Secrets of Strength Training

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Most people think of strength training as a great way to build muscle and increase strength, but there are many more benefits you may be less familiar with. Strength training involves placing a heavier load on a muscle to stimulate an increase in the number of muscle fibers, making the muscle stronger. Types of strength training include working out with free weights or weight machines at the gym, using resistance bands or the body's own weight for resistance as in push-ups.

Here are the main benefits of a strength-training program:

1. Increased metabolic rate and lower body fat -- Muscle burns more calories while resting and during exercise than fat, so the more muscle you have, the higher your overall metabolic rate. Unfortunately, we lose 35- 40 percent of our muscle mass between the ages of 20 and 80 -- that's why we start to feel weaker and flabbier as we enter middle age. A regular program of strength training will help to counteract this, helping you to stay leaner and more youthful-looking.