Resistance exercise is also known as strength training, and it is performed to increase the strength and mass of muscles, bone strength and metabolism. It is important for you to gain sufficient muscle strength, because it can help you perform daily activities with ease. Resistance exercise stimulates the development of small proteins in muscle cells, which will in turn enhance your muscles' ability to generate force.
Benefits of Resistance Exercise
Resistance exercise can benefit your body in many ways. It can bring about an increase in the levels of high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol, and this will contribute to better cardiovascular health. It also affects your body composition in a positive way. Since muscles can burn calories, an increase in muscle mass will reduce body fat and enhance your metabolic rate. As such, resistance exercise is an effective way to lose and maintain weight.
It is also known that resistance exercise can increase the amount of bone minerals in your body, and this can make you less susceptible to osteoporosis. If you are above the age of 35, your body will experience gradual loss of muscle mass, and you will become weaker as you grow older. If you perform resistance exercise on a regular basis, you can slow down the loss of muscle mass. In a study, men and women who were in their 70s and 80s underwent resistance training for 10 weeks, and researchers noticed that their muscle strength, agility and mobility had increased dramatically after the training. Many physicians order their elderly patients to do resistance exercise at least two times a week.
Studies have also shown that resistance exercise may be more effective than aerobic exercise in improving body image and self esteem. One reason for this is that resistance training provides more immediate results. After training for a short period of time, you will notice that your muscles have grown and become more toned.
The Resistance Workout
Usually, a resistance workout is made up of several different types of exercises. These are mostly performed on exercise machines that are specifically designed for building certain muscle groups. A typical workout lasts for about half an hour, and you can do just one or several sets of each exercise. In one set of exercise, you can do 8 to 15 repetitions. If you want to see growth in muscle strength and mass within a shorter time, it is recommended that you perform two or three workouts every week. You will see the most improvement in the first few months of training.
Resistance Exercise Methods
There are basically three different ways to do resistance exercises, and they are weight machines, free weights and calisthenics. When you are using weight machines, you can choose the weight you want to lift by adding or removing plates, but your movements will be dictated by the machines you use. On the other hand, free weights allow you to determine and control the position of your body when you are lifting weights. Calisthenics are performed without the use of weights, and they include exercises such as push ups, sit ups and chin ups. In these exercises, your body weight acts as the resistance force.