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Best tips for strength training

When I hear the terms strength training, bodybuilding, or powerlifting, I lump all three into the same category: strength.

While all three require strength, their purposes are all very different. Here are some of the differences:

Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is based mainly on aesthetic appearance. It is primarily about having a nice physique that is well proportioned. Many bodybuilders have a very low body fat percentage in order to achieve that sculpted look. You do build strength by following a bodybuilder workout, however, strength usually isn’t the main goal.

Powerlifting

Powerlifters are all about strength. Have you ever watched a strongman competition? The competitors can lift huge amounts of weight.

Powerlifting is the opposite of bodybuilding in that it doesn’t focus on outward appearance. Many powerlifters have a much higher percentage of body fat compared to bodybuilders. Powerlifting competitions focus on three events: the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Strength Training

Strength training is a form of exercise rather than a sport like bodybuilding and powerlifting. You may also hear strength training referred to as “resistance training.”

There are so many benefits to strength training to include increased muscle mass, bone density, and overall improved functional strength. It also tones you up which is what most people like to achieve when working out. If your goals don’t involve competition, then strength training is probably the best bet.

What an incredible day for me today!

This morning, I stopped by my parents before heading to the gym but instead of running on the treadmill, my stepdad suggested we all run on the street. All meaning myself, my stepdad, and my mom.

All I can say is wow. My parents kicked major butt today. First off, they are both in spectacular shape for their ages. My stepdad is 58 and has strength trained and run most of his life. My mom is 52 and works out almost daily.

We ran about 2 miles and I couldn’t believe how well we all did. I think I was more out of breath than my mom! This proves to me that it is never too late to exercise and if you continue you to do it, you can turn back the clock. Neither of my parents look their age.

They both definitely inspire me to keep fitness as a part of my life and to meet my fitness goals. Exercise is definitely more fun when it includes loved ones.

You can’t open a fitness magazine now a days or walk into a vitamin/supplement shop without seeing protein powders. I’ve done a protein powder comparison before, however, I wanted to learn more about the benefits of the most popular type: whey protein.

What is Whey Protein?

When cheese is manufactured from cow’s milk, a by-product of it is whey. Whey contains various nutrients and essential amino acids. Our bodies can produce non-essential amino acids but cannot create the essential amino acids. We can only get those from food.

Protein levels deplete during a workout, so consuming whey protein is an easy way to get these essential amino acids. The convenience and quick absorption of whey protein is what makes it so popular amongst bodybuilders.

The Essential Amino Acids

Below are the essential amino acids that we can only get from the foods we eat.

  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

Benefits of Whey Protein

There are a ton of benefits to taking whey protein.

  • The most popular benefit is that of helping to increase lean muscle mass development.
  • Helps increase muscle mass
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Helps in weight loss/fat loss
  • Enhances immune function
  • Encourages bone growth
  • Absorbed and utilized better than other proteins
  • Helps increase mental and physical energy
  • May help prevent prostate cancer
  • May help prevent chronic periodontal disease

There are also a ton of different whey protein powders on the market. I prefer ones that don’t contain artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors. There are some good ones that use stevia (herb commonly used as a sugar substitute) as a sweetener and taste really good.