The Basics of Getting Strong and Sculpted: Building a Foundation for Success
BLOG / October 25, 2023
Strength is a fundamental component of fitness, and whether you’re an athlete aiming to improve your performance, a fitness enthusiast looking to “tone up”, or someone simply wanting to be functional in your daily life, getting stronger is essential. However, many people are unsure where to start or what the basics of getting strong entail. In this blog I address ten fundamental principles that can help you build a solid foundation for strength.
Resistance Training: Lift Weights
Resistance training, or weightlifting, is the main ingredient of strength development. When you lift weights, you place stress on your muscles, which, in turn, causes them to adapt and become stronger. Start with compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead presses. These exercises engage multiple muscle groups, making them highly effective for building overall strength.
Progressive Overload: Increase the Intensity
To get stronger, you must gradually increase the resistance you’re lifting. This principle, known as progressive overload, involves continually challenging your muscles by adding more weight or increasing the difficulty of your exercises. Over time, this progression will lead to significant strength gains.
Proper Form: Quality Over Quantity
While it’s important to lift progressively heavier weights, it’s equally crucial to prioritize proper form. Correct technique minimizes the risk of injury and ensures that you’re targeting the right muscles. If you’re unsure about your form follow along with me in any of my Bodyworks or Coreworks classes as I break down every exercise for you!
Nutrition: Fuel Your Strength
Nutrition plays a vital role in building strength. To support muscle growth and recovery, you need to provide your body with the right nutrients. A well-balanced diet that includes adequate protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats is essential. Protein is particularly important because it supplies the building blocks (amino acids) needed for muscle repair and growth. I always make protein my main priority.
Rest and Recovery: Let Your Muscles Heal
Your muscles grow stronger during periods of rest and recovery, not during your workouts. Adequate sleep and rest days are crucial for muscle repair and overall recovery. Overtraining can lead to burnout and even injury, so listen to your body and give it the time it needs to recover. Trust me on this one! As college athlete, right into a full blown fitness career with no rest in sight, I experienced overtraining in my mid thirty’s. It took a lot of rest and repair to all systems to fully recover and get back to normal life.
Consistency: Stick to Your Plan
Building strength takes time and dedication. Consistency is key. Create a workout schedule that fits your lifestyle and stick to it. As you make strength training a habit, you’ll see gradual improvements over time.
Variety: Change Things Up
While consistency is crucial, it’s also important to introduce variety into your workouts. Mixing up your exercises can prevent plateaus and keep your training exciting. You can incorporate different rep ranges, exercise variations, and training modalities to keep your muscles guessing.
Patience: Strength Takes Time
Building strength is a long-term endeavor. Understand that results won’t happen overnight, and there may be periods of slower progress. Patience and perseverance are essential traits for anyone on a strength-building journey.
Seek Knowledge: Learn and Adapt
The world of fitness and strength training is constantly evolving. Stay open to learning new techniques and strategies to improve your training. Reading books, watching instructional videos, and seeking advice from experienced individuals can help you refine your approach. Getting strong is achievable for anyone willing to put in the effort and follow the basic principles of resistance training, progressive overload, proper nutrition, and consistent effort. With patience and dedication, you can build a strong and capable body that will serve you well in all aspects of life. Remember that the journey to strength is not just about physical gains but also about personal growth, determination and discipline. Embrace the process, stay committed, and enjoy the incredible benefits that come with increased strength!
Ready to jump in to the strongest you yet? Practice with me!
M/W/F 645am PDT- Bodyworks
T/Th 1030am PDT- Pilates Mat
Sat 8am PDT- Coreworks