Resistance Training 101: Everything you need to know
Breaking the sweat is mere line if you do not do the resistance workout. Hustling with equipment, machines cannot do any good if you do not what the benefits of resistance training are. The bodybuilders are not made overnight and endurance is no cakewalk. Building the body is a science and having the right amount of weight training is the main ingredient. Over the last decade, this kind of exercise has gained momentum and came into the limelight for all the right reasons. For each of the reps you do, your muscle breaks, and from that tear, the pump gets the desirable edge. Needless to say, the right kind of resistance training program can do wonders for you very effectively.
Whether you wish to do weight loss, improve your workout, or want to gain the encyclopedic insights of Resistance training, read this article till the end. The lucky bonanza is that you will know how to prevent injury in these heavy exercises and learn the types and kinds of the same.
What is Resistance Training?
Fitness activities have a broad gauge of exercises that can cause muscles to contract. The resistance training exercise is one such art to delve into. This form of the training program enhances muscular strength, and endurance and promotes the building of muscles. By doing these exercises your muscles can contract, and the bones be all shored up. The muscles are contracted against any sort of outward resistance, these can be exerted from dumbbells, rubber exercise tubing, bricks, or any form that puts the muscle in a contracting state.
How Does Resistance Exercise Work?
We’ve dug into the matters to understand what resistance training is and how it can be of good help to us. It is important to understand how resistance training works for beginners. Basically, resistance training is worked out by causing microscopic damage by tearing down the muscle cells. The broken cells bounce back quickly and get repaired by the body and the muscles are regenerated and grow much more vital. The breaking down of the muscle fiber is called “catabolism” and the recreation of the muscle tissue is termed “anabolism”. “Anabolic” is equivalent to the growth of the muscles.
As biology states, the breakdown of muscle fiber promotes growth in the body. It is important for the bone to get broken down before the growth of the bone becomes possible and makes it stronger. Moreover, the effect be felt in increasing the levels of hormone, protein, and several other essential nutrients.
Benefits of Resistance Training
By now we know the chief purpose of Resistance training and how it helps in get the unattainable heights. Researchers have delved into the fact that resistance training programs are the appetite one must have. As our lives have been engineered to work indoors, do less physical activity, and remain seated for hours. That has already made us vulnerable to a lethargic lifestyle. To beat the black and blues of such a lifestyle, adopting resistance programs is crucial. Here are some of its key benefits mentioned below here-
Enhances metabolic rate
Who doesn’t crave those good muscles? With resistance training the dream can turn into reality, utilizing a larger amount of muscle fibers helps in burning energy and helps boost underused muscles lying sedentary all day long. With the increase in metabolic rate, one can have the leverage of eating more and yet maintain his/her weight.
Proven Insulin sensitivity
The metabolic imbalances or disturbances are referred to the insulin resistance. If we do not treat these, then the stakes are increased leading to type 2 diabetes. This can directly impact the insulin. If they are stopped, it can pose a big problem in the bigger picture. So, you know prevention gets better than cure. And if you stick to the resistance workout, no health hazard can ever come closer to you. Resistance exercises allow your muscles to move on which then leads to sensitivity to insulin.
Goodbye to weight gain
The root cause of weight gain is primarily caused by to imbalance between energy coming into the body versus the energy expended. Poor lifestyle can also be blamed. That’s where resistance training makes it a key to hold on to. Resistance training is essential for weight loss as it helps in burning energy during or after a session. The more muscles we have, the greater levels of energy are produced.
Better quality of one’s life
We all know to lead a better lifestyle, maintaining health is very important. The focus on health can bring more wealth to your life and otherwise. With Resistance training, one can be assured of carrying out the day-to-day tasks without the need of dependency on any other species. Resistance training and muscle gaining can surely cut-short the health ailments making one fit physically as well as internally.
The benefits of resistance training are certainly not limited to physical health. No doubt, our muscles are all pumped, and cuts are shored. But, regular gymming can constantly boost your confidence levels, kick up your energy levels, and help in maintaining one’s body image. You’re constantly motivated to be better, bounce back, and overcome the impossibilities by performing various types of resistance training.
Free Weights or Machines
To get into the edge of the weight training program, hitting the gym has become the mantra. Bodybuilders, novices, or any layman can enroll in different types of resistance training. So yes, free machines and weights can be used. But both of them have their own kinds of advantages and disadvantages. This we’ve taken up right below.
Free Weights- Dumbbells and barbells
- Prep up different kinds of exercises for all types of muscle groups.
- You can customize it as per your range of movement. Pick up the weight that suits the movement, and accommodate accordingly. You can let loose the weight that is beyond your strength.
