The rise of resistance training by Charlotte Hurst

I recently spent a whole week creating social media posts covering many of the benefits of resistance training. And the more I thought about it, the more I realised how many further benefits there are to this type of training.

Resistance training is definitely on the rise; more people are doing it, talking about it and the chatter is become a roar – and all with good reason.

In short, we should all be incorporating this type of training into our regime. No matter what our age, our health or our circumstances, there is no avoiding the multitude of gains that each and everyone of us can get from improving our strength.

But it’s not just strength that is improved with this type of training. My gosh, there are a whole host of things and I could literally write a book talking about them. However, I think that may be a bit boring for the average consumer – I know not everyone is like me and loves learning about the in depth science behind the capabilities of the human body.

However, over the coming months I will be sporadically releasing further blogs on the gains that you can get if you get going with resistance training.

But first, let’s cover this…..

What Exactly is Resistance Training?

On first thoughts, you may well think oh yeah that’s easy….anything to do with lifting weights. Let me stop you there……not necessarily, or certainly not exclusively.

The official definition of resistance training is:

Any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, power, hypertrophy, and/or endurance. The external resistance can be dumbbells, exercise tubing, resistance bands, kettle bells, your own body weight, bricks, bottles of water, or any other object that causes the muscles to contract.

There are literally hundreds of different exercises that can be incorporated into a training regime to build particular muscles and muscle groups. If you are new to resistance training then I strongly urge you to take on a personal trainer. Good technique is paramount – both for reducing the risk of injury, and for maximising the benefits and gains from each exercise.

types of resistance training

Examples of Resistance Training:

There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether at home or the gym.

Different types of resistance training include:

  • Free weights – classic strength training tools such as dumbbells, barbells or kettlebells
  • Weight machines – devices that have adjustable seats with handles attached either to weights or hydraulics, often seen at the gym
  • Medicine balls – weighted balls
  • Resistance bands – like giant rubber bands – these provide resistance when stretched. They are portable and can be adapted to most workouts. The bands provide continuous resistance throughout a movement
  • Your own body weight – can be used for squats, push-ups and chin-ups. Using your own body weight is convenient, especially when travelling or at work.

How much should we do?

  • Two non-concecutive days/weekly
  • One set of 8-12 reps for healthy adults
  • 8-10 major exercises targeting major muscle groups
  • Frequency:
    • novice 2-3 days/ week,
    • intermediate 3 days/week;
    • advanced 4-6 days/week

Specific characteristics resistance training might target include:

  • Strength
  • Power
  • Hypertrophy
  • Endurance
  • Pain management (Physio recommended exercises for example)

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