I am going to rant about Cincinnati Ohio strength training programs. Most so called "strength training programs" which are being marketed, sold and offered by some personal fitness professionals in Cincinnati Ohio are NOT actually strength training programs...they are RESISTANCE or WEIGHT TRAINING programs.
You might be asking,"Well what's the difference between strength training programs and resistance/weight training programs?" I'm glad you asked.
The goal of a strength training program is to, as the name suggests, enhance and increase the strength or amount of force and tension a muscle or group of muscles can produce in a single maximal effort. It indicates a muscle's or group of muscles ability to do work (work is defined as force X distance).
Now that we've defined strength, programs designed to increase this quality need to incorporate the following:
1. Training loads ("weights") greater than or equal to 60% of one's current maximal strength for any given muscle or group of muscles. So, for example, if one can currently do 1 rep in a biceps curl with 100 lbs. (their maximal current strength), in order to increase their strength further in this exercise and muscle, they need to be training with a load (weight/resistance) of at least 60 lbs. (60% of 100 lbs.) in order to continue getting stronger. Research has indicated training with loads lighter than 60% of current maximal strength does not induce further strength gains very well.
2. A systematic progressive overload. In addition to training with weights greater than or equal to 60% of one's current strength, one also needs to attempt to progress from workout to workout. For example, if one performed 4 sets of 8 repetitions with 60 lbs. in the biceps curl during their first workout, they should then attempt to either increase the resistance (by 1-5%...maybe 62 lbs.) and perform the same volume (4 sets of 8 reps) or keep the weight at 60 lbs. and perform more volume (maybe 4 sets of 9 reps) during their next workout. If one is not attempting to progress and increase the demands on a given muscle or group of muscles, they should not expect the muscle or group of muscles to become stronger.
Many of the Cincinnati Ohio strength training programs being offered and sold by some personal trainers out there, and many of the programs people are utilizing on their own at the gym, do not incorporate the strength training principles discussed above. These programs are resistance/weight training programs, and NOT strength training programs.
Resistance/weight training programs basically entail, as the name implies, lifting a resistance or weight, any resistance or weight, no matter how light, for an arbitrary number of sets and repetitions. It is basically mindless mechanical work. There is no real rhyme or reason to any of it.
Now, there are certainly benefits to resistance training or weight training. It can prevent loss of muscle if it is done consistently enough. It can maintain one's current strength if it is done consistently enough. It can be beneficial in rehabbing an injury. It can also be combined with strength training into the same workout routine to enhance fat loss in those individuals seeking to achieve this goal.
Generally speaking, though, people engaging in resistance training or weight training are not getting very much out of it. It is too easy to improve (not maintain) any physical quality or fitness component. It is what 90% of people who "work out" are doing when the "work out". If one is going to, in fact, "work out", they would be well advised to incorporate strength training principles into their routines, especially early in the routine when the body is not fatigued and performance and strength can be maximized. Like I said, resistance/weight training can be used in conjunction with strength training during the same workout routine, and this can be very effective if one knows how to go about doing so.
Bottom line: understand there is a difference between strength training programs and resistance/weight training programs. If your goals include getting stronger, favorably enhancing your body composition, and improving your work capacity, I would highly suggest incorporating strength training principles into your training on a regular basis. Furthermore, if you are considering one of the Cincinnati Ohio strength training programs currently offered by personal trainers, make sure you ask the trainer about their training methodology, and, specificially, about the difference between strength training and resistance training. If they look dumbfounded when you bring this up, run the other way!