I have often asked many of my friends if they include regular resistance / weight training in their weekly exercise routines. Not all, but many of them reply with; I don’t want to bulk up and have massive muscles. Too often people forgo any resistance training at all or lift so light that it defeats the purpose of resistance training. You won’t turn into the hulk if you start to lift. To gain that amount of muscle it would require untold dedication, huge weights and hours of intensive weight training and eating!
Let’s get started, there are two types of resistance training - Isometric resistance and Isotonic. Isometric exercises work by contracting your muscles against a non-moving object (e.g. Floor). Examples of this would be push-ups and planks. Isotonic strength training works by forcing your muscles to contract through a range of motion (e.g. weight lifting).
Resistance training is a great way to burn calories and reduce body fat!
A recent study conducted by Harvard indicated that a 30 minute session can burn on average 90 calories. Your body also burns extra calories after your resistance session to repair and maintain your muscle mass. In short, you will increase your metabolism, thus increasing the amount of calories consumed by your body.
Hitting the weights will help to keep weight off!
Some studies suggest that women and men who perform three resistance training sessions per week not only maintained their ideal weight, they also burned more calories when conducting their daily activities on non-training days. In simple terms, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns.
Supports healthy bones and muscle mass
As we age, we lose around 1% of our muscle mass and bone density every year after puberty. With many of us now working in office jobs where the physical demands on our muscle and bones is non existent. This can lead to our bones and muscles becoming extremely weak resulting in poor posture and it also increases the risk of injury. Regular sessions of resistance training can help to maintain and improve your bone density, muscle mass and strength.
Helps to improve overall physical performance
The rewards of including regular strength training into your exercise routine are great. Whether you’re a runner, footballer, golfer, swimmer or walker, when you increase your overall strength it improves your body’s ability to perform other activities and helps to reduce the risk of injury. Resistance exercises can also help to improve your balance and coordination.
You will look great and feel better!
After completing a resistance training session your body releases endorphins to reward you for all that hard work! This will help to improve your mood and increase your overall well-being. Regular resistance training sessions will also tone your muscles and help to improve your posture.
If you are new to resistance training please ask someone to show you how to perform the exercises correctly. Remember to start off slow and to build on your progress gradually.