I thought I would take a minute this month to discuss resistance training, and hopefully help clear up some thoughts and misconceptions that may be preventing people from taking part. Resistance training is defined as an exercise aimed at improving muscular fitness (strength/ endurance/ power) by exercising against some kind of external force (e.g. weights/ cables/ bands). By forcing a muscle to work against an external force to fatigue over time, that muscle will adapt to meet the demands imposed upon it. Not only does the wiring/ programming become more efficient, but the muscle itself can grow to meet demands as needed.
A lot of people believe that resistance training is only for athletes or those involved in sport, however it can be a great activity for people of all ages and abilities. Think of resistance training like a preparation for any number of activities you want to do - sport related or otherwise. Whether your daily activities involve carrying your groceries, picking up your children/ grandchildren, or trying to walk a dog that constantly pulls, resistance training can help to prepare your body for these tasks and make them a heck of a lot easier.
But I don’t have the time!
There’s a lot going on in your life, I understand, but resistance training doesn’t have to consume a lot of your time. Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend resistance training be done at least twice a week, focusing on each of the major muscle groups. To break it down further, this only amounts to about 30 - 40 minutes per session, twice weekly. That’s only 60 - 80 minutes per week! So if resistance training is truly something you’re interested in getting involved in, prioritize some time and get started.
But I don’t want to look like a body builder!
I hear this one a lot, and those following the basic guidelines above have nothing to worry about. Body builders and those competing in physique competitions work much harder than the above guidelines, and commit to a lot more than just a basic resistance training program. You may get some muscle growth with 3 or more months of consistent resistance training, however it takes a lot more time and dedication to end up like Arnold.
Well I walk everyday, that should be enough shouldn’t it?
Walking is a great activity, but for different reasons. Walking is what is classified as an aerobic activity, or cardiovascular exercise. Essentially walking is strength training for heart and blood vessels. Walking however does not exert enough external stress on the skeletal muscle system to be considered resistance training, unless you are normally bed bound.
So hopefully I’ve helped clear up that resistance training is a great activity for those of all abilities that doesn’t have to eat up a lot of time or effort. It’s something that everybody should get involved with, no matter what level you start at. If you want to learn more about resistance training, don’t hesitate to contact us at 902-530-3553 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.