Every Program Needs Strength Training

Luis Uribe

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Personal Training


Every Program Needs Strength Training - Fitness, strength and conditioning, fat loss, functional strength, muscle growth, training programs


If you are following a workout program right now, that’s great. Whether the goal of your program is fat loss, hypertrophy, or strength, you have a goal and you have a plan to accomplish it. Any well rounded program keeps at least one to two of these goals at the heart of its progression.



I’m not always an advocate of heavy weights. Sometimes heavier weights mean sacrificing form and damaging your joints in the long run. The focus of strength centered workouts is to shift from consciously from contracting your muscles to moving weight in the most efficient way possible. No matter the goal, strength training days should be strategically placed in your workout program.


Why Strength Training?

Here are three reasons why you should incorporate strength training twice a week if you're trying to build muscle or lose fat.


Reason 1: Combined training will stimulate all of your muscle fibers, triggering higher levels of protein synthesis.


Varying your training style in the form of separate workouts has been proven to have a greater effect on muscle growth. Each style of training targets a certain group of muscle fibers. This explains why a program that might work for your friend may not work for you. For example, hypertrophy centered programs usually incorporate exercises in the 8-10 rep range in order to target type 1 muscle fibers.


In a study done by the university of the Birmingham, subjects were put through a series of workout programs where groups performed hypertrophy based workouts, strength based workouts, and a final group did both. The findings concluded that the group who did both strength training and hypertrophy training led to more pronounced increase in muscle fiber. In other words, combined training enhanced both type 1 and type 2 fibers, whereas strength training only increased type 2. In addition, the combination of strength and hypertrophy training resulted in a higher 1 rep max due to the mixed training programs.1


Reason 2: Strength training will help you preserve muscle mass on a fat loss diet.


When your exercise goal is fat loss, you’re likely training in a caloric defecit. While this will lead to excess fat loss, sometimes while your energy stores are burning fat, they may also use some of that hard earned muscle. Strength training essentially tricks your body into thinking you need that muscle mass, which in turn leads to preserving it. Research shows that strength training significantly preserves mass while dieting.2


Reason 3: Stronger muscles mean bigger muscles.


Just because you can lift a lot of weight means nothing if your form isn’t right and you don’t know how to contract your muscles properly. Bodybuilders can bench over 400 pounds and they have huge muscles. While heavy weights themselves might not stimulate maximal growth, they do increase neuromuscular adaptation to heavier loads which stimulates more muscle fibers during your workouts, leading to bigger muscles.3



Try This: Strength Training Workouts

Add these two days of strength workouts to your current routine and watch your strength increase.


Day 1


Flat Barbell Bench Press (with chains)

  • Sets: 8
  • Reps: 2-3
  • Rest: 2 mins


Wide Grip Overhand Pull Up (Weighted)

  • Sets: 8
  • Reps: 2-3
  • Rest: 2 mins


Day 2


Front Squats

  • Sets: 8
  • Reps: 2-3
  • Rest: 3 mins


Defecit Deadlifts (standing on 2-3” plate or box)

  • Sets: 8
  • Reps: 2-3
  • Rest: 2 mins



1. Kazior, Zuzanna, Sarah J. Willis, Marcus Moberg, William Apró, José A. L. Calbet, Hans-Christer Holmberg, and Eva Blomstrand. "Endurance Exercise Enhances the Effect of Strength Training on Muscle Fiber Size and Protein Expression of Akt and mTOR". PLOS ONE. Accessed January 14, 2018.

2. Geliebter, A., M. M. Maher, L. Gerace, B. Gutin, S. B. Heymsfield, and S. A. Hashim. "Effects of strength or aerobic training on body composition, resting metabolic rate, and peak oxygen consumption in obese dieting subjects". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. September 1997. Accessed January 14, 2018.

3. Hong, Ae-Rim, Sang-Min Hong, and Yun-A Shin. "Effects of Resistance Training on Muscle Strength, Endurance, and Motor Unit According to Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor Polymorphism in Male College Students". Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. September 2014. Accessed January 14, 2018.

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