Are You Really Strength Training?
How many of you have taken a group fitness class like Peloton strength, Barre, Orange Theory, Group Fitness Classes etc and thought you were “strength training”? Probably a lot, and if this is the case, then good for you because these are great ways to exercise and build our cardiovascular and muscular endurance. However, the truth is that for most people who exercise regularly these fitness classes aren’t probably doing much for your strength.
In reality, true strength training is usually less than 8 reps at a time, at 85% or more of your 1 rep max. This means if you can lift 100 lbs on an exercise, then strength training would be working somewhere between 1-8 reps at 85-100lbs. But in most of these group fitness “strength” classes you’re doing very light weights for tons of reps or minutes at a time. Not to mention your form may not be perfect and the coach may not be able to correct you in time, but anyway that’s a different blog for a different day.
A commonly missed component of a good strength training program is making progressive adjustments. You may have been doing the same weight with the same exercises for weeks, months, or years now . You’re only working on your strength if you progressively adding resistance to your exercise routine. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if can do the same weight on an exercise two sessions in a row without being sore the next day, it is time to go up in weight.
Now, I am not saying that these exercise classes are bad for you and you shouldn’t do them. They have their place. But if you’re a runner or other cardio athlete then I would encourage you to not use these classes as your form of strength training. As a runner you’re already training your cardiovascular or aerobic system constantly and need another stimulus. Lifting heavy often could be the answer to keeping you running and avoiding nagging injuries down the road.
Now that you know what strength training really is, and would like to get started contact us at BetterWithPT.com and let us help you get started today!