Building Strength

Strength training will make it easier for you to carry your instrument, and you will receive many other health benefits as well.

Adapted from an article by O2 Max

Strength training is a type of exercise that uses resistance against muscle contractions. Types of exercises that fall under the strength-training category include free weights, weight machines, flexibility exercises and aerobic activity. In some exercises, such as squats and push-ups, you can even use your own body weight as resistance. Keep in mind that strength training is not the same as weight lifting as it uses only moderate resistance and weights. Besides just building muscle, strength training offers many other benefits.

1. You Will Be Physically Stronger. Being strong will not only help you be able to carry your backpack around campus, but it will also make it easier to carry your instrument for extended periods during rehearsals and performances. You will also become less prone to muscle aches afterward.

2. You Will Lose Body Fat. If you train two to three times a week for a month, you will notice a gain in lean body mass. You will begin to burn more calories all day long because your resting metabolism will increase as your lean muscle increases. In general, you burn 35 to 50 more calories each day for each pound of muscle you gain. That can really add up.

3. You Will Improve Your Athletic Performance. Whether you play sports competitively or not, participating in any activity—including marching band—requires basic coordination, strength and flexibility. Strength training will help you improve your coordination by doing different combinations of exercises. Teens have been shown to perform well in strength training because it’s a non-competitive form of exercise. Teens can work at setting goals for themselves in a non-competitive way.

4. You Will Improve Your Academic Performance. Studies have shown that students who are active perform better in school. Participating in athletic activities provides stress relief and works off extra energy, helping you be more focused in school.

5. You Will Reduce Your Health Risk. Research has shown that being active and eating a healthy and balanced diet reduces the risk for heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer.

6. You Will Improve Your Attitude. According to a Harvard University research study, 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling. Women who frequently strength train have reported feeling more confident and capable as a result of the exercises, all of which can help fight depression.

So don’t overlook strength training in your exercise regime. With just a little bit of time, you will soon be experiencing all of these health benefits.

About The Author
Karen Jashinsky is the founder/CEO of O2 MAX, a fitness club for teens, in Santa Monica, Calif. Karen is a certified fitness trainer and earned her MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business in 1996. For more information about O2 MAX, visit

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