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Essentials of Strength Training

Essentials of Strength Training

Dean Hodgkin B.Sc
University of Portsmouth
Course No.  1902
Course No.  1902
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Course Overview

About This Course

6 lectures  |  36 minutes per lecture

This groundbreaking course on strength training unites scientific knowledge with results-driven practice in a wholly integrated system. With 3 lectures designed to educate you on your body's response to a variety of exercises plus 3 workouts, this course will help you build a stronger body.

We're all on a lifelong quest for that one secret or tool that will enhance our personal health, fight the negative effects of aging, and change our lives forever. Yet that secret has actually been hidden in plain sight all along. Strength training holds the key to unlocking your optimum health and achieving your peak physique, whether you're 28 or 78.

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This groundbreaking course on strength training unites scientific knowledge with results-driven practice in a wholly integrated system. With 3 lectures designed to educate you on your body's response to a variety of exercises plus 3 workouts, this course will help you build a stronger body.

We're all on a lifelong quest for that one secret or tool that will enhance our personal health, fight the negative effects of aging, and change our lives forever. Yet that secret has actually been hidden in plain sight all along. Strength training holds the key to unlocking your optimum health and achieving your peak physique, whether you're 28 or 78.

While many people are intimidated by exercises involving weights and resistance or think the sole purpose is to build Herculean muscles, the truth is that strength training is a vital component of even basic fitness; one that can—and should—be a part of everyone's fitness regimen. No matter what your age or fitness level, strength training is an essential counterpoint to any cardio exercise you may already be doing. It's also a chance to transform your body in a manner that's more responsible, healthy, and effective than any fad diet or infomercial exercise machine that targets only a single muscle group.

And medical experts agree: When you make strength training a part of your fitness regimen—for only 30-minute sessions two to three times per week—you're taking giant leaps toward improving your health. You'll

  • halt and, in some cases, reverse muscle loss and other changes that come with age;
  • ward off, lessen, and even reverse the effects of back pain and other chronic health conditions;
  • enhance your ability to lose weight;
  • improve your memory and the quality of your sleep;
  • reduce symptoms associated with anxiety and depression; and
  • improve your flexibility, balance, and coordination.

Of course, anyone can just take a trip to the gym and start strength training. What you can't get anywhere else: a program that combines the science of strength training with the workouts themselves. Essentials of Strength Training, our engaging course of three preparatory lessons and three workout sessions, does just that. Crafted by popular Great Courses instructor and international fitness expert Dean Hodgkin, it offers you medically sound and authoritative information to significantly boost your strength and your overall health. With insightful explanations of human physiology, helpful demonstrations of techniques and equipment, and interactive workout programs that show you the right way to perform dozens of exercises, this course is your chance to take a big step toward changing your life for good.

Explore the Science behind Your Strength

What makes Essentials of Strength Training unlike your average fitness program or gym routine is its focus on the science behind your muscular strength. With the skill of someone whose career is dedicated to educating clients about the life-transforming benefits of physical fitness, Mr. Hodgkin uses 3-D animations, models, and green-screen technology to reveal a wealth of information on human physiology as it relates to how your muscles work and how you can make them stronger.

You'll discover

  • how different strength-training exercises work on different muscle groups;
  • how your muscles work, grow, and repair themselves; and
  • how your body gains fat and how you can use strength training to promote weight loss.

You'll also get tips for making the most of your workout and for crafting a strength-training program that fits your specific needs and goals, such as these:

  • Start with light resistance to allow your muscles to acclimate to increased weight loads.
  • Opt for standing rather than seated exercises, as these promote balance and coordination.
  • Perform a workout routine in reverse order as an easy way to stimulate greater progress.

Exercise Your Way to a Stronger You

Once you've gotten the scientific concepts down, you're ready to start working out. Essentials of Strength Training comes with three in-depth workout sessions that let you put what you've learned to practical use. These 30-minute workouts are short enough to fit into the busiest of lives. And unlike working out in a gym studio, you can always pause the course to practice your form, do the workout twice in a row, and mix and match exercises to strengthen and tone your body whenever you have spare time. You'll also have the opportunity to mix and match warm-ups and cooldowns.

Each workout focuses on a key aspect or benefit of strength training.

  • Functional Strength Workout: Mr. Hodgkin's functional strength-training workout uses squat presses, lunges, planks, abdominal pikes, and other exercises that strengthen your core, improve your balance, and train your muscles so that you gain fitness you'll use in everyday movements.
  • Weight Loss and Maintenance Workout: This intense workout, with its short bursts of high-intensity exercise, results in an increased metabolic rate—which can lead to more effective fat burning.
  • Partner Workout: Working out with a partner can provide a unique resistance tool, challenge your body in new ways, and motivate you to stay on track.

Empower Yourself for Life

With Mr. Hodgkin as your instructor, you'll quickly get over any trepidation you may feel about strength training. As he delivers his lectures, he's authoritative and informative, and he makes the science easy to grasp. And as he guides you through his workouts, he's motivational and encouraging. It's the perfect combination for easing yourself into a new level of fitness and personal wellness that can empower you for life.

