Strength-building workouts should be part of our daily routine, but this is difficult to achieve in today’s world of desk jobs and long car commutes. But help is at hand, you can sign up to the gym, make an appointment with your local Personal Trainer, and ask to include strength-building exercises into your routine.
The good news is that you can gain a lot from following a good gym routine, and going to the gym regularly during the week. You can complement these sessions with some shorter sessions at home. Importantly, you also need to plan for rest and recovery every week. A good rest and lots of water and good nutrition are the foundations for strong muscles and success in the gym.
A brief note on the value of strength building for your body. As a young person, you are less likely to get injured in your sport if you are fit and strong. A strong body is also a beautiful body, in my opinion, heading to the gym to build strength in order to look and feel better about yourself is a good enough reason to join the gym. As you age, your body builds muscle less readily, so you actually need to make a conscious effort to build muscle or even to maintain what you already have.
What are strength-building exercises?
You don’t need much equipment to start building strength, in fact many exercises can safely be performed at home or on your own in the gym. These include the plank, squats, push-ups, pull-ups or walking lunges. Equipment-based exercises include weightlifting in general, the deadlift, bent-over row, bench presses, etc.
What does Rest and Recovery do for strength building?
You may think that you only need to work harder in order to build strength. But there are other aspects to your body becoming stronger. Decent nutrition is one of them. Rest and Recovery are integral parts of any decent strength-building programme as well. Why? In the gym, you ask your muscles to work hard, you push hard in order to stimulate your muscles to grow stronger and bigger. But your muscles need to rest and recover after a decent workout in order to grow. If they don’t get rest, they don’t recover. And if they don’t recover, they shrink and reduce in strength.
What types of Rest are important for Recovery?
When you think of rest, you immediately think of sitting down on the couch and enjoying a cup of tea. Well, that’s one effective way of resting your body post-workout.
Resting also includes gentle cooling-down exercises in order to keep your muscles supple and ready for the next workout. So ensure you always warm up before and cool down after your session. Your Personal Trainer will guide you.
Drink plenty of fluid. Also make sure to have a decent post-workout snack, or a decent meal within 30-60 minutes post-workout. Remember that your body needs to recover to build muscle – the water and nutrition will provide the building blocks or recovery, whereas the rest will allow your body to do the work.Make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time; don’t skimp on sleep if you want to be fit and well.
Give yourself a quick body check after exercise
Finally, it is paramount that you don’t get injured, or worse, train into an injury. Do a quick body check post-workout to see how you are feeling. If all is well, just follow the regular rest and recovery methods. If any area needs attention, make sure to do gentle stretches or speak to a professional about any suspected injuries. You can’t build muscle if you’re injured.