Benefits of resistance training

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For those who are participating, I think you will agree with me that the weights only sessions have been a great success. In such a short space of time I’m seeing improvements in technique, strength, body composition and general wellbeing. I’ve also had comments from participants with regard to a better awareness of posture and pelvic floor. There is something empowering about lifting/pulling/pushing a heavy barbell, dumbbell or even your own body weight doing things you never thought it could. As much as I love cross training and adding variety to my training, my favourite training sessions involve weight training.

 Apart from the above, some of the other health benefits of resistance training

  • improved muscle strength and tone – to protect your joints from injury. It also helps you maintain flexibility and balance and helps you remain independent as you age
  • weight management and increased muscle-to-fat ratio – as you gain muscle, your body burns more kilojoules when at rest
  • greater stamina – as you grow stronger, you won’t get tired as easily
  • prevention or control of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, depression and obesity
  • pain management
  • improved mobility and balance
  • improved posture
  • decreased risk of injury
  • increased bone density and strength and reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • improved sense of wellbeing – resistance training may boost your self-confidence, improve your body image and your mood
  • a better night’s sleep and avoidance of insomnia
  • increased self-esteem
  • enhanced performance of everyday tasks.

Some basic principles of resistance training include:

  • Weight – different weights or other types of resistance, for example a 3 kg hand weight or fixed weight, body weight or rubber band will be used for different exercises during your strength training session.
  • Exercise – a particular movement, is designed to strengthen a particular muscle or group of muscles.
  • Repetitions or ‘reps’ – refer to the number of times you continuously repeat each exercise in a set.
  • Set – is a group of repetitions performed without resting, for example, two sets of squats by 15 reps would mean you do 15 squats then rest muscles before doing another 15 squats.
  • Rest – you need to rest between sets. Rest periods vary depending on the intensity of exercise being undertaken.
  • Variety – switching around your workout routine, such as regularly introducing new exercises, challenges your muscles and forces them to adapt and strengthen.
  • Progressive overload principle – to continue to gain benefits, strength training activities need to be done to the point where it’s hard for you to do another repetition. The aim is to use an appropriate weight or resistant force that will challenge you, while maintaining good technique. Also, regular adjustments to the training variables such as frequency, duration, exercises for each muscle group, number of exercises for each muscle group, sets and repetitions, help to make sure you progress and improve.
  • Recovery – muscle needs time to repair and adapt after a workout. A good rule of thumb is to rest the muscle group for at up to 48 hours before working the same muscle group again.

So keep up the good work ladies. When time becomes available, I’d love to open up more of these sessions as they are proving to be very popular. Stay tuned for some photos of the girls in action on my facebook page.

 Weights pose

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Melissa is head trainer and owner of Precision Personal Training. Health and fitness is her life passion. With over 7 years experience in the industry she is committed to educating her clients about the long term benefits of exercise and healthy eating.

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