Strength Training Simplified

Strength training can be simplified.  You do not need complicated routines or space age equipment.

The keys to building strength and muscle are high effort and progressive resistance on basic, effective multi-joint exercises.  Add resistance as often as possible while maintaining good form.  Adjust your volume and frequency to facilitate strength gains and you will gain muscle.

To build strength and muscle you must focus on the best multi-joint exercises that have the biggest impact, like squats, chin ups and dips, and use single-joint exercises only where multi-joint exercises don't provide adequate loading to a muscle group.

To learn more:

Simple Strength Training Programs

These pages provide some examples of strength training programs for beginners:

The Gaining Strength Program can take you from intermediate to advanced stages of strength training and building muscle. 

Building Muscle

Muscles grow only in response to heavy mechanical loading provided by resistance training.  Muscle gains follow strength gains.

To make muscles grow, you have to subject them to high levels of tension for adequate periods of time, and apply progressive resistance as you gain strength.  This can come from reduced leverage, iron weights, or resistance bands. 

 The bottom line is you have to get stronger to get bigger.  The following page provides more details.

Losing Fat

Strength training can build or at least maintain muscle while you lose fat.   

Fat loss is pointless if you don't have shapely muscle to provide a pleasing physique.  You don't want to end up skinny or skinny-fat, if you have any self-respect.

However fat loss itself is a function of diet, not training.  When you have fat to lose it means you have consumed more energy-rich macronutrients than you have actually needed.  You need to reduce your energy (calorie) intake and create a negative fat balance while maintaining a high-protein, highly nutrient-dense diet.  

Weight Gain

Strength training is necessary to gain quality body weight.  Overeating only adds body fat.  Adding body fat alone will not make you healthy or more attractive unless you have been anorexic or starved.

You need to eat more to gain muscle, but you don't gain muscle because you eat more, you eat more because you are gaining muscle!  Strength training with adequate effort and progressive resistance will stimulate  muscle protein synthesis, and stimulate your appetite so that you eat more to increase your muscular body weight.  

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