Weight training provides various benefits for runners, helping improve performance, prevent injuries, and enhance overall fitness. This is all compounded within a well-planned program from a personal trainer/coach.
Here are some specific advantages, however this is by no means an exhaustive list just the tip of the iceberg:
Leg strength and power:
Improved Running Economy:
Power and Speed Development:
It's important to note that while weight training can be beneficial, it should be integrated into a comprehensive training program that also includes running-specific workouts, proper nutrition, and adequate rest. Individual needs and goals may vary, so consulting with a personal trainer can help tailor a program that suits your specific running objectives.
Weight training can offer several specific benefits for all sports but let's have a look at mountain biking.
All of the following attributes will best be put together in a well-planned program so it is best to consult with a personal trainer to get the best out of any program. This isn't a complete list but will cover most of the main points.
Power and Explosiveness:
These improvements will not only make you faster, safer, and more resistant to injury. But it will keep you riding more often and for longer. Both in the short term and the long term as lifting weights is a massive tool to be used to keep you active as you get older.
Remember that a well-rounded training program should also include specific skill and technique work on the bike, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility training. It's advisable to consult with a personal trainer to design a training program that aligns with your individual needs and goals.
Also if you want to go for a ride in Scotland give me a shout, I end up in the Tweed Valley most weeks.
In a world that constantly emphasizes the importance of staying fit and healthy, one activity stands out as a versatile and accessible option for people of all ages and fitness levels – lifting weights/strength training.
Contrary to the misconception that weightlifting is exclusively for bodybuilders or athletes, this empowering form of exercise, especially when guided by personal training, offers a multitude of benefits for everyone.
Let's explore why incorporating lifting weights into your routine is truly an inclusive and rewarding experience.
1. you are less likely to die.
Straight up the most powerful reason there is to start lifting weights is that you will live longer. It has been shown in multiple studies that adding just one hour of lifting weights to your weekly routine can drop your mortality rate from all causes by up to 25%! If that sounds good to you get in touch now and book your first session.
If that still isn’t enough keep reading and I’ll go into a little more depth on the benefits of lifting weights.
2. builds functional strength.
Lifting weights, especially when guided personal training, isn't just about sculpting impressive muscles; it's about developing strength that enhances your everyday life. Whether you're carrying your shopping home in one trip, playing with your kids, or even just performing household chores, the increased strength gained from weightlifting with personal training contributes to a more capable and confident you.
3. aids body composition.
Weightlifting, when complemented by nutrition, isn't solely about pumping iron; it's a powerful tool for improvements in body composition. Whether that is to reduce unwanted body fat, or just put on some muscle.
4. improves bone density.
As we age, maintaining strong and healthy bones becomes crucial. Lifting weights has been shown time and time again to increase bone density resulting in stronger bones, resulting in a reduction in the risk of osteoporosis, sarcopenia, low back pain, and fractures. This makes it a fantastic activity for individuals of all ages, especially when personal training support ensures the exercises are tailored to your needs and ability level.
5. enhances mental well-being.
The benefits of lifting weights extend beyond the physical realm. There have been multiple studies that show lifting weights regularly can help with both clinical depression and depression symptoms. As well as some newer evidence that it aids with your cognitive ability and increases in Self-esteem.
6. Adaptable to all fitness levels.
Not everyone is built to pound the pavement and slog it out on a run, or a bike. One of the beauties of lifting weights with personal training is its scalability. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, personal training ensures that weightlifting routines can be tailored to your fitness level. With various weights, equipment, and exercises available, everyone can find a suitable starting point and gradually progress at their own pace under the guidance of personal training.
In essence, lifting weights is an inclusive activity that offers a wide array of physical and mental benefits. It's time to debunk the myth that lifting weights is reserved for a select few. Everyone, regardless of age, gender, or fitness level, can embrace strength training and embark on a journey towards a healthier, more empowered self through the transformative power of lifting weights.
So, grab those dumbbells, hit the gym, and witness the positive changes unfold in your life with the support of personal training.
Estimated Reading time: 4 minutes.
In my last post about my return to the powerlifting platform. I posted my planned pivot out of that block. The Pivot went well, fatigue dropped, sore things got a lot less sore.
Then I ran another developmental block, so I figured I’d post about that and how it went.
The goal of the block was to explore some meme variants, get another block of drama-free strength training in, and see if I could reverse grip 3 plates. For no other reason than the meme factor of doing it.
The Microcycle for Dev Block 2 was as follows.
Front Squat x5@8, Drop 5%
Reverse Grip Bench x1@8, x3@8, Repeat till x3@9
Bulgarian Split Squats 3 sets @9
Trap Bar Deadlift x5@8. Drop 10%
Paused Closegrip Bench x3@8, Repeat till x3@9
DB Overhead Press 3 sets @9
SSB Squat x1@7
Reverse Grip Bench x1@7
Sumo Deadlift x1@7
From my previous training, I’ve really never managed to do a great number of sets on lower movements. Even while I was just doing more hypertrophy-style training, I really struggled to get past 4 work sets at a higher intensity. Having had my main block going into my last competition being to test out minimal effective dose stuff, I averaged 1-2 drop sets per week.