- Free weights are helpful in enhancing coordination as the right kind of skill is required for moving and controlling down dumbbells. One has the leverage of keeping control over motion. If you’re into squats and steads up you so that you do not fall off that easily.
- By performing dumbbell presses, you allow the muscles to group up and build up. By using dumbbell presses, you use the pectorals, anterior deltoid (front of the shoulder), and triceps. (but you would require other shoulder and back muscles to hold your body). Even, in front raises, the muscles in the abdomen and back steadies your body.
- The risk of having an injury from any dropped bars or dumbbells is there. The bench press and bar can become a dead combination which can cost one an injury or even instant death. It is advisable to use a spotter while lifting free kinds of weights.
- Ensure not to make frequent changes while working out. You need a good level of space to store dumbbells. Especially, the pro and advanced gym goers find no difficulty in storing the dumbbells. But, it has some serious factors linked to it.
- Prior to using free weights, the right kind of knowledge and skill. It’s advisable to always be under the guidance of a fitness trainer to keep you going even when you’re a beginner.
- The ease of selecting the weight is there. You can pick the pin or weight. If the weight gets hard to manage, you can simply pin out and stack another weight at your convenience.
- It can be a safe and sane weight. But, that doesn’t comply if you pick up any weight that too is hard to sustain.
- With machines, you need not to adjust with the coordination. One just has to push or pull the bar, and handlers while lifting weights.
- As far as the space is concerned, it takes too much space.
- Each of the machines is limited to working on one muscle group. To cover each and every body aspect, one may need machines to cover all the muscles of your body. Except for pulley machines, they are quite versatile in nature.
- If your body does not get used to the weight on the machine, you might end up having injured any of your joints.
It’s recommended to only use your own body weight for performing the resistance exercise. Whatever type of resistance workout, you opt for push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, squat thrusts, and lunges, are some exercises that can strengthen your body. We know, that one can exercise body weights at one convenience. However, there are some prerequisites you should use-
- Pull-ups (For strengthening arms, back, and shoulders) – Pull-ups may sound like an easy nut to crack. But, the reality is quite contrasting. Especially for those who are trying to do resistance training for beginners. For them, they can start by standing on a chair under a pull-up bar to lightning the load as you pull up. Outdoors on a tree limb, ask your friend to support some of your weight by holding your feet.
- Push-ups (to strengthen arms, chest, and shoulders) – It’s completely normal if you cannot perform a traditional push-up. You can get on there by doing wall push-ups. Simply, lean against the wall for about 2 feet from the wall. Make sure your back is all straight and pushed back and forth frequently.
- Once wall pushes become easy, you can start to lean against a countertop.
- When leaning against the counter seems to become quite tolerable, start to get on the floor by your knees and push them against the edge of a couch/bed/drawing table.
- If that becomes easier for you, get on to do the knee push-up over the floor. You just need to get on your knees with your back straight lower yourself to the floor and then get back up again. Once they can do 20-25 knee push-ups over the floor and then perform the regular push-up.
You must keep in mind that not a single resistance exercise is superior to others. As long as one’s muscles are contracting against the external resistance. Whether, the dumbbells, machines, tubes, your own body weight, a bottle of water, or cinder blocks can very much help in boosting strength and bettering the tone much more easily.
Designing a Weight Training Program
Workout at home:
If you wish to make the best out of our resistance training by hustling from home, then you can ensure to exercise tubing from home. Of course, it is an inexpensive yet effective way to kick-start the workout regime. This way you can learn to be self-sufficient and equally productive as well. However, the right kind of guidance is imperative. So, in order to use free weights you might need to do it in the following manner:
- Dumbbells– Loading plates can become tedious to change off and on. Solid hex dumbbells are much preferable for they are inexpensive but do not roll around the way dumbbells do. Being inexpensive, you can opt to purchase them too. After the purchases are done, be sure to look out for an adjustable bench that is well-built. Ensure that it doesn’t rock or roll and feel solid while you lie down.
- Benchpress, bars, and plates– For benchpress, you might need an upright on one’s bench. For beginners or newbies, it is not recommended as per the safety issues or you should have a spotter. For bars and plates, look out for a 35-45-pound bar with a collar so as to lock the plates in place. Needlessly, purchase bars too.
