Resistance training is a type of exercise that challenges the muscles
to move against an unaccustomed force. It is perhaps the most powerful
exercise technique available when done correctly and can increase
strength, tone, functionality, bone density and overall health.
It is a must do technique for everyone!
resistance exercise is any movement that makes the muscles move
against resistance. Many everyday activities can be classified as
low level resistance exercises, e.g. getting out of a chair, picking
up a shopping bag etc. These low level activities do not become
an issue until injury or age makes them harder to do.
purposes I would consider a resistance exercise as any movement
that brings you to the point of fatigue between 1 and 15 repetitions.
There are many types of exercise that can do this including lifting
weights, exercise bands, body weights exercises, medicine balls
etc. In general resistance training is associated with weight lifting.
Please do not be mis-lead into thinking that weight lifting is for
the massive guys on steroids. It is for each and every one of us
from childhood to old age in some form or another.
training follows a set structure; these key terms are used to describe
the training protocol.
Exercise - A movement designed to challenge and develop the body.
Repetition - One complete movement of an exercise.
Set - A consecutive number of repetitions, e.g. 10 push ups.
Rest - Time taken between sets, e.g. 30 sec, 90 sec, 4 minutes,
Volume - The number of sets per exercise.
Exercise order - The order of exercises e.g. circuit training,
practice you will perform a set of an exercise, then take a certain
rest period followed by one or more sets of that exercise before
moving on to the next.
main effect of resistance training is changes in the hormones within
the body. The biggest changes are seen in testosterone and growth
hormone. The effect of training is to increase the amount and sensitivity
to these, which results in you being better able to build muscle
as well as numerous other health benefits. The best way to get changes
in your hormone level is to train the legs with free weights, as
these total body exercises create large hormonal shifts.
training is a far more effective method of exercise for losing body
fat than aerobic training. Despite this it does not get the same
attention within the gym.
excellent benefit is the training teaches the body to co-ordinate
the muscles better. This means the brain can activate more of each
working muscle and relax the opposite muscle more thoroughly. The
result is you become stronger.
repeated loads experienced when training also induces osteoblasts
to build more bone to cope with the demands and thus improves bone
density (not all resistance exercises increase bone density).
keys to resistance exercise – Free weights, the right intensity
and training the legs
key facet to resistance training is using free weights, as they
challenge and develop the body in a manner to aid your health, intensity,
ensuring you exercise at the right intensity to get results and
leg training, ensuring you are training your legs.
weights - They are better than resistance machines because
they develop all the stabilizer muscles which are needed in general
life. Free weights create balance, coordination and core
strength within the body. It is a must do technique as resistance
machines fail to obtain the same benefits in the same magnitude.
Please note that body weight exercises would be considered free
weights for this purpose.
- If you are lifting too light a weight, as often found with women,
you will be wasting your time and receive few of the amazing benefits
resistance training can bring. If you are lifting too heavy a weight,
as often seen by men, you will hinder progress instead, through
injury, incorrect muscle recruitment and postural problems. The
intensity must be set just right to challenge the muscle yet allow
full technique and be free from injury.
the legs - All leg work using free weights also challenges
the whole body including the mid section and thus creating large
demands on your system. The result is significant and beneficial
changes occur in your hormonal environment. These changes allow
for many of the benefits of exercise to be incurred. Leg training
with free weights also increases bone density if done at the right
- For optimal gains you should not train the same muscle
on consecutive days in a row as it may well be still recovering
from the previous session. Most of muscle rebuilding occurs when
you are asleep at night away from the training session.
soreness - This is a sign you have lifted too much too
soon. It is not an ideal feeling and you should look to have no
soreness after a session. The soreness is just a sign of too much
damage caused to the muscle tissues. The body does not need to be
sore to make gains, instead it just needs to be stressed in accordance
to periodization and you will know it is making gains. The more
training you do the more exercise you can handle.
volume and intensity.
general, the length and volume of the exercise does not need to be too
long. People love to spend ages doing the weights but this could
be vastly improved by increasing the intensity and reducing the
volume. A commonly seen example in weight training is doing 3 sets
of 12 reps yet only feeling tired after the third set. This would
mean you could probably have got the same benefits by just doing
one set with a heavier weight and ensuring you reached fatigue.
I see committed guys doing the same, they may do many sets but they
do not take each set to fatigue and thus impede greatly the results
of the training programme.
general health you need to do resistance training twice per week
minimum but ideally three times if possible. This can usually be
done in a maximum of 30 minutes with the focus on quality not quantity.
If your goal is to get bigger or improve your sports performance
the weights should still be focused on quality over quantity. I
would say a maximum of four weight sessions should be followed,
even for the most committed exerciser
to do it?
resistance training can be done at home using your body weight or
with weights. If you are a member of a gym then you have all the
facilities available to you.
pick five or six exercises, perform 15 reps to begin with, then
take a short rest and do another 15 reps. Then move onto the next
key is to change the difficulty of the exercise so you are fatigued
by the 15th rep, if you can do 20 reps, it is too easy and you must
make the exercise more difficult.
term the number of reps and the rest periods taken should be changed from 15
reps and 30 seconds to keep your body challenged, e.g. 10 reps and 60 seconds rest or 5 reps and 90 seconds rest. This is based on the principles
people on my
results course have access to numerous training programmes for
use within their house or a gymnasium setting. If you would like
to follow one of these along with learning all the other aspects
of healthy living needed to achieve your goals consider
signing up to my course.