Why strength training is important for your weight care journey

Why strength training is important for your weight care journey

Why strength training is important for your weight care journey

Strength training has a long list of benefits. Here's how to start and common questions when people start to strength train.

The Found Team
Last updated:
May 16, 2023
5 min read
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Strength training has a long list of benefits besides better muscle strength. These include improved heart health, bone density, increased metabolism (burning more calories at rest), sleeping better, improved mood, better self-image, improved general movement, and so much more. So, where do you start? Here are common questions people ask when they’re starting to strength train:

  • Will a YouTube video or pre-recorded video work?
  • Should I sign up for an online program?
  • Should I hire a personal trainer? 
  • What is the best way to get results?
  • When do I change my routine? 

The answer starts with answering what you hope to gain from strength training and what amount of time you’re willing to commit weekly.

Evaluate where you are today. If you haven’t worked out in three years, starting a daily routine of 60 minutes may be too difficult for you right now. It could lead to injury, fatigue, and burnout. Instead, set a realistic routine that works for your current level. 

As you start, it may be reasonable to add in two to three 20-minute lifting sessions a week along with some other modes of movement. (If this doesn’t work for you, find what will work for your schedule.)

As for the modes and purposes of strength training, there are three common types of strength training:

1. Muscular endurance is one’s ability to squeeze, engage, activate a muscle, or group of muscles, over a period time, the emphasis being on “over time.” Endurance can be in the form of using weights or bodyweight. Greater muscular endurance allows a person to complete more repetitions of an exercise, for example, pushups or squats. A trainer or video may ask you to do 30 squats with bodyweight or a weight load of 50 percent or less. What is an easy way to determine your 50 percent weight load? When performing the movement asked, you should be able to get to the goal number of reps but feel fatigue or burning in your muscles by the time you get there. Over time, your muscles will strengthen so you can do more reps, increase your 50 percent weight load, or both.

2. Hypertrophy is the ability to grow muscle fibers through strength training. When we create force or resistance within a muscle fiber, it creates microtears in the muscle. The body must then repair the muscle, which results in an increased size in fibers. When you have more recovered muscle fibers, your muscle will have increased ability and and incremental increase in size. 

A trainer or video may ask you to perform 8-15 reps with 60-80 percent weight load. What is an easy way to determine your 60-80 percent weight load? When you are performing the number of reps asked, you find it challenging to reach the goal number but feel fatigue or burning in your muscles by the time you get there. You should feel “wow, I could use a quick breather” by the end of it. 

3. Max strength is the ability to provide force against your best efforts with minimal ability to repeat the movement consecutively. This is seen as a very low set of repetitions (4 or less) with an 80 percent or more weight load. You should think, “wow, I could barely move that weight with good form” by the end of it. 

How do you choose between muscular endurance, hypertrophy, or maximal strength training? 

Try them all! They all have a purpose. See what best aligns with your enjoyment and goals. Think about what you hope to gain from the experience. 

  • You may feel powerful working the max strength. 
  • You may enjoy the challenge of the reps and weight of hypertrophy. 
  • You may love the burning sensation of muscular endurance. 

Common myths of strength training

  •  "You will get bulky." False. Women do not have the testosterone to put on muscle and do this quickly. Also, bulky is a subjective term. Pound for pound, muscle takes less space than an equal amount of fat. By adding on muscle, you may notice your clothes fitting differently before the scale adjusts (if it even adjusts at all). Regardless, it takes consistency and effort to gain muscle, no matter your genetic makeup. You must embrace the challenge of putting tension on the muscles, and then consume nutrient-dense food, drink water, and sleep well to help repair your muscles. Your ability to create "lean muscle" is the same as creating "muscle mass." Muscle is muscle. 
  • "It burns fewer calories than cardio." False. Though this is true in the initial movement being done. Though you may not burn as much in a strength training session, you will burn more calories over time by growing your muscle fibers. Eat a little more on your strength training days to support this recovery and growth.
  • "You become less flexible." False. When you create strong muscle fibers, it doesn't mean you can't bend and move you wish. When done correctly, you work through a larger range of motion which improves flexibility. With that said, you should also pair your strength training with flexibility training to support muscle recovery. 
  • "It's bad for your joints." False. Strength training done correctly helps protect your joints and prevents injury. If you are worried about your joint, seek a fitness professional to support your abilities and learn proper mechanics. 

What’s recommended? 

  • A combination! How do you want to feel after your workout? 
  • Track your progress, no matter which you choose. rite down your sets, reps, and weight to see your progress. 

Now back to our initial set of questions:

Should I watch a recording? If it fits your lifestyle, find an informational or guided video with instructions on how to perform and where to feel each movement.  

Should I sign up for an online program? Yes, if that fits in your lifestyle. You will receive specific instructions on how to perform each move. This usually has a particular order to find balance in your routine. 

Should I hire a personal trainer? With a personal trainer, you will get specific instructions and feedback on how you are moving. Trainers usually have a particular order to help you find balance in your routine. In addition, they will be able to adjust your moves at the moment if you need it! 

What is the best way to get results? Whichever way you can be consistent! This may be a combo of all the above. Create a flow that works for you. 

When do I change the routine? Reassess your plan every few months. Ask yourself, “Is this still working for me? Where am I able to adjust this plan to receive benefits (add weight or time to your current or try new movement patterns)?”

Start slow: this isn’t a sprint: It’s a marathon. This is your opportunity to create a fulfilling life. Your current condition doesn’t define your future self! 


About Found

Found is among the largest medically-supported weight care clinics in the country, serving more than 200,000 members to date. To start your journey with Found, take our quiz.

Published date:
May 16, 2023
Meet the author
The Found Team
The Found Team

Sources

  • MD Anderson Cancer Center, & Bramlet, K. (2016, March 7). The truth behind six strength training myths. MD Anderson Cancer Center. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/thetruthbehindsixstrengthtrainingmyths.h12-1590624.html
  • Sissons, B . (2021). What is muscular endurance and how to improve it. Medical News Today. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/muscular-endurance
  • Haun, C. T., et al. (2019). Muscle fiber hypertrophy in response to 6 weeks of high-volume resistance training in trained young men is largely attributed to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6550381/
  • PDHPE (2020) Power. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.pdhpe.net/the-body-in-motion/what-is-the-relationship-between-physical-fitness-training-and-movement-efficiency/skill-related-components-of-physical-fitness/power/
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