It’s time for you to meet Judit, our latest addition to the personal trainer team in EVO Vienna Berggasse. Her specialty is functional strength training. It’s her belief that this type of workout can do wonders to your everyday life. Here she is to tell us a bit about herself and her work.
Q: Hi there, Judit. Welcome to EVO! Start by telling us a bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Judit, and I am a personal trainer at EVO Berggasse. I’ve been a sports fan forever.
That enthusiasm is even on my name. You see, my surname is “Stroj” which means machine in Slovenian. It’s in the name, you know? And the fact is that I always wanted to become better, faster and stronger. Easy runs turned into running trails; classic Yoga suddenly became Hot Yoga, and simple bodyweight exercises performed in my living room grew into this passion I have for strength training. Currently, I include Crossfit in my training because I like the mixture of weightlifting, gymnastics and conditioning.
Q: Why did you decide to work at EVO?
EVO’s philosophy reflects my own beliefs and training methods. I aim to motivate people for fitness and help them improve their overall life quality through movement and a healthy lifestyle. EVO offers everything you need for excellent training: a beautiful studio with high-quality equipment and an extraordinary training atmosphere that is created by the people who work and train at EVO.
Q: You mentioned that you’re a big fan of strength training. Can you explain to us why?
Being strong means being more self-confident and independent. Strength training teaches me to be more patient and consistent when reaching for a goal.
There are general guidelines that help me become stronger. However, no all-round formula works in the same way for everyone. That’s what fascinates me about strength training. That’s also the reason why coaching makes so much sense. Because we are all individuals and our training should be too – adapted to each one personally.
Q: For those not so familiar with this topic, can you briefly tell us the differences between strength training, bodybuilding and resistance training?
Sure, I’ll divide the three topics to make it easier, ok?
Is basically any exercise that causes the muscle to contract against any given external resistance such as free weights, elastic resistance bands, any weight machines or even your body weight. Resistance training aims to increase strength, hypertrophy, power and / or endurance. Therefore, strength training and hypertrophy training are part of resistance training and can be well combined in a training program or workout (as I did in the workout below).
Strength is the ability to produce force. When performing strength training our nervous system determines how many muscles fire and how they adapt to your fitness training. So, if you want to become stronger, you need to increase resistance. In other words, you need to lift heavier weights over time with a well-considered progression, which your coach should provide.
By general definition strength training consists of:
- Volume: 1-5 Reps for 3-7 Sets/Session (Beginner-Advanced) with 3-5 min rest between sets.
- Intensity: describes how heavy the weight is relative to your maximum, which is called 1RM (1 Repetition Maximum) and should be between 60% and 100% of Fmax.
Including compound lifts such as Squats, Deadlifts, Overhead Presses, Bench or Cleans in your training is the most effective way to develop physical strength. Why? Simply because these lifts train the body as a whole and demand high levels of intensity, flexibility, mobility, speed, coordination and general body awareness – which means that they are 100% functional.
Hypertrophy training (or bodybuilding) aims to increase muscle size. Contrary to strength training, the volume is higher and lies between 5-20 Reps. The intensity is lower and occupies between 60-80% of your 1RM. In Bodybuilding body parts or muscles are being trained more isolated. While bodybuilding is primarily associated with aesthetic goals, when programmed strategically, it can also be beneficial. Especially to build up tendons and ligaments that can prevent you from injury in the long run. Just keep in mind that muscle mass doesn’t automatically indicate that somebody is powerful – strength vs muscle size.
Q: That was really educational, thank you! But how do you think strength training aligns with EVO’s training philosophy?
Strength training is the foundation by which all other training becomes productive. Regardless, if your goal is performance-oriented or general health, everybody should be able to move weight in their everyday life. Every movement is a complex interaction of muscles, joints, ligaments etc. in a continuously changing environment. Strength training comes in handy, for example, when rising up and down from a chair (squat) or picking up low objects (deadlift). To be well prepared for any challenges in our everyday life and at the same seeking better life quality, we need to become stronger.
Q: What are the benefits of functional strength training?
There are multiple benefits of functional strength training that prove that it is essential of everybody’s health and fitness. Here are only a few examples:
- Better body mechanics: coordination, posture and balance.
- Increased weight loss because of a higher metabolic base.
- Enhanced strength, speed, power, agility and endurance.
- Improves bone density and lower risk of injury.
- Decrease of blood pressure, cholesterol levels and benefits for chronic disease management.
Through strength training, you can engage in daily activities, stay in balance and boost your energy levels.
Q: It’s a general misconception that strength training is not for women. Can you explain why it’s not true?
With a properly constructed workout program set on individual goals and skills, anyone can strength train. I’m talking about women, men and even children.
Many women believe that they would become bulky as soon as they just look at weights, which is a huge misconception. You might see more muscles if you look at female athletes that train 4-6 hours/day, but even for those genetics play a huge role in their body composition.
Almost everyone wants to lose weight and look more toned. This scenario will occur if one is doing regular strength training and eating correctly. Because strength training helps to boost your metabolism, which means more calories burned during the exercise and also after the training throughout the day. So why not give it a try? You will lose weight, look more toned and feel better overall.
Q: The fact is that a few years ago, you wouldn’t associate strength training with women. Why do you think it has become so popular these days?
Beauty ideals have been continuously changing over the past years. It’s not only important to be skinny, but women also dare more and more to accept themselves and their bodies as they are. A feminine body is beautiful, but so is a trained, fit body for many girls. In my opinion, there shouldn’t be only one ideal that we all are aiming for. We need to understand that everybody (and body) is unique and will never be exactly like somebody else.
The “ideal” body image changes all the time. Let’s rather chase health and performance and treat our bodies like the most valuable resource we have.
Q: Thank you very much for your time, Judit. See you soon at EVO!
Bye-bye, see you soon at EVO!
Your personal trainer, Judit Stoj
Book a session with our expert Personal Trainers here.
1. WEIGHTED CRUSTY LUNGE
- 10-12 alternating reps
2. FARMERS WALK
- 30 Sec
3. WALK OVER STEPPER + PUSH UP
- 5 reps of combo
4. WEIGHTED HIP THRUST
- 10-12 Reps
5. LONG SEATED Z-PRESS
- 8-10 Reps
6. BIRD DOG ROW
- 10 Reps each side (moderate load)
Download the functional strength workout here: