Pump it Up: Strength Training

For today's post, I figured that since I am SO inspired by so many different fit guys and gals in my own journey that I would share a few tips for strength training and then show off the physical prowess of the people I admire and the bodies they build.

It's not about comparing yourself or emulating someone, but it IS about being inspired to create the best version of yourself. The healthiest, leanest, happiest, most balanced you. Seeing the work that these amazing people put into their bodies and their minds gets my butt up off the couch, away from this mac I blog from and out on the road getting my fitness on.

So, for the strength training tips:

1. Set goals and make sure they are reasonable. 
Most strength training regimens fail because one fails to set a desired result for the strength training. If you are setting a goal you need to also be creating a schedule of how you are going to reach that goal. How many times per week, which muscle groups, etc.

2. Document your progress.
Keep some type of journal, IG account, update on facebook, whatever. Whatever keeps you accountable to your goals and allows you to see the changes your hard work is generating. I find that using my IG account and posting up pictures is the best way to see my results and get positive feedback/support from others.

3. Between sets in the gym-REST and between days in the gym REST.

Recovery time is important. Whether it's in between sets or in between hard work out days.Your muscles need time to repair and grow stronger, if you are pushing them hard constantly- you won't see results.

4.Stretching is KEY.
Stretching your muscles out before strength training helps loosen your muscles up and helps prevent injury. Cardio is also an important 'stretch' or warm up for the muscles. Doing 5-10 minutes of running, (Terrence believes in cycling) gives your body a spark to light your workout fire.

5.Make sure you are working muscle groups properly.
In order to prevent muscle/appearance imbalances the opposing muscle groups need to be worked equally. I'm not just talking about the guy at the gym that has huge arms and chest and spindly legs, I'm also talking about the girl with cut biceps but non-existent triceps. These opposing muscle groups, when trained properly, give you a more symmetrical appearance and also can aid in preventing straining or injury. Some examples the article I referenced uses are doing rows AND chest presses in order to get the proper balance of push and pull.
Check out Brandi's blog muchomuchobuenobueno.com to be inspired to make your life more AMAZING...and for her fitness experiences see: this post in particular!

6.Feed your muscles.

Muscles need the same fuel the rest of your body does. Do not just overload yourself with protein. Feed your body healthy, clean, nutrition filled food. Protein is an important PART of a balanced diet, not the only food strength training requires.


7. You don't need weights to strength train.
People get caught up in the equipment they have to have in order to train their muscles. You don't need any equipment. Sometimes it's nice and I PREFER to use it, but you can get a heck of a workout by using your own body weight for resistance. Many yoga poses or just traditional pushups, pull ups build muscle just as well as the fanciest equipment.

I hope you are just as inspired by my incredibly hardworking, amazing fitfam as I am! Go forth, and be healthy!

Source: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/mdlabs1.htm

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