What do you want to achieve from strength train­ing? Asks Siob­han Byrne

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - FITNESS -

GO­ING to the gym for the first few times can be quite in­tim­i­dat­ing, es­pe­cially when you are us­ing weights and are not sure what to do, while ev­ery­one else seems to know what they are do­ing. By fol­low­ing my sim­ple steps in next week’s col­umn, on how to build and de­velop a pro­gramme, will help keep you on track and help make you feel more con­fi­dent in the gym.

The most im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber is that the form of your tech­nique and your abil­ity to un­der­stand what you are do­ing and why will play a ma­jor role in what you can achieve in terms of goals. Un­der­stand­ing what you want from go­ing to the gym is key in this.

For most of my fe­male clients the gen­eral goals at the be­gin­ning are for weight loss, while for the men it is weight loss and gain­ing a lit­tle more mus­cle.

Th­ese are stan­dard ideals of what peo­ple want to achieve, but th­ese ideals tend to be from peo­ple who don’t re­ally have an un­der­stand­ing or knowl­edge of what strength train­ing can do for them.

When clients say ‘weight loss’, I de­fine that as one of two things: los­ing body fat and gain­ing some mus­cle for one very sim­ple rea­son, who would ever want just weight loss?

Spec­i­fy­ing weight loss on its own could mean loss of body fat and mus­cle to­gether or sim­ply mus­cle while hold­ing onto body fat, es­pe­cially if you’re some­one who has yo-yoed their way through di­ets in the past with one quick fix op­tion af­ter an­other.

This is the rea­son why I say that hop­ping on the scales on a daily ba­sis is not just a point­less ex­er­cise but is also very dam­ag­ing to you achiev­ing your goals.

You may find that af­ter a big meal you are up a few ki­los for a day or so, but then you may come down sud­denly, so this is not true fat loss.

I have never met a woman who would not rather re­duce body fat, with a slight in­crease in mus­cle to give that lean look and have a few inches off, so that all your clothes look and feel bet­ter.

To me this is true weight loss. Ditch­ing those scales and fo­cus­ing on a leaner body should be the way to go.

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