Working out at GYM
If you have a gym nearby, get a membership to kick-start. Also, it is a good option for beginners or experienced lifters. Mainly, because one doesn’t have to incur the cost of all the equipment or machines. You can get to see and try out different options too. In the gym, there are trainers who could guide you on how to lift, do a weight training program, and teach the way with which resistance training should be cone. Once you learn the hack right there, you can definitely lead as a pro. There are several other advantages that are listed below-
1. Assess your own skills:
It’s a safe bet to look out for hiring a fitness trainer so that he can work with you at the gym or at home. That’s your choice home instructor or opt gym fitness trainer. Some of the users might find problems in self-learning how to lift weights from a book or even a video. You can hands-on approach with a trainer is superior. It’s absolutely okay to feel a bit uneasy in performing resistance training in the initial stage. Ensure to kick-start by having a rigorous design plan ready for you and ask them to guide you on how to do depending upon your skill. It is important to understand how lifting weights properly will give you the confidence you need to lift by yourself and get stronger.
Gym-goer, gym rats, fitness junkies.
2. Create and schedule your goals:
For newbie fitness junkies or beginners should flare up the goals to tone up and become more firm and stronger. To build this kind of endurance, lifting can give better strength gains in just a couple of weeks. Then, comes toning in the picture where you have to ascertain how much of your muscle has been raging compared to the excess body fat accumulated in your body. If you have excess fat layers on the back of your arms, then you won’t see the triceps, you won’t see the triceps. Likewise, excess fat on your belly, then you won’t be able to see the six-pack abs till you have reduced or eliminated all the fat.
Tips for Designing a Weight/Resistance Training Plan
Now that you’re all charged up, it is important to execute the plan for your resistance program to improve your workout. Otherwise, your efforts can be futile. We’ve collated the right amount of tips and tricks that you can use to flare up the resistance exercises and fetch you the right kind of advantages.
The beginners for resistance training can start off with the weights which they can easily use for lifting up for about 10-12 reps with proper form and technique. Otherwise, the reps go to fatigue, as there is the inability of not lift the weight one more time with proper form. If you have to lean back or throw the weight up, then it certainly gets too heavy to handle. Ensuring to pull up at least 10-12 reps to fatigue has the ability to maximize your strength gains and lower the risks of overtraining or unfortunate injuries.
It’s crucial to decide the set you will do for each quotient of exercise. Ideally, people should opt to do at least 10-15 reps per the exercise. Doing less of it or excess of it won’t prove to be fruitful at all. Incise, you wish to do more of that, then also it is good. As you will be able to yield greater gains in strength and otherwise.
Maintaining Time between Sets:
That’s a complete no-brainer to do the exercises rigorously without taking some lapse of rest. The rest of at least one minute be taken in order to develop better endurance and tone in one’s body. For the ones who are in the stage of enhancing their strength, a rest of about 3 minutes is very important for them. That will help them focus more as well as allow the muscles to recover better and allow muscles to work harder and lift better in their next set.
The proper decorum of exercises:
You need to cultivate the design of one’s plan in order to enlarge the large muscle groups that are worked out before the smaller groups. , if you focus on fatiguing a tiny muscle group first then the larger group will not be able to work too hard as it has the ability. Like when one is doing the bent-over-rows before the biceps curls. The bicep is in continuous working in both exercises. But, since the larger and stronger back muscles are used in the rows, they would fail to make maximal workout of the biceps. Hence, the biceps become the weakest, if you start with it. So it is important to break the monotony.
Make sure to select at least one or two exercises per muscle group. To make it more fruitful, it is important at least two exercises for each group using the dumbbells and machines in order to focus on the larger to smaller groups. These exercises are better fitted for beginners who have just started out in resistance training.
- Chest: dumbbell press, dumbbell flyes, chest press, cable flyes (crossovers).
- Shoulders: side lateral raise, front raise, upright row.
- Back: bent-over-row, cable row, pull down.
- Arms: Biceps curls, triceps kickbacks, triceps press-downs on pull-down machine.
- Abs: crunches, knee-drop crunches for the oblique muscles on the side of the abdomen (drop the knees to one side and crunch up).
- Legs: squats, leg extensions and curls on the machines, leg press on the machine.
Rest and Recovery:
It is important for you to remember that muscles grow grows downtime, not when you train. So it is important for you to take a break of a day or two in between your workout sessions. So, when you first get started, the muscles tend to recover or grow over time. Refresh a little, and show up at workouts by at least being as strong as the previous workout.
Split is referred to allow how you are able to organize your workout. For example, you would have to first execute working only on one body part a day and then on the other. This kind of lifting is important for you to be better and stronger. It is no compulsion to be too intense in the initial stage. As that could lead to injuries.
