09/17/2002 - Chet Fuhrman of the Pittsburgh Steelers outlines four weight training basics and how they can benefit you!
1. To Increase Muscle Mass & Decrease Body Fat.
For women the idea is to look more athletic and trimmer, and for men to look more Herculean. These individuals are what I call recreational or aesthetic athletes.
2. To Increase Strength, Power, Performance & Endurance.
Traditionally the only athletes who trained with weights were those in which the use of weights was integral to their sport. This included Olympic lifters, power lifters (including the old time Strong Men such as Sandow, the Saxons etc.). In the last few decades all this has changed. In the past weight lifting was thought to slow down performance because the athletes became "muscle bound and inflexible."
Today, thanks to the bodybuilding and strength pioneers such as John Grimek, Steve Reeves and countless others, almost all athletes train with weights. Increasing strength, muscle mass and muscular endurance are assets to any sport even those which don't require power but need muscular endurance.
3. To Prevent & Rehabilitate Injuries.
By strengthening both prime movers and the muscles that act as secondary joint stabilizers. The success of the rehabilitations depends on the expertise of the therapist. In some cases improper weight training, techniques employed during rehabilitation, may prolong recovery from injuries suffered in athletics. In other cases the modifications suggested in the weight training program to allow the athlete both to continue training while an injury heals and to prevent future re-injury, are inappropriate and may in fact contribute to future injuries.
4. For General Health Purposes.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends weight training for the general population, including men and women over 50, in order to increase their physical health. Weight training has been shown to both prevent and treat osteoporosis in both men and women. Also training with weights offers psychological and emotional benefits.
In all cases weight training can result in injuries although more commonly in the first two groups since the last group is much more regulated and supervised, with less emphasis on maxing out either in the amount of weight used or in doing sets to fatigue to maximize the adaptation response and subsequently muscle mass and strength.