Muscle strength training, in its basic form, is the use of muscle contraction to build the size and strength of the body’s muscular system. In modern gymnasiums, there are several different methods to train muscles. The most common being gravity weights or elastic/hydraulic resistance to oppose the contraction of muscles. The terms strength training and resistance training are interchangeable among most muscle builders, staying synonymous in meaning.
If performed in the correct manner, strength training can provide extremely beneficial health improvements and overall wellness. Included in this category would be tendon, muscle, bone, and ligament toughness. Joint function improves along with overall cardiac improvement. Although not necessary, the body’s metabolism increases temporarily, burning fat and building HDL cholesterol which is actually good for the human body.
Along with simply stronger muscles, bone density increases and effectively strengthens the entire body against injury. Despite the fact that they use the same methods, muscle strength training differs from weightlifting and body building due to the fact that it is an exercise method and not a sport or competition.
Muscle strength training uses the technique of increasing force output of muscles through incremental increases in weight, resistance, or elastic tension depending on which method you are training by. Several machines, normally found in gyms and training centers, are designed to target specific areas of the body. These are used in rotation or in singularity to train certain muscle groups, such as biceps or the abdomen.
Up to and after the 20th century, muscle strength training was simply a history of weight lifting. Although in modern days, the advancements in machinery and training techniques have actually turned into a health benefit instead of a “strongman” competition. One of the more recognized tools of early muscle strength training is the barbell. Barbells were hollow balls on either ends of a steel pole that were normally filled with lead-shot or sand depending on the lifter. Although used incessantly for years, the barbell was then replaced by a plate-loading barbell commonly seen today in modern gymnasiums.
One of the most popular increases in muscle strength training was seen in the 1980’s after film star Arnold Schwarzenegger released an instructional weight-lifting video entitled Pumping Iron. A decade after that and several instructional videos later, one in five U.S. women are currently engaged in active muscle strength training.
Although extremely beneficial to the body and all muscles being actively trained, muscle strength training can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Slow, controlled motions are the basis of a healthy training program but failure to take precautions can unfortunately cause severe injury. Anything ranging from strained tendons to torn muscles can result from improper use of weights and muscle strength training. The ultimate form of strength training is called a progressive overload. This method uses the methods maximum potential to lift as much weight as possible. This procedure is continued as the muscles grow larger and stronger, the weight limit grows.
Overall, muscle strength training is beneficial to the human body.