In this article Im going to give you an insight into the different types of weight training. As you will see there are many and all of them target different goals. You just need to choose what your goal may be and then follow that type of training. A perfect scenario is to mix and match all the different types of weight training.
So let’s initially cover the benefits of weight training. Research shows that not only can weightlifting improve your body composition and give you a toned appearance it can also improve your overall health.
Muscle fibres are composed of three types those being type 1, and type 2. That’s only two your saying? Well type 2 fibres are broken down again into type 2A and type 2B making three in total. Each muscle fibre type as a specific role:
Type 1 fibres are called ‘slow twitch’ fibres and are utilised during say endurance type exercises such as long distance running.
Type 2A fibres are known as ‘fast twitch oxidative’ and type 2B as ‘fast twitch glycolytic’.
These fibres are utilised in intermediate and explosive exercises such as weight lifting and sprinting.
Type 2 fibres have been shown to increase your metabolic rate.
As mentioned in a previous article muscle is metabolically "hungry" and it takes more energy to maintain more muscle. Which means that when you have a lot of muscle mass, you'll burn more calories at rest. Which is a win win situation.
However I feel the most important aspect of any type of training are the benefits to your mental health. Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular weight training. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.
Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as "euphoric." That feeling, known as a "runner's high," can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life. This feeling can’t be underestimated as training in general can ward of feelings of anxiety and depression.
So now you have an insight into the benefits of weight training let’s look at some of the different types
Most people associate weight training with bodybuilders however these are only a small proportion of people who weight train. Bodybuilders train in a specific manner to achieve a specific goal. Basically making their muscles bigger! They tend to lift in the eight- to 12-rep range and only train one muscle group per day, per week. This type of training is the best for making your muscles larger but not necessarily stronger. That's not to say bodybuilders aren't strong, but they just aren't as strong as some other athletes because their goal is aesthetics, not athleticism. They're judged on muscularity yes but also definition, proportion and symmetry.
2. Power Lifting.
Power lifting is the best type of training for maximal strength — what many people would consider "brute" strength. A power lifter's goal isn't appearance; it's strength. Power lifters focus on lifting an extremely heavy amount of weight for only a few repetitions using the best form possible. They mainly concentrate on compound exercises such as squats, dead lift and bench press. I’m sure you’ve seen the Worlds Strongest Man on tv. Well this is the type of training regime they follow.
3. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
I have covered this in more detail on a recent article but to summarise: HIIT incorporates a number of exercises in quick succession usually lifting a light amount of weight for a high number of repetitions. For example, doing 20 bench presses, 20 squats and shoulder presses with little or no rest in between. This type of training is ideal for burning fat, increasing endurance and making some gains in strength. If you were only to choose one type of training this would be the one that would give you the ‘best bang for your buck’
4. High Volume Training
This is similar to bodybuilding in the sense that you only work your muscle groups once a week. This type of training places a strong emphasis on increasing muscular endurance one exercise at a time. Not only does it make your muscles larger, but it also makes them better at keeping up a certain amount of resistance for a long period of time.
It is done is by performing one exercise at a time, lifting the same amount of weight 10 times for 10 sets. Each week, you try to increase the amount of weight slightly so that you become a little bit stronger every time you do it.
5. Push Pull Training
This type of training is descriptive of the way in which your body moves. You can break down the body into three basic movement plains: all the muscles that push, all the muscles that pull, and everything in your lower body. By dividing the body like this, any muscle is either working through every movement or fully resting that day. Your muscles are in a state of work during your workout or rest when not in use. You will divide your workout into three different days, each day associated with a different muscle group. Your push days will involve your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Your pull days will work out your back, biceps, and traps. Your leg day – my personal favourite – will work your entire lower body. This is the optimal method for developing strength throughout your entire body. This type of training is great for moderate to advanced lifters. You will see the most strength gains from this, because you are able to work your muscles to complete exhaustion while still being able to train up to six times a week.
6. Functional Training
Functional fitness is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. It trains your muscles to work together and prepares them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work, or in sports. Movements such as squatting, reaching, pulling, and lifting will be made easier with functional fitness integrated into your exercise routine. Functional fitness is focused on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, not just lifting a certain amount of weight in an idealized posture created by a gym machine.
As such this incorporates exercises such as the farmers walk which simulates you carrying everyones suitcase at the airport :). There are many other exercises such as the pull up, sled pull/push, one arm kettlebell snatch, jump squat, and box jump. All these exercises can be made harder by just adding more weight.
So there you have it just a few types of weight training. There are many more which I will cover in a further article.
‘Eat Clean Train Dirty'.