Strength training is the process of using resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles.
In common usage, this term is often confused with bodybuilding, weightlifting, or even power lifting.
These are sports, however, and while it is true that strength training routin is an important part of these sports, strength training exists as a separate entity, and important part of overall health and fitness.
There are many different kinds of strength training. The most common form involves using gravity, usually in the form of weights, to create resistance to muscle contractions. As the muscle works against the resistance, it develops strength, hence the name.
Elastic bands or hydraulics are gaining popularity as methods for providing resistance in strength training routine. It should be noted that the terms “strength training” and “resistance training” are often used interchangeably.
When performed correctly, strength training routine will provide benefits and improvement in overall health. Some of these benefits include increased bone mass, and strength in bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Joint function may also improve, and you may be less likely to suffer injury. Research has also shown that there is a temporary increase in the rate of metabolism (think calorie burning), as well as improved cardiac function.
There are a number of books, DVDs and websites that can help you learn about strength training routine. In addition, classes are usually available as well.
Whatever method you choose, work gently and slowly and build up over time to allow your muscles time to grow and recover. Building bulk is generally the provenance of men: women lack the necessary male hormones for building large, bulky muscles without concerted effort.