GET IN SHAPE. EAT HEALTHIER. LIVE MORE.
If you’ve been trying and failing to lose a few pounds through running, cardio, or eating better, let’s put a new target in our sights. One of the best (and fastest) ways to target stubborn body fat and improve overall body composition is through strength training.
When we train with resistance, our body is sure to respond. This resistance could be through weights like dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or even bodyweight! Our bodies are stressed under the resistance, and respond by increasing muscle. When this happens, our metabolism is also boosted! Our body burns more calories to feed the muscle, and we end up looking and feeling better.
Here are the “Big 3” lifts to look at incorporating into your workouts:
1. the bench press
This press is top dog when it comes to upper body development, as it trains the muscles in our chest, shoulders, back, and arms. It is a true one-stop shop for upper body training. Variety is an option here as well. From the angle of the arms or using a single-arm approach, to performing it on the floor or without a bench, it allows for a lot of versatility with the muscles we can target. Don’t have a barbell? There are lots of dumbbell variations as well.
2. the squat
From balance to mobility, performing squats can be the most challenging exercise for some people. Here’s the good news: there are a hundred and one ways to squat, and each can progress you to the next, more challenging variation! The back squat, specifically, is notorious for being the “king of strength” exercises because of how many muscle fibers it recruits. Not even just in our legs, but in our core, back, shoulders, and arms.
3. The deadlift
As soon as this exercise begins, we are fighting the old law of an object at rest staying at rest. This battle with inertia is how the deadlift differs from the bench press and squat. With a squat and press, we move and position the weight, then perform the exercise. When we deadlift, we start performing the movement before the weight moves an inch. Combating and conquering this inertia is a true test of technique.
The importance of technique can make this lift intimidating to some. But, If you can bend over to tie your own shoes, you can deadlift. Can’t reach to the floor? You can elevate the weight a few inches, making it easier to reach and easier on your back. There are always options available so that everyone can reap the benefits of the lift.
strength is for everyone
An Increase in strength means an increase in muscle. The health benefits of proper resistance training are undisputed. Whether for health and longevity, or physique and personal reasons, a solid strength program will get you from where you are to where you want to go. Instead of the goal of “ I want to lose 10 lbs of fat in my arms and stomach,” try replacing it with the goal of “I want to add 10 lbs to my squat and bench press” or even “I want to train with heavier weights each month.” Your composition and health goals are sure to follow.