What is Resistance Training? Resistance training is anything that gives resistance against your muscles. The most traditional resistance training is dumbbells or barbells, but it can take on many other forms as well. Cable machines and pulley systems give great resistance, as do elastic bands. Using your own body weight is another way to give your muscles resistance.
Today you have many options when it comes to resistance training – but they all have one thing in common…it will change your life!
Why should I lift weights?
Weight lifting … isn’t that kind of a macho guy thing any more? I mean, last I checked my most successful clients haven’t been registered for any upcoming body building shows.
“But I don’t want to look muscular and bulky.” I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten this reaction from women when I encourage them to lift weights! The critical thing here is that in order to be fit and toned you MUST lift weights! No, don’t give me that horrified look! Resistance training can literally change your entire body, let alone your self-confidence and self-esteem, but most importantly, resistance training could possibly be the best thing that you will ever do to keep your body looking and feeling 10 years younger.
Read on to learn the benefits of Resistance Training.
Resistance training is the one thing that we do that elevates our metabolism for hours after a workout. Cardiovascular workouts are effective and necessary, but, after an hour of running, your metabolism is only elevated for less than an hour before going back down to normal.
On the other hand, resistance training will literally raise your metabolism permanently. This happens because weight lifting is actually a process of breaking down muscle tissue and re-building it back stronger, firmer and more tone.
This process takes time and energy AKA calories. Once you have added muscle tone to a given area on your body it now takes even more energy to maintain this muscle.
So here is the run down on why resistance training is such a metabolism booster:
When you weight train you break down muscle fibers, which takes energy to rebuild, when these muscle fibers have been rebuilt they are tighter, toner, more firm and now take more energy to maintain. Hence: a higher metabolism all day long. Simple, yet so effective!
- 1 lb of muscle burns about 50 calories a day
- 1 lb of fat burns 4 calories a day
Toned and Sculpted
Resistance training is responsible for the beautiful sculpted and toned look that many athletes sport. As mentioned in the metabolism section, resistance training breaks down muscle fibers so that they can rebuild stronger. These strengthened fibers are denser than the weaker ones that they are replacing, thus resulting in a firmer, tighter feel.
Since we know that muscles consume more energy than fat, it is safe to assume that when you increase in muscle you will also decrease in fat. (This is of course assuming that your caloric intake does not increase and that your cardiovascular activities do not decrease.)
Due to this decrease in fat, the shape of your muscles will start to be unveiled by the shedding of the extra fat tissue that covers them. Now that’s body sculpting!
Healthy Bone Density
Do you know millions of people are diagnosed with Osteoporosis every month? Do you also know one of the top ways to prevent having this deadly disease occur in your own body? Doctors say that resistance training is one of the best activities you can do to strengthen your bones and repel Osteoporosis.
When your muscles are resisting against the weight that you are pushing or pulling your bones are also being tugged on by your tendons and ligaments. This tugging results in your bones building themselves stronger to compensate for your muscles being stronger. If your muscles were stronger than your ligaments / tendons then they would snap right off of your bones. Your body was designed in such a way that it learns from the stimulus given to it and it adapts to perform better.