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6 Lectures
  • 1
    Strength Training—Past, Present, and Future
    Take a fascinating look at the history and origins of strength training so you understand what strength training really is and why it’s relevant to your life. Then, explore some of the training tools available, including medicine balls, kettlebells, barbells, and resistance bands. Finally, investigate the many ways strength training can treat specific health conditions. x
  • 2
    How Strength Training Benefits Your Body
    How do your muscles work when you perform simple motions (such as sitting in a chair) or when you lift weights? How does strength training increase your bone density and lower your risk of osteoporosis? What factors determine how much strength you generate from a specific muscle movement? What are the specific guidelines for beginning and advanced strength trainers? What role should strength training play in flexibility and children’s fitness? Get scientifically backed answers to these and other questions on strength training and your body. x
  • 3
    Strength Training for Weight Loss
    Learn the importance of fat in overall health as well as its hidden dangers. You’ll investigate what makes for a healthy rate of weight loss, explore the best ways to successfully lose weight through strength training, examine the inner workings of specific joints and muscles, and more. By the end, you’ll see why strength training is the most potent weapon in your arsenal when it comes to the war on excess weight. x
  • 4
    Functional Strength Workout
    Focus on total functional strength as Mr. Hodgkin guides you through a series of exercises designed to maximize your body’s strength and range of motion. Using a body bar, a medicine ball, an Olympic barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, and a mat, you’ll learn how to correctly perform exercises including squat presses, front and rear lunges, cyclones, single-arm presses, gecko rows, side planks, abdominal pikes, and oblique crunches. x
  • 5
    Weight Loss and Maintenance Workout
    Start building a foundation for maintaining and losing weight through strength training with this challenging and engaging workout. Using just a few simple exercise tools, you’ll master the squat jump, the dumbbell curl, the dead lift, the bridge twist, and more. Plus, you’ll learn effective ways to combine these exercises and get even more out of your workout. x
  • 6
    Partner Workout
    Grab a partner for this dynamic workout that features exercises to cover all your major muscle groups, including legs (calf raises), chest (wheelbarrow press), back (double standing arm row), shoulders (double reverse fly), arms (biceps curl), and abs (standing medicine ball toss). x

Lecture Titles

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Dean Hodgkin
B.Sc Dean Hodgkin
University of Portsmouth

International fitness expert Dean Hodgkin has presented master classes and seminars to fitness instructors in more than 30 countries. Voted Best International Fitness Presenter at the One Body One World awards in New York, he has appeared on numerous television and radio programs worldwide. A three-time World Karate Champion and a two-time European Karate Champion, Hodgkin earned a B.Sc. honors degree in Mathematics and Management Studies from the University of Portsmouth. He continued his education at Leicester College, where he was awarded the Certificate in Exercise and Health Studies by the Physical Education Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the leading qualification in the field at the time. Since then he has accrued a wide and impressive array of vocational qualifications and is a regular attendee at conferences focused on the latest health and fitness research findings. At the 2012 International Fitness Showcase-Europe's largest group exercise event, attracting more than 7,000 participants-Hodgkin received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to the fitness industry.

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Rated 3.6 out of 5 by 13 reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by USEFUL, LOW BUDGET, GEEZER FRIENDLY As someone bumping into the mid eighties, I found this brief lecture series quite helpful. However, as one reviewer pointed out, the lack of an accompanying course guidebook is a real disadvantage. The lecturer makes it clear that the props employed in the series can have substitutes in most cases. Those he does use are readily available at sporting goods stores. I imagine they can also be obtained on the internet. The series begins with two lectures devoted to the science involved in building strength. Employing the degree and intensity of workouts contained in the subsequent exercise lectures are really up to the viewer who wishes to follow his suggestions. Coming off three back surgeries in two years myself, I found the general theme of the suggested exercises track pretty much the therapy protocols employed by the institutions who handled my recovery. This series is "user friendly" in the sense one can take from it what one wishes in terms of specific suggestions for exercises. The degree of tempo and repetition is up to one's own judgement and limitations. The series is not, in my mind, some sort of "silver bullet" that if religiously and literally followed will lead one to super strength. Maybe it would, but it does not appear to be that sort of program. What's advertised on TV would be the avenue to explore if one wishes that sort of help. Thus, it could be some of the earlier reviews reflect an expectation that the series does not appear designed to answer. For the individual seeking general advice and suggestions, this series is recommended. To my fellow geezers who may read this review, I would say don't be afraid to buy it and try it. May 6, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Valuable Info Lots of information presented in an understandable way. And killer exercise routines! September 11, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by The course was engaging and full of information. I am happy that I have the course to refer back to. Just what I needed to take my fitness level up a notch! September 5, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Basic but good The initial lectures on the theory of strength training contained useful information and was well presented by Prof Hodgkin. He delivered the information in a simple and easy to understand manner suitable for a range of people from beginners to intermediate trainers. The last 3 lectures contained some actual training routines which were useful. However, I would have preferred a little more theory. Also, given the influence of drugs in sport, particularly in strength type sports, I would have liked a lecture on this. Overall, a basic series on strength training, suitable for those who want a bit of theory and then want to get straight into a workout. June 15, 2013
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