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Strength Training


So, you have joined a gym and have high hopes of becoming fit.

A good first step is to schedule a Fitness Assessment with the gym staff so they can design a program that will challenge you and not overwhelm you. Whether you are adding weights to your workout for strength, overall fitness or weight loss, here are some basics of strength training.

When trying a new movement, work on form first. You will build a solid foundation for adding weight when you are ready. When have to swing the weight to create momentum in order to complete the set, your weight is too heavy. Take some of the weight off and focus on completing the exercise with good form.
If you can make 30 reps of the exercise without breaking a sweat, then you probably need to increase the weight so you can experience the benefit of weight training. Increase your weight slowly in 5% increments. Remember to take a day of rest after you perform strength training.

Think tortoise, not hare. This is not a race; it is strength training. Working out in a slow controlled manner is the key to activating both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. You only need about a 30-90 second interval in between sets to build your fitness level. Always remember to breathe with you set; exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower.

Use proper alignment. When you bend your knees, you should always see your toes. Pull your belly button in and keep your shoulders back and down.

A personal trainer can help you to learn more about how to move safely and get the most out of your workout.

This is Sheila Harrell with the Church Health Center.


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