What is Strength Training?

Strength training is simple.  Perform the big 4 compound exercises – squat, deadlift, bench press and overhead press – using a barbell, and add a small amount of weight as often as possible.  For the novice lifter, you can add weight each session.  For intermediates, each week.  For advanced lifters it gets a little more complicated and is only really applicable for those who want to become highly competitive.

A barbell and compound lifts are the preferred training method as the the body is designed to work as a complete system.  When we squat or deadlift, all of the body’s muscles, bones and nerves are utilised in a balanced and anatomically and functionally correct manner.  The balance and co-ordination that must be developed when using a barbell is noteably absent in machine-based training whilst the weight on the bar can easily be adjusted by as little as 0.25kg and heavy weights can easily be held by the hands or the body.

DSC_0074At Darkside, you will learn how to squat first, starting at the very beginning.  Only when you can comfortably air squat (using only your own bodyweight) will you be introduced to the joy that is the squat rack, here, you will learn how to correctly place the bar on your back using first a broomstick, then a 7kg training bar.  With each session your technique will improve, you will become increasingly more confident under the bar and the weight can be increased, a small amount at a time.

The deadlift, bench press and overhead press will all follow a similar teaching progression.

At the end of each session, on the cardio machine of your choice, you will perform around 15 minutes of HIIT – high intensity interval training – using 20 seconds of all out effort paired with 100 seconds of recovery.  This training technique is all you need for cardiovascular health and is an excellent complement to strength training.

Gemma showing her crazy side!

To get started we are running a special Introduction to Strength course, 8 sessions (75 minutes each) over four weeks, in a group of 4.  Women only.  Here, we will cover everything you need to know about strength training and it’s only £60 for the whole course (£50 for members of the Pacific Gym).  That’s £7.50 (£6.25) per session.

Training has major implications for health, from increased bone density and muscle mass to greater mobility and independence in old age.  Not to mention the confidence and self esteem that can be developed.  These effects are profound and real.  These effects, in part, arise from the enjoyment of training, the sense of fun that arises when a group of women come together to support eachother.

Group training sessions start mid-August 2014, register you interest now!