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Strength Training – How does it work?

The goal of strength training is to strengthen the muscles you use in your sporting activities and daily life. As with other forms of exercise, this activity promotes fat burn, but also systematically builds muscle.

Every muscle, muscle cell and muscle fiber has only purpose: to contract. The muscles work according to an absolute principle, in other words a single muscle fiber either contracts with the full power at its disposable or it does not contract at all. When the stimulus that comes from the nervous system is done arbitrarily and is strong enough, it leads to a total contraction of the muscle. If the stimulus is too weak, however, the muscle will only be passively moved. The part of the musculature that allows movement of the limbs is called the skeletal muscle. In contrast to the cardiac muscle tissue or so called smooth musculature, which can be found in veins or in the digestive system, the skeletal musculature, also known as diagonal musculature is controlled by willpower.

The supporting frame of a body, the skeleton, is composed of approximately 210 single bones which are connected to each other by moveable joints. The joints are bridged by at least two muscles that are joined to the bones by tendons. If the muscles contracts due to an order from will, the power is transmitted through the nerve to the moveable bone. Once the muscles have moved together as close as possible, the working muscle, or the agonist, cannot change the movement anymore because it can only contract actively but not release. To separate these muscles, an opposite power in necessary. This power is provided by the muscles which can counter the movement of the agonist is called the antagonist.

All leg and arm movement depends on having a strong spine, and the abdominal muscles support the spine.

If several muscles in a joint in the same direction they support each other with their combined strength and they are referred to as synergists. The joining point between the muscle and bone through the nerve is called the base or origin. The origin is generally nearer to the middle of the body and an unmovable joining point whereas the base in generally further away from the body’s middle and is joined to moveable parts.

Every single one of the over 400 skeletal muscles can move a joint in a specific way. This movement depends on the specific construction of the joint as well as the exact position of the base and origin of the muscle. In principle the muscles which have the shortest joining distance between the approaching bones are those principally responsible for the movement. The better these muscle arestretched in advance, that means, the longer the contraction length of the muscle is, the more effective the chosen exercise will be.

Don’t spoil your training experience through impatience. Progress is gradual, you don’t get results overnight. You have to give nature a chance to work on your behalf. Nature is a bit conservative when it comes to energy expenditure. Once your body can cope satisfactorily with the demands placed on it by your current training program, further development stops, and to force it into continually developing, you must place progressively greater demands on it.

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