How Much Resistance Workout is Necessary
Studies recommend that resistance training must be of a progressive nature so as to provide a good level of stimulus to all the major muscle groups, such as the chest, back, shoulders, arms, abdominals, and legs. As per the American College of Sports Medicine, resistance training for beginners or advanced users must at least perform one set of the 8-10 major exercises for the muscle groups, eight to 12 repetitions, or two to three days per week. For older or more frail, it is suggestive they do approximately 10-15 repetitions more appropriately.
List of Resistance Training Exercises
Apart from the normal weight training program you are continuing with, indulgence in resistance workouts must be your goal too. For that, here is the list of the resistance training exercises that you must start right now. You can opt to do all of them or some of them.
Caution: The deadlifts should not be taken by the pro.
Bent over row
Don’t be shy, do you happen to perform bent-over row exercises? These are the pulling exercises that involve bending over by using big pulling muscles such as chins, pull-ups, and lat pull-downs. The bar is pulled up to the torso, by moving away from the center of mass. This allows greater demand over the ‘core’ muscles for stabilizing the body while performing the exercise. Make sure that your to-do list that this resistance training exercise.
Here is the bait for the muscle-builders! Most of the advanced fitness junkies ensure to have deadlifts. In fact, this directly implies that resistance training programs. All your muscles are worked out. It might be unsuitable for beginners but adjustments in the bar can be made off the ground to limit the strength that one needs to squat down for reaching the goal. Load it at your convenience.
In the same light, barbell curl is one of the crucial resistance training that can improve your workout. Similarly, building strength in the biceps with big pulling exercises like chins promotes better stimulus for strengthening and building the biceps.
Considering the list of resistance training exercises, tricep pushdown is ideal for building the tricep muscles. Doing sets of pushdowns during the end of the workout, the important areas are targeted. Mainly, it is essential in toning up the back of one’s upper arm. This type of resistance training is for beginners as well as females. It is great for burning calories, firming, toning, and developing muscles.
Whether you are trying to do resistance training for weight loss or any other purpose, pushups should always be a part of your regime. By doing pushups, the core muscles work out. One has to ensure to maintain the neutral spine position throughout the movement. This exercise requires all the body’s muscles to toil harder as the body pushes itself from the floor in a closed chain manner.
Bench Press is an open-chain version of push-up. It works all the way to push muscles- chest, shoulders, and triceps. The core muscles are not focused upon as the spine is all locked up in neutral through the rigid bench providing support. As per one’s convenience, a person can substitute a bench for better instability. This actually negates the bench to push up the load used in the exercise too. The load is increased al the muscles involved in movement to work a little harder.
Most of the gym rats always ensure to keep Squats- weighted or otherwise in their regular regime. This is one of the best resistance training exercises to indulge in. Doing Squats is quite possible for it makes use of all the major muscles in your lower leg, thighs, and hips. It uses several muscles and works as a calorie burner making it possible to help weight loss or toning. Beginners can start with normal squats, whereas advanced gym rats can perform heavy barbell squats.
One of the best resistance training you can try out is doing chin-ups. These allow burning calories and promote weight loss. The best thing about doing chin-up is that you can modify it as per your abilities. Whether you have sufficient endurance, performing full chins by dashing weights can improve your workout. Beginners can perform pull-ups onto a lower bar, keeping their feet on the ground, and minimizing the entire body weight while pulling upwards.
Optional to squats, the lat pulldown is a popular means of resistance workout. The lateral pulldown is helpful in pulling your muscles, which is best suited for beginners as the load is easily adjusted. The exercise is also referred to as a ‘closed chain’ which clubs up the exercises where you have to push or pull against something that is movable in nature. Closed chain exercises give you the edge over chain exercises as your body is unable to overcome the fixed object. If pressed a little harder, then it gives you effective results.
Lunges do the same benefit, the way squats do to your body. Doing a lunge replicates the primary movement pattern- whenever you walk up or sit downstairs or simply walk is the basic version of the lunge. It is perfect for beginners to do lunges with little depth, whereas, for the gym rats, full-depth lunges are loaded with dumbbells or barbells. The benefits of this resistance training include burning calories and firming and toning up muscles is aptly possible.
Resistance training is an effective way to improve your health and well-being. It offers a lot of benefits like developing endurance, enhancing self-esteem, avoiding high insulin, and helping prevent unnecessary weight gain. With the right guidance and consistent workout plan, you can effectively embark on your resistance training journey. In this article, we have learned the resistance training exercises, including lunges, lat pulldowns, squats, bench presses, and more. You need to follow a proper resistance training program by keeping in mind the tips for designing a weight training workout plan. Whether you’re a beginner or a person who wants to start resistance training, this guide got you covered!