Is Resistance Training Right for You?

Resistance training is a form of exercise that causes the muscles to contract against a form of resistance such as resistance bands, dumbbells, loop bands or the like. Throughout the years, this form of training has become known as one of the most popular methods for overall health and weight loss.

Benefits of Resistance Training

There are several physical and mental benefits that can be achieved through a proper resistance training program. Gains in muscle mass, strength, metabolism and bone density are just a few quantifiable examples, and of course the rate at which you progress is entirely up to you.

resistance training1. Increase bone density and strength

Once you reach the age of 30, your body will have already begun to lose muscle mass. This will not only make you weaker as you age, but it will also affect your ability to perform regular activities because of the decrease in strength.

Performing resistance exercises regularly has been proven to affect the rate at which your bone density decreases over time. Post-menopausal women as well as men with lower testosterone levels than average, are considered high risk groups and are advised to take up some form of resistance training to mitigate the loss of bone density over time.

Improved muscle strength protects the joints from injury, allowing you to stay active and be physically independent at you grow older.

resistance training2. Increased muscular endurance

Muscular endurance is your ability to sustain repeated contractions against a form of resistance. Your slow twitch muscle fibers will ultimately determine the extent of your endurance, while your fast twitch muscle fibers will dictate your level of explosiveness. Slow twitch muscle fibers are more limited in the amount of force they can exert at any one time, but they can sustain themselves for a longer period of time. With the proper programming, you can train to develop your slow twitch muscles to sustain even more stress before exhaustion and failure set in.

To put it simply, you won’t get as tired as easily, you’ll be able to go longer, run farther, swim faster and have more energy in general. There is a direct relationship between muscular endurance and functional movement, so just a slight improvement will show a marked difference.

resistance training3. Weight management

Resistance training, coupled with caloric deficit, is arguably the most effective method for weight loss. The resistance serves as a stimulus for muscle preservation, which will help you retain more lean body mass even as you drop weight. In order to maintain a healthy metabolism, you need adequate amounts of lean body mass for overall health and weight loss maintenance. Rebounding is common among fad diets because of the significant losses in lean body mass, which is why resistance training is one of the most recommended methods for leaning out (less muscle, mostly fat and water) as opposed to just losing weight (mostly fat, muscle and water).