Resistance training is important to program into your fitness routine for many reasons that I’ll get into in a minute. First, understand that when I say “resistance training” I’m talking about any movement that is done against a resistance, or force, and that comes in the form of free weights, machines, resistance bands, and more. Every adult should have a professional program resistance into their fitness, no matter if they’re 18 or 98, or anywhere in between. Depending on what your desired outcome is, you can tailor your resistance training program to increase your muscle size (known as hypertrophy) or increase your muscle strength.
According to a research study published in the Current Sports Medicine Reports, inactive adults experience a 3% to 8% loss of muscle mass per decade, accompanied by resting metabolic rate reduction and fat accumulation. Also, according to the study, that compounding loss of muscle mass and metabolic rate along with that fat accumulation can be altered with ten weeks of resistance training to increase lean weight by 1.4 kg, increase resting metabolic rate by 7%, and reduce fat weight by 1.8 kg.
Benefits of Resistance Training
- Improved physical performance
- Improved movement control
- Improved walking speed
- Improved functional independence
- Improved cognitive abilities
- Improved self-esteem
- May assist prevention and management of type 2 diabetes by decreasing visceral fat, reducing HbA1c, increasing the density of glucose transporter type 4, and improving insulin sensitivity.
- May enhance cardiovascular health by reducing resting blood pressure, decreasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, and increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
- May promote bone development.
- May reduce low back pain and ease discomfort associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia.
- Has been shown to reduce specific aging factors in skeletal muscle.
Bringing It Together
Once you start adding resistance into your fitness program, there are more factors you can alter. You can change the resistance (weight or force) and you can also change the number of repetitions you do. What you choose to do will determine your outcome and here’s a quick breakdown on why with some cause and effect:
- Lifting with high repetitions causes sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. This increases the size of the muscle. An example of this would be lifting at 50-75% of your max for 8-15 repetition.
- Lifting with fewer repetitions causes myofibrillar hypertrophy. This increases the strength of the muscle. An example of this would be lifting at 80-100% of your max for 3-5 repetitions.
With that list of benefits, you’re probably considering changing your current resistance routine or adding in a resistance routine. That’s wonderful! My caution is that you seek out professional guidance obviously because I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself but also because I want you to be successful and if you have a professional working with you, you’re going to have less failed attempts and, therefore, feel better about continuing on the journey. If you want my professional guidance, contact me here.
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Have an Abundantly Healthy day!
Dr. Cori Campbell
Your Holistic Health Coach