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Benefits of Strength Training PLUS Workout

fitness functional strength training strength workout Oct 01, 2020

Exactly what is strength training? Strength training is any planned exercise that challenges your muscles by adding load (weight) to your movements.

By challenging your muscular system you slowly and gradually built your lean muscle mass. As an added bonus you also strengthen your ligaments and tendons that surround your joints. 

Why is this important? Strength training lays the foundation to building a highly functional body. In the end this helps your body perform optimally so that it eases the demands on the body when you go about your daily activities. 

One of the cool side effects of exercising consistently is your body functions better even at the cellular level. That is why after a couple of weeks of exercising, you gain more energy. Amazing that when you exercise you are even making your cells stronger and more efficient! 

Other Benefits of Strength Training:

  • Increases in muscle mass increase metabolism, meaning our bodies are able to burn more calories at rest. Studies show that those who strength train 2-3 times a week burn more body fat than people who don’t. As your lean muscle increases, your body has a better chance of reducing its fat stores.
  • Increases bone density and enhances bone modelling which decreases the risk of osteoporosis. This, coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium, can be the best defence against osteoporosis.
  • Increases your ability to function throughout the day. Strength training makes you stronger, which helps you function better when performing chores and carrying kids. It makes routine tasks much easier and far less fatiguing. So it increases energy!
  • Decreases chance of injury and pain. Strength training builds stronger connective tissues (the tissues around joints), and in turn increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury. In addition, increasing strength in the glutes (butt-cheek muscles), abdominals, and spinal erectors can help eliminate or alleviate low-back and knee pain.
  • Weight training improves cardiovascular health, including lowering LDL ("bad") cholesterol, increasing HDL ("good") cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. Because strength training increases lean muscle mass, it gives your cardiovascular system (your heart, lungs, and the transport system of blood: the arteries and veins) places to send the blood being pumped. This results in less pressure on your arteries, which helps reduce the chances of heart-related problems. When cardiovascular exercise is added, these benefits are maximized.
  • Reduces the risk of diabetes, because weight training can improve the way the body processes sugar.
  • Decreases stress. Studies show exercise is a mood booster, releasing your "happy" hormones. More info about exercise and stress here

My recommendations for fun strength training options:

  • Pilates Equipment (also called Pilates Apparatus) sessions provide constant spring loaded resistance, which works the "negative contraction". They work the small, stabilizing muscles in the body, as well as the powerhouse core muscles, challenging your much needed postural muscles. Reformer exercises help to re-balance the body by lengthening and strengthening at the same time. 
  • Barre: My system of barre is different than regular barre. I add functional strength training into my programs to create long, lean, and balanced bodies from the inside out. My Barre combine strength training, standing Pilates-inspired movements, plus traditional barre and Pilates movements to create a system that eases joint pain, builds muscle and strength, and creates balance between mobility and stability in the correct areas in your bodies.
  • Strength Circuits: my strength circuits provide instruction on proper technique and form and challenge every single muscle in your body in a safe, yet fun, way. 
  • Body Fit classes are an energizing way to boost metabolism. They focus on getting your heart rate up as well as using resistance bands and bodyweight to challenge your muscles. 


For the video above: I thought to share this week's small group training Strength Circuit (week of Mon Sept 28 - Oct 2 2020). I have taught this sequence two times with week to my dear clients, one more time tomorrow! 

The Mama Bear mug is an inside joke for my clients, as they know it is my favourite mug :)

In the video I am demonstrating the most challenging version of the exercises. All exercises can be modified. The wonderful thing about small group personal training is I tailor the exercise to suit each client to be successful and safe in their joints. 

The workout:

Warm-up (not shown)

5min dynamic stretches and activation exercises (not shown in video)

  • Alt side lunges
  • Alt reverse lunges with quick 3 sec holds
  • Quick calf stretches
  • I, Y, T, Ws
  • Lunge with spinal rotation, both sides
  • Ham Curls to Tire Hops

 1st Circuit

  • 45sec Lateral Side Step Touch, right side
  • 45sec Lateral Side Step Touch, left side
  • 45sec Reverse Curl

Perform the above 3 exercises 3 times each with 15sec for transition

Finish this circuit with 60sec Straddle Step


2nd Circuit

  • 45sec Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift
  • 45sec Barbell or Dumbbell Biceps Curl
  • 45sec Plank Alt Elbow to Knee

Perform the above 3 exercises 3 times each with 15sec for transition

Finish this circuit with 60sec Rope-less Skipping


3rd Circuit

  • 45sec Bosu Triceps Band Extension
  • 45sec Mini Loop Band Lat Pull
  • 45sec Theraband Oblique Twist

Perform the above 3 exercises 3 times each with 15sec for transition

Finish this circuit with 60sec Bosu Quick Lunge


4th Circuit

  • 45sec Reformer Arm Front Lift
  • 45sec Reformer Rhomboids Open/Close
  • 45sec Reformer Half Roll Down

Perform the above 4 exercises 3 times each with 15sec for transition

Finish this circuit with 60sec Reformer Jumpboard

All the exercises in this 4th circuit can be done with a handled band around a barre or doorknob. 


Finisher (not shown)

Repeat 2 times though for a total of 4:40min:

  • 30sec Side Shuffle Touch
  • 5sec rest
  • 30sec Squat Pulse
  • 5sec rest
  • 30sec Alt Reverse Lunge or Jump Lunge
  • 5sec rest
  • 30sec Jump Jack
  • 5sec rest


Cool down (not shown)