What is resistance training?
Resistance training, sometimes called weight training or strength training, is a "specialized method of conditioning designed to increase muscle strength, muscle endurance and muscle power," according to the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI). Resistance training can be done in several ways: with resistance machines, free-weights (dumbbells and barbells), rubber tubing, or your own body weight (e.g., push-ups, squats or abdominal crunches).
Why should I train this way?
The many benefits of resistance training include: increased muscle strength, power, endurance, and size. Additionally, resistance training can lead to increased bone density, reduced body fat, increases in metabolic rate, lowered heart rate and blood pressure, improved balance and stability, enhanced performance of everyday tasks, and reduced risk of developing or improved management of medical conditions such as type II diabetes and arthritis.
For more information on resistance training and the important components for effective resistance training please seek the professional advice of a personal trainer and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines.
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Guidelines for resistance training
Frequency: 2-3 days per week
Intensity: It is best to choose 8-10 exercises which utilize the major muscle groups of the body
Duration: It is important to keep the movements slow and controlled for the most effective workout
Repetitions: 1 set of 8-12 repetitions (performing the movement 8-12 times consecutively)
- A major safety concern regarding resistance training is the use of proper body alignment and technique when completing an exercise. To ensure you are completing exercises properly, visit the exercise website pages demonstrating proper technique or consult a personal trainer who can help you improve your form.
- When using free weights be sure to place collars on the end of the bars to avoid weights sliding off
- For many free weight exercises it is essential to have a “spotter;” so grab a buddy or ask a weight room attendant for assistance. They are there to help!
- Be sure to warm-up your body before resistance training. Performing a few minutes of light cardiovascular exercise or performing the anticipated resistance exercise at a lighter weight will allow your body to prepare for the demands that are about to be placed on it.