In this dev block, I aimed to see what volume was like at a couple of breakpoints. I also kept upper volume minimal with repeats, though I’ve never had issues with upper volumes ever.
Along with me not really having the time to train for hours, I need to keep sessions pretty concise. Here are a couple of tables regarding fatigue % drops.
I’ve already written about them in depth here.
But TL;DR higher % drops take longer, and equal more total volume on average. Whilst being auto-regulating.
I’ve picked out 15% total volume for the week between my Front Squats and Trap bar Deads. So we’re going in pretty low, but remember I’m not very accustomed to this.
I chose an SBD day on the third day, to limit my total volume, and also to see how it works. I’ve never done one in a block before and they seem fairly popular now, with the rationale of sports practice (doing all three lifts on the same day).
I also decided to play around with measuring bar speed and using it to help make some decisions through training. Overall my training priorities went something like:
Pain lead. If something goes past a 3/10 on the pain scale, we call it.
RPE. My own perception of how performance felt.
Average bar speed on the app. If I couldn’t decide based on how it felt, I’d watch the video and decide based on the video and the measured speed.
Let’s look at some top sets from week 1.
Reverse Grip Bench x1@8 120kg 0.27ms
Front Squat x5@8 110kg 0.46ms
Trap Bar Deadlift x5@8 200kg 0.42ms
These singles are technically week 2. I did my first-week session in a warm-up room at a comp, so I didn't get vids.
SSB x1@7 150kg 0.41ms
Sumo x1@7 180kg 0.23ms
Everything looking fine. No massive drops post-pivot. Though the variations are really different, so it’s hard to tell even versus my pre-comp block.
Now let’s compare them to the peak week of the block, week 7.
Reverse Grip Bench 1@10 140kg 0.13ms
Front Squat x5@8 125kg 0.38ms
Trap Bar Deadlift x5@8 230kg 0.38ms
SSB x1@7 170kg 0.41ms
Sumo x1@7 210kg 0.27ms
Overall a very good block for increases.
+30kg on the trap bar deadlift is the most notable.
+30kg on the sumo deadlift
+10kg on reverse grip bench
+15kg on front squat
Going forward I’m going to pivot out and hopefully decrease fatigue a bunch.
My rough plan to get towards my next competition looks a bit like this.
Given that I don’t know when in November the competition is yet, I think my next development block will be another more exploratory block, aimed at progressing some less specific work.
Hopefully, you found some of this information useful, and if you’re keen to see how things go and how I develop things, stay tuned, and I’ll post the new dev block construction and implementation.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes.
One of the concerns I hear from people, most often, as to why they are hesitant or nervous about going to the gym for the first time, or the first time back in a very long time, is that they’re worried they don’t know what they’re doing, and it’ll be very obvious to everyone else. Alongside the concern that other people may point that out, or make them feel bad.
Firstly, if you are concerned about that I highly recommend trying to find a small to medium box gym, rather than a bigger commercial one. Smaller spaces tend to generate a much better sense of community and comradery, and asshats don’t tend to last/aren’t tolerated. Whereas big chain gyms are harder to police in terms of behaviour, and likely more concerned with making money than fostering a truly positive and healthy community.
Secondly, as much as I can’t offer much advice on how to deal with idiots in the gym being rude, apart from just ignoring it, and if it’s of great concern, report it to the floor manager. We can do something about not feeling super confident about looking like we know what we’re doing.
Every movement in fitness and sport is built from 7 fundamental movement patterns, and they are:
Once we get some practice and competency with all of these, everything else builds off of them. Not to say you’ll be smashing out front levers on your first day in the gym, but you’ll be a lot more comfortable grabbing a kettlebell and hitting some goblet squats if you’ve already done a bunch of squats at home.
Let’s build this at-home workout. First we will go through each movement then at the end I'll give some advice on how to put it all together in one workout. I’ll throw in some regressions and progressions for each as well.
Horizontal push: The classic push-up. If you can’t do full pushups (chest to the floor, then locking out to straight arms without bending your body en route) I highly suggest doing some incline ones. You can do these against a wall, on the edge of a table.
The aim is to use gradually lower and lower surfaces until you are in the full pushup position on the floor.
Image credit to silver sneakers
Vertical Push: For this one, you’ll need a bag or container that you can fill with things to add some resistance. Once you have your bag, you’re just going to push it overhead while standing upright. We can regress or progress this by changing the weight of the object or bag. Don’t worry too much if there isn’t perfect symmetry in how you press it overhead, we’re just doing the best we can with minimal/no equipment.
Image credit to Men’s Health
Horizontal Pull: To pull horizontally at home we have to get a little creative. I recommend the wall or the doorframe pull. Find a doorframe or even better a vertical pole/post that you can hold onto or wrap an old towel around. You’re then going to lean back away from the wall, and then pull yourself towards it.
Image credit to The Whitecoat Trainer
You can progress this exercise similarly to an incline push-up, by finding ways to lower yourself closer to being parallel to the ground with your weight entirely held by your hands.
