Strength training: does a lot really bring a lot?
When it comes to strength training, the minds differ. Does it make sense to exercise with massive weights and few repetitions, or is it better if the weights are lighter and you do more repetitions? Heilpraxis.de interviewed a fitness expert and lecturer at the German University for Prevention and Health Management.
Healthier and fitter
For years there has been a report on a booming fitness industry in Germany and other countries. While it used to be so-called "bodybuilders" who trained in the gym, today "normal" young and old people can be found there. The optical results that are achieved often only play a pleasant secondary role in strength training. For many, it is more important to become healthier and fitter in sports. Newcomers in particular can do some things wrong when lifting weights. The motto "a lot brings a lot" should not be the guideline for beginners.
Strength training helps you lose weight
Strength training is the trend: training with weights not only helps build muscle, it also helps you lose weight.
This, in turn, lowers the risk of numerous lifestyle diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure.
Strength training obviously has other advantages for people. According to a study by Australian scientists, exercise with weights also improves cognitive skills.
Do not put on too many weights
If you want to get healthier, fitter and stronger in the gym, you shouldn't put on too many weights. Because: "The quality of execution during strength training is minimized at the expense of excessive weights," warns Marcel Reuter, fitness expert and lecturer at the German University for Prevention and Health Management / BSA Academy. “The consequences of choosing the wrong weight can be stagnation of performance or injuries to the musculoskeletal system,” says the expert. The question of which weight is suitable depends on the exercise selection, the training goal and the level of performance of the exerciser.
The higher the weight, the greater the strain on the musculoskeletal system - muscles, ligaments, bones.
Improve muscle metabolism
Strength training with lower weights and lots of repetitions is said to help improve performance. In strength endurance training, the exerciser should choose a weight that he can move with 15-30 repetitions. The high number of repetitions improves muscle metabolism and movement.
According to the expert, this form of training is not only suitable for beginners, but also for performance-oriented athletes, since it creates the basis for higher intensities.
Hypertrophy training to build muscle
Exercises with higher weights have a positive effect on muscle building. In so-called hypertrophy training, which aims at muscle growth, bones and connective tissue are strengthened with eight to 15 repetitions.
Furthermore, it increases joint stability by increasing the strength potential. However, an individual dosage is necessary to avoid overloading and to achieve the desired training effects.
Strength tests give an indication of which weight is the right one. This means, for example, that a multi-repetition strength test can be used to determine which training intensity should be achieved. One instrument for this is the so-called "individual performance profile method" (short: ILB method), in which the current performance is tested, which then serves as a guideline for the next training units. (sb, ad)