Last updated on Jun 16th, 2020 at 12:29 am

“Reality Check” is an article series which looks at common mistakes people make when they begin dieting for weight loss. We’ll check out some ‘thought adjustments’ that will help you make better choices on your journey. The articles include tips, new ideas to try, strategies to follow, and encouragement to keep you moving forward.

Focus on movements, not muscles

When you think about strength training you’ve probably got a pretty clear mental picture of giant bodybuilders in skin-tight spandex grunting and shouting their way through a set of bicep curls. Right?

Well, here’s the problem – bodybuilding does not necessarily build functional strength. What I always recommend is functional strength training, I’m not expecting my clients to turn into bodybuilding stars!

How are they different?

Your body is designed as a system of bones and muscles that work together to produce movement. Bodybuilders primarily focus on making the muscles BIGGER. But with strength as OUR goal, the only effective way to train is by using the entire system.

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Still confused? Here’s an example:

How often do you find yourself needing to do a bicep curl in your daily life? Not much, right?

Now how many times do you have to bend and pick something up off the ground, or hold it up over your head, or stand up after sitting on a low chair?

Far more often, right?

Systemic training is where the real-life movements are, and you should be doing them. Squats, deadlifts, presses, bench presses and pull ups are movements that tax the system and make it stronger. And that makes you strong in a way that makes you useful.

How you look (toned, fit, and healthy) is not the PRIMARY goal of functional strength training. It’s a lovely by-product, but the first goal is getting your muscles, bones, and body to be stronger as a whole.

 

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.