhD, and was last modified on: March