Strength Training

By on November 17, 2013

 Evolution of Strength Training

Strength training today is not the “old-fashioned” weight lifting that it used to be. As the hobby of weight lifting grew into a sport and then into a national past time (and consequently a profession), the more applicable term of weight training was adopted.

But as kinesiology taught us more about conditioning the body, weight training gave way to resistance training as we learned that many different types of resistance can be used to safely and effectively strengthen the musculature of the human form.

Resistance training has given way to the more appropriate term of strength training because the goal of lifting weights is to make stronger muscles, tendons and bones. This is the foundation of proper postural alignment and helps prevent osteoporosis.

 Forms of Strength Training

Strength training can help you; build bigger muscles, sculpt 6-pack abs, lose weight (Weight Loss), increase the athletic performance capabilities of your body (Athletic Fitness) and improve your overall health and wellness (Health Fitness).

It is important for you to know the difference between the various forms of strength training out there today because some are more ideal for people interested in losing weight while others focus solely on building muscle mass and/or physical prowess.

Read through the list below to find a style of training that is right for you and your fitness goals. Studies show that if you can find a form of exercise that you can enjoy doing, you will have the best chance of sticking with it and consequently achieving those goals.


Power lifting is “extreme lifting” because of the intense pressure it puts on your muscles, tendons, joints and bones. It is only for athletes who want to move a maximum amount of weights and generate a lot of force and explosive power.

These movements and techniques are extremely hard on the body and can cause more damage to the joints than any lasting benefit to the muscles. It is not for weight loss or health fitness minded people or anyone with knee, hip, neck or lower back problems.

Some of the most basic and fundamental movements of power lifting have been proven biomechanically incorrect and damaging to the human form. Anyone not planning on competing in the Olympics should really think twice.


Bodybuilding is more of a lifestyle choice than simply a method of exercise. Bodybuilders focus all of their time and energy perfecting their eating habits and maximizing the size, shape and definition of their muscles.

Building and toning muscles looks great and can help you lose weight, but many of the old-fashioned bodybuilding techniques and movements are not conducive to people who are more interested on losing weight or just being healthy.

The overload principle is one of the best aspects that can be drawn from bodybuilding. It is the foundational principle to building larger and stronger muscles. It has many different benefits and applications within the field of musculoskeletal exercise.


Core Stability training focuses on the “core” of the human body. This is where your upper body and lower body come together and it is one of the most vulnerable and damaged parts of the human form.

Your core stabilizers (specifically your transversus abdominus and multifedus) are designed to protect your lower back, and clinical studies have shown that 80% of recurring low back pain can (LBP) can be avoided or rehabilitated by this type of training.

Every slip, stumble and fall you have ever had has damaged the ability of these muscles to function properly. Whether you want to avoid back surgery or you are recovering from it, you will have to engage in exercises that improve the health and vitality of your “core”.


Circuit training is the most effective form of weight training when it comes to losing weight (weight loss) and getting in shape because it stimulates each of your major muscles in one complete circuit before going through for a second and third time or “set”.

Letting one muscle rest while working another, is the science behind the cardiovascular nature of this style of training. Not only do you keep your heart rate up, but you can train more muscles in less time.

Curves (a nationally franchised gym for women only) uses this form of training because it has proven to be so successful at losing weight and toning muscles! Circuit training is a must for anyone interested in losing a  lot of weight.


PHA’s – Peripheral Heart Action is a training style that has been clinically proven in control group studies to be the most effective form of strength training for weight loss while still effectively building and toning muscles.

A PHA circuit takes two upper-body and two lower-body exercises and alternates thru all four in a mini-circuit. This the most effective way to work out because it maximizes the blood flow between your upper and lower body.

This increased cardiovascular effect is the secret behind PHA’s success. While blood is rushing to the muscles of the upper body to aid in their recovery, you stimulate muscles in the lower body which maximizes and optimizes blood flow throughout your body!


Reactive training or “plyometrics” is geared specifically for athletes. It is great for improving the overall competitive skill and performance capabilities of the body and can be an excellent tool to help take training to the next level.

This style of training combines strength, speed and agility to condition the muscles and neuromuscular connections throughout the entire musculoskeletal structure. It uses a technique of creating maximal force through explosive contraction and flexion of muscles.

The ballistic nature of this training style is both its positive and the negative. The forced contraction and explosive elongation of the muscles puts immense pressure on the tendons, cartilage, joints and soft-tissues that hold your body together, making it less than ideal for health fitness or weight loss.



About TheFitnessAnswerMan

The Fitness Answer Man is the online personality founded by Kevin Forrest CPT, FMS Pro Trainer and Master Fitness Trainer for the US Military. He has worked in the fitness industry for 30 years and was one of the first trainers to incorporate the physio ball into people's workouts and helped pioneer in the field of "Core" training. He specializes in movement rehabilitation and uses his experience to help clarify the confusion about diet and exercise that still exists within the fitness industry today.

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