What’s all the fuss about resistance training?

Jun 30, 2022 | Exercise

The name resistance training comes from your muscles contracting against some form of external resistance to build strength and power. It’s also referred to as strength training or weight training. This resistance can be your bodyweight, or other physical objects like free weights (dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, sand bags etc.), weight machines, resistance bands or suspension equipment (TRX).

The name resistance training comes from your muscles contracting against some form of external resistance to build strength and power. It’s also referred to as strength training or weight training. This resistance can be your bodyweight, or other physical objects like free weights (dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, sand bags etc.), weight machines, resistance bands or suspension equipment (TRX).

When you’re starting off in your resistance training journey, it’s a great idea to follow some sort of program or plan. There are lots of online programs you can follow, or if you’re at a gym, you can hire a personal trainer to teach you the basics and put together a program for you.

I have been putting together a ‘beginners guide to bodyweight resistance training’ which will be released soon. This program takes someone brand new to training and shows them the right technique for the most common movements.

Technique is so important, learning the right angles your body should be moving at, having adequate mobility to be able to perform certain movements, and understanding how to hold good posture and brace your core are all things that I will cover in my ‘beginners guide to bodyweight resistance training’ program. There is a lot to learn, but when broken down and taken slowly, it will benefit you immensely in your exercise journey. If you start off with good technique, as the movements start to become more complex, or the weight starts to increase, you’ll have more success, and less injuries!

It’s important to warm up before jumping straight into a resistance training session, to ensure your body is ready to go. This can look like some gentle mobility, some simple exercises to get your heart rate up and warm up the body (like jogging on the spot, skipping, jumping jacks), and always slowly working your way up to your working weights if weight training. If you’re jumping into a 200kg squat before doing any warming up, your risk of injuring yourself is going to be super high, and we want to prevent injuries where we can.

Ok, so now that you have a better understanding of what resistance training actually is, what’s all the fuss? Why is it so important? There are so many benefits of resistance training, including protecting your joints from injury, helping to reduce cognitive decline as we age, helping to build bone density, maintaining flexibility and balance, improved posture, maintaining muscle mass (which we lose as we age), improved sleep, improved mood, stress relief, and SO MUCH MORE!! In addition to all this, as you gain muscle, your body burns more calories at rest too!

But my favourite of all is a more subjective one, and that is the incredible effects it has on your confidence and your sense of self worth.

As soon as you start to feel stronger within your body, your mind starts to adapt too, and you start to believe in and trust yourself more. It’s a flow on effect from there as the more you believe in yourself, the more capable you feel, and the more capable you feel, the more confident you are. It might start with resistance training, but this flow on effect can work its way into all aspects of your life. It might start with lifting some weights in the gym, and could flow on to you standing up for your worth, and finally asking your boss for the pay rise that you deserve. It might start with getting your first push up, and could flow on to you having the confidence to ask someone out on a date.

We also take into consideration whether or not you do any form of resistance training when we are working out your total daily energy expenditure and putting together a macro prescription for you (if you’re involved in our nutrition coaching). More resistance training = more protein required to help to repair and recover your muscles!

And how often should you be resistance training? When you’re first beginning your resistance training journey, 2-3 times per week is a good starting point. Once your body is more accustomed to this type of training, resistance training can be done safely 5-6 times per week. It’s a good idea to give your body at least one day of rest when doing resistance training, otherwise you’ll burn yourself out! It’s also important to note that everyone is different, and what you eat, how well you recover and how much you sleep will affect the duration of rest that you need.

If you’re looking to begin a new resistance training program, get in touch and see where we can help out!