What is a Strength Workout?

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  • Written By: D. Messmer
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2019
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A strength workout is a form of exercise that aims to increase an athlete's strength and build muscles. In addition to extra muscle mass and and strength, a strength workout also increases the body's metabolism, which helps to burn fat. In order to perform a strength workout, the athlete must exercise using resistance. This usually takes the form of weightlifting, either with free weights or machines, but it also can involve exercise bands, the athlete's own body weight or any other form of resistance.

One of the key benefits of a strength workout is that it not only increases muscle mass but also increases the body's metabolism. Maintaining muscle tissue requires the highest number of calories of any type of tissue in the body, so adding muscle tissue can help the body burn calories and fat even when the body is at rest. For this reason, a strength workout is a very effective way to burn fat even though the actual workout itself might initially burn fewer calories than a cardio workout.


The key to an effective strength workout is to perform fewer repetitions of a lift but to use more weight. Performing lifts with small amounts of weight leads to a more sustained workout in the short term, but it is the lifting of heavy weight that stimulates muscle growth. A typical strength workout will require the athlete to lift enough weight that he or she is able to lift the weight only three to eight times. Some strength workouts will involve slightly higher repetitions but never more than 12.

In order for the body to be able to perform only a low number of repetitions, each lift in a strength workout will require resistance. This can be quite simple when performing certain types of lifts. During chest workouts, for instance, exercises such as the bench press make it very easy to increase the amount of weight and thus also increase the resistance. When performing a core strength workout, though, it can be more difficult to increase resistance. It can be quite a challenge, for instance, to increase resistance when performing sit ups.

Regardless of the type of exercise, increasing resistance is crucial to a strength workout. In order to continue to build muscle mass, the athlete must continue to push the muscles to perform at their maximum capacity. Doing so will continue to stimulate the body to produce more muscle tissue. It also will improve the ability of the body's neuromuscular system to recruit the muscle tissue and thus increase the total amount of weight that he or she can lift.



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