Essentials of Strength Training

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

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
 |  Average 36 minutes each
  • 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

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Your professor

Dean Hodgkin

About Your Professor

Dean Hodgkin, B.Sc
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...
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Reviews

Essentials of Strength Training is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 41.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Warning to mature women I enjoyed this course and followed the routine for a couple of months. However, I then developed pelvic floor problems and have learnt the hard way that menopausal women should not be doing the kind of lunges and squats as instructed. I really wish the instructor had warned of the dangers to one's pelvic floor rather than simply saying 'brace your core' thus suggesting everything will be fine. Can I also please add that menopausal women are not a special minority group with peculiar problems - we are mainstream and should expect to be adequately addressed as much as anybody else.
Date published: 2019-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great features I bought this months ago, thinking it was a sitting free weights deal I could do with my debilitating injury, This is my old workout! It is intense! If you want a full body workout with weight aerobics, this is for you! The instructor is engaging as well as informative. If you are able to move up and down, side to side on a step, mat and more, You will reach your goal, feel and see results in no time.
Date published: 2019-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exemplary l! Big bang for my buck. I’ve learned allot. I’ll be going to it many more times ahead. It’s an elixer
Date published: 2019-04-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very Boring There is hardly any weight training there as in Squats, Bench Press etc.
Date published: 2018-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative and effective workout program I bought this a month ago and so happy I did. The course is very informative and the workouts effective. I feel stronger and look better. Due to the workouts, my lower back pain is gone.
Date published: 2018-09-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Workouts great; health tips not The workout descriptions and demonstrations themselves are very helpful and well presented, though beginners will need to start very slowly, doing many fewer reps to start, and resting much longer between exercises than the demonstrators. As a physician and medical lecturer myself, I can say that the lectures on relevance to medical diseases and health are at best superficial and at worst misleading.
Date published: 2018-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Teaching an old Dog New Tricks I have been working with weights since 1955 and this is the my first view in to the technical side of the process. Great supplement to my regular work out
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Corrected a lot of my mistakes! This course was well worth the money and time I spent watching it. He also corrected several misconceptions and mistakes I was doing in my own personal training.
Date published: 2017-09-01
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