If you’re feeling frisky you could also look to combine a hinge and a horizontal row for a bag/object bent over a row to fulfil both movement patterns at once!
Image credit to Redefining Strength
Vertical Pull: This one is very tricky without any equipment. If you have a resistance band this is easy peasy, just tie it to or lob it over something (even shutting one end in the top of a door is good). Then either sit or kneel relative to the band so that you can pull it from overhead down to your chest. If you do not have a band, we can just change what direction vertical is! If we go back to our object/bag and lie down and press it out to full arm’s length. Then we’re going to lower it until it gently touches the ground above our head, then return it to above us, while maintaining straight arms throughout. (Like the photo, but using whatever we have to hand instead of a dumbbell)
Image credit to Women’s Health
Squat: This one is pretty easy equipment-wise, though I am going to recommend finding something sturdy and about 3-6cm in height to put under your heels. A hardback book you aren’t precious about, even scrap wood would work great. Just to give your heels a bit of a lift, which will likely make the exercise a lot comfier. From there it’s just bending the legs and lowering the hips to as low as you can go without letting any part of your foot lift from the floor, and without leaning over too much.
To progress the squat we can through one foot behind us up on a chair or a sofa, and turn it into a split squat. For regressing it we can set up close to a door frame, or something sturdy we can hold on to and use that to assist us up and down until it’s comfortable enough to not use hand support.
Hinge: The hinge can be a bit challenging for folks. Just because it’s not a pattern we do regularly (unless you golf) the simplest way I get folk to a hinge is to assume that position as if you’re really out of breath, where your hand are on your knees.
Then from here we just remove our hands and stay rigid, then pull the hips forward until we’re back standing upright. For progressing this, we can simply add load into our hands in the form of objects or bags. Or we can curl one leg back and go single-leg hinge
Image credit to Men’s Health
Rotation: There are a bunch of different ways we can get some rotation in, but one of my favourite starting points for new people is the lying trunk rotation.
Image credit to My rehab connection
You lie on the floor, and bring your feet halfway up towards your hips, then lower your knees to the side together, then control them back into the starting position, then go towards the other side. To progress these we can bring the feet up from the floor so the legs make a set of right angles and the hip and the knee. Then we can progress onto full straight legs, extended towards the ceiling.
For the workout itself, start with just 2 sets of 8 repetitions of each movement, in whatever progression/regression works for you best. If you’re fairly sore the next day, don’t repeat the workout until the soreness has dissipated, but aim to build up to going through this daily. Add in 1 extra repetition each time until you get to 15, then on the next workout go back to 8 repetitions but do 3 sets of each instead of 2. Then go through the cycle again at 3 sets of each till you hit 15 reps.
Hopefully, you found that helpful! If you’re swithering about going to the gym for the first time, feel free to check us out @atsapproved on all social media, or just give us a call on 07843024606 and have chat!
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes
I’m approaching this from a fairly biased viewpoint, however, I don’t think I’m understating anything when I say that exercise is probably one of the top 3 most powerful tools you have at your disposal for improving your health and well-being, both long and short term.
Within exercise as a whole, one specific discipline has benefits unique to it that you can’t get from any other form of exercise, which is why I’m such a personal advocate for it.
That being resistance training. The best approach would be to have a mixture of both cardiovascular exercise (heart/lungs/circulation) and resistance training (muscles, bones joints). Which should hopefully shine a light on the popularity of things such as circuits, CrossFit, Hyrox.
They are not for everyone, however, and keeping them in separate workouts also has benefits.
Weightlifting helps increase your overall day-to-day energy, there are a few mechanisms involved in this, but at the most basic level, if you are stronger, you’re more efficient at moving yourself through your daily non-exercising tasks. Walking the dog, picking up kids, and doing household chores, and if those take up less of your total daily energy, you’ll have loads more left to do with whatever you want.
Lifting weights builds muscles and helps you reduce your body fat. Both of which will affect your appearance in and out of clothes, which is what a lot of people begin their training with in mind. Dieting can only get you so far if you aren’t lifting weights, you can drop all the body fat you want, but if there’s nothing under it to provide shape, you may not get the appearance you’re looking for.
It also makes any reduction in body fat easier. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, it requires caloric expenditure to stay around and function, whereas fat has a far lesser demand.
Lifting will also strengthen, not only your muscles but all of your connective tissues as well. I realise there’s a bit of a dark cloud over lifting weights regarding form and making sure you’re ‘doing it right’ but this (like a lot of stuff) has been blown up a lot more than is realistic, normally to attract attention to content, or to sell specific things. Is there potential for increased injury risk if you do silly, non-appropriate things relative to your level of ability? 100% yes. Are you going to immediately snap something if you try and do a beginner program using appropriate loads and maybe just need more practice on your form? 100% no.
If you are still concerned about getting some advice or oversight for your training or technique, then you should hire a coach. You don’t have to think of this as a long term commitment, plenty of people visit us for some consultations on certain aspects of training, and then go off and continue on their own, to great success.
Hopefully, this has convinced you that this year is the year to try out lifting! If it is, please consider coming down to ATS and giving it a bash. Feel free to get in touch on 07843024606 or @atsapproved on all socials.