In a nutshell, strength training is using resistance of any type against a muscle trying to contract. The result will build strength,
endurance, and size within that muscle. Of course that is a very simplistic view of the subject. Along with asking, what is strength training, you also need to ask why and then learn about the ‘how’ of the matter.
Strength training is a complex and diverse subject. People train in a bunch of different ways for a whole slew of reasons. So let’s dive in to get a better understanding of what exactly it is.
What It Isn’t
Before getting more into what is strength training, let’s cover what it isn’t. It isn’t bodybuilding, powerlifting, or even strongman training. While those disciplines all involve the training of strength, they are also specific sports that have goals and a very specific direction rather than just being considered a form of exercise.
It isn’t a sport or competition of any sort. At the absolute most you could consider it a competition against yourself as you try and improve your personal level of fitness.
Top 3 Types of Training
When you are training your strength, there are a few ways to go about it.
- Resistance Training – This is any type of training where your muscles are opposing resistance as in stopping from being pushed, squeezed, and the like. There are isotonic movements (against the force) and isometric movements (when the body is holding still).
- Weight Training – Weight training is one of the most common and popular forms of strength training where you use gravity and weight to oppose a muscles contraction.
- Isometric Training – This is where the muscle stays in a fixed position without lengthening or joint movement. The muscle resists and is strengthened in a much smaller range instead of along the entire length in a more common isometric exercise.
When you perform strength training there is standard terminology and principles you employ to track what training is being performed. You use a specific number of repetitions of an exercise, a certain number of sets of each exercise, and tempo to describe the speed the exercise is performed.
It is the combination of these various factors that determine the specific result of the training. You can train for more strength, speed, endurance, or flexibility depending on how you set the workouts up.
Muscles are trained to failure. This stresses the muscles into adapting and growing stronger to handle that stress, given proper rest and nutrients. By utilizing proper exercises in the right combination with good form, a person has the ability to transform their body to increase muscle size and strength, increase ligament strength, help with flexibility, increase bone density, and manipulate the metabolic rate.
This is only a basic overview to answer the question, what is strength training. There is a lot to learn about the subject as the variety of training methods and concepts can be a bit overwhelming. But, the main thing to understand is that strength training is an excellent tool that can be used to make your body stronger, faster and more athletic if you so desire.