Resistance exercise is defined as any movement where your body exerts a force against some kind of resistance, i.e. lifting weights, pulling against rubber resistance bands or even working against your own body weight (push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, etc.) It is primarily used to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles. You need your resistance training to increase your lean muscle tissue, which helps boost your metabolism and burn fat. Whether the goal is to increase muscle mass, develop better athletic performance or reduce body fat, the use of resistance training is an important component of any program.
Here are some other additional benefits of resistance training besides strengthening the muscular and skeletal systems. Bone density improves, quality of sleep and mood improves, helps relieve depression, blood circulation improves, balance and coordination, improves posture, improves joint stability making everyday activities easier especially as we get older. Resistance training also aids in the prevention of many of the diseases that plague this country such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
Now on to a couple of “Myth Busters”.
Here is a question I am often asked by my female clients, “If I do resistance training or lift weights will I develop big bulky muscles?” I understand their concern but the fact of the matter is, it is not possible for a woman to develop body builder type muscles by doing moderate resistance training. First of all, women lack the necessary amount of testosterone to develop over sized muscles. You would have to train like a competitive body builder does, like eat excessive amounts of calories, lift heavy weights twice daily, and take some sort of muscle enhancing supplements.
People also tell me another reason they resist resistance training is because of boredom or just not knowing how to do the exercises. Well, there are several solutions to that! One solution is to take a fun exercise class that incorporates resistance training, such as circuit training or a body pump class where you get in cardio and resistance at the same time. Another is to work one on one with a personal trainer who can show you how to do the exercises correctly and keep your routine interesting and constantly changing so there is no time for boredom or plateaus.
What you are most likely to gain from resistance training is shapely sexy arms, legs and shoulders to name a few and an increase in fat burning potential. Good luck, get going and I will see you at the gym.
“People don't die of old age, they die of inactivity”. Jack LaLanne