How to optimize your strength workouts

Emily Sanderson, reviewed by Kimberly Bowman | 06-02-2022

Endurance-based cardio training is essential for building cardiovascular health, however, it’s also important to incorporate some resistance training into your weekly workout routine. Resistance training not only strengthens musculature but also promotes fat loss, increases mobility, prevents injuries, and boosts metabolism. If you have introduced resistance training to your routine for over 8-weeks and have yet to observe progress in terms of muscle tone/development, it may be time to reassess these strength-based workouts. Here are some suggestions that’ll help you make the most out of your Challenge resistance workouts.

1. Prioritize technique

First of all, it is important to approach your resistance workouts with a different mindset from your cardio-focused training. The primary focus in strength training should be on quality, technical movements that induce muscle fatigue with less of a focus on performing high reps and fast paced movements (the primary focus in cardio-based workouts). While achieving a minimum number of repetitions & sets per strength exercise is important, to maximize results your primary focus should be on movement quality over quantity.

2. Choose an optimal but challenging level of resistance

Next, ensure you’re selecting heavy-enough weights! This may seem obvious, but how often do you pick up the same weight from one Challenge workout to the next? In order for muscle development to occur, it’s essential to choose a level of resistance that will induce muscle fatigue. Why? Pushing your body out of a comfort zone through weighted full-body exercises will start to induce very tiny muscle micro-tears as your body starts to fatigue. Your body responds to this by inducing muscle protein synthesis (the development of lean muscle mass to rebuild and repair fatigued musculature). In other words, in order for muscle growth and/ toning to occur, it’s important to challenge yourself with an appropriate level of resistance that can induce muscle soreness and fatigue. If you are unsure about the level of resistance/weight you should be selecting for a particular exercise, you can always check in with your F45 studio coaches!T

The most important part of your resistance training is to focus on correct technique and muscle engagement. Ensure that you arrive at your F45 session in time for the workout introduction and demonstration. Ensure that you listen to the trainers cue points during the demo and any that may be offered during your set. Slow down your movements, and focus on engaging the core and primary muscles throughout the entire movement. Can you feel it in the muscle you should be? Are you breathing correctly? Technique should be your number one priority in any workout!

To learn more, browse the F45 Challenge Blog: