Resistance training (RT), also known as weight training, is loved by some, tolerated by others and completely avoided by all too many. In my 15 years as a personal trainer, I have heard just about every reason (excuse), why someone did not think RT was for them: “I need to do cardio to lose weight”, “I don’t want to bulk up”, “I don’t want to get hurt”, or “I don’t have time” are the most common. I’m here to set the record straight. Anyone can benefit from RT, if it is done properly.
- Cardio alone is not the best way to lose body fat. In fact, if it is your only mode of exercise, it can lead to muscle loss, thereby slowing your metabolism and preventing you from losing fat. This is especially true when long, steady, “pacing yourself” cardio is performed. Weight lifting, combined with high intensity, short duration cardio is far more effective than only doing long, steady-paced bouts of cardio.
- Weight training will not “bulk you up” unless you are eating well above your body’s maintenance level of required calories.
- Weight training, when properly performed is as safe as any other mode of exercise. It is best to have a fitness professional coach you on proper technique.
- Weight training doesn’t have to take a long time. 20 to 30 minutes 3-4 days per week can make a noticeable difference in your body.
Here are some of the benefits of resistance training
- improved ability to burn fat by increasing your metabolism
- increased strength and muscle size
- increased muscular endurance and anaerobic capacity
- improved endocrine system response(hormones such as insulin and testosterone)
- stronger bones and connective tissue
- improved posture
- higher self-esteem/confidence
- enhanced performance in sport and in activities of daily living.
- Exercise selection and the order in which they are performed
- Load or how much weight is used
- Sets, repetitions, tempo of the movement and rest time
- Frequency of workouts
- Recovery between workouts