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Strength Training 101

As the temps rise, we’ve been spending more time inside the gym…and the AC!  So what better time than now to brush up on our strength training skills? We talked with Team Amino Vital experts and personal trainers, Paula Smith and Nathan Jendrick about the necessary equipment to get started. While there are a variety of basic tools for resistance training such as dumbbells, machines, tubing and bands, Smith and Jendrick both recommend beginners use their own bodyweight as resistance to avoid injuries. “The most underestimated training method is pure bodyweight,” says Jendrick. “Using your body as your resistance is superb in that it forces your muscles to work together, naturally, and not only can you get a great workout, but it is often safer, too.” Once you establish your strength, then you can start making goals and design a program specific to your needs, notes Smith. “For example, the workout for beginners and endurance athletes tends to be lower weights but higher repetitions using all of the major muscles,” she says. “But for muscle and strength building, the exercises tend to be higher weight and lower repetitions.” “The key to strength training is to work the muscle in different angles and to change up the exercise often, so the body does not adapt,” explains Smith. Luckily, there are many different ways to perform a single exercise.  For example, Smith says to work the upper arm (bicep) you can do a bicep curl using dumbbells, a band or tubing, a barbell or even a pull-up bar. Have some fun by switching it up often and  experimenting with different tools. However, Paula recommends using machines over free weights when you’re without a workout partner. Thanks for the advice, guys! We can’t wait to get started.
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