Mistakes in Strength Training

by Angela Yorke | October 6th, 2011 | Strength Training

Strength training is a component you cannot neglect if you aim to build overall fitness. For most people, strength training involves a few hours in the weight room weekly, while others prefer isometrics. Whatever your choice of strength building routine, it’s important to avoid making mistakes that could hamper your efforts.

One of the common gripes about strength training is tedium. Naturally, people attempt to avoid boredom by working out faster. Unfortunately, steady, measured movement is a key component to building strength, so using momentum to get you though that chest press is cheating. In addition, relying on momentum can actually make you vulnerable to injury, especially if you’re attempting a heavier weight. Ideally, weight training should be controlled and slow, while movements in isometrics should follow the full range of motion without attempting to truncate it.

Routines are easy to develop, yet difficult to change. In the context of strength training, following the same routine each month (or year) means that you’ve probably plateaued, and might have developed strength imbalance. If you’ve reached your strength training goal, then you need to add some variety to maintain it at that level. For example, free weights can be an alternative to weight machines.

Using the same weight(s) day-in, day-out means that you’ll stay at the same strength or size. If you’re aiming to become stronger, then you need to use heavier weights and/or do more repetitions to overcome this inertia. It would be best to target different muscle groups consistently, and increase resistance levels periodically over time to challenge your strength further.

One of the errors I’ve found myself making is resting for a too-long interval between sets. Allowing too much time to lapse between strength training sets means that you won’t get the most out of the workout as your muscles have a chance to rest. Ideally, 1 minute should be the longest interval between sets. Not only does it keep the tempo high, it ensures that a workout stays efficient.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.