Tag Archives: Resistance Training

Resistance Training is for EVERYONE

Why Train With Weights?
You’ve heard the phrase: “The strongest shall survive” right? Well it not only applies to competitive athletes, but to everyone, men, women and children of all ages.

Studies have shown that men and women in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s have reversed their immobility and increased their quality of life through exercising with light weights.

Increase Bone Density
Using resistance increases bone density, decreasing your risk for osteoporosis and even reversing the effects of osteoporosis. Women tend to lose upper body strength after the children have gotten too big to be picked up and carried around, so it’s important to maintain that strength through resistance exercise. It’ll help maintain bone density in the upper spine too.

Equipment Types
You could use a home gym type of fitness equipment, or a bowflex type or even a crosstrainer type of equipment, but free weights are really the best. This means using dumb bells or plates on bars to ‘resist’ against your muscles, making them work and grow strong. Also, using your body weight as resistance works well, this is part of the theory behind Pilates type of mat exercise.

Reduce Body Fat
Even if your goal is to lose weight – just working out with 5 pound dumbells burns calories, but also the muscle they create burns calories even when you’re not working out. Plus, you’ll want to be sure to have those muscles toned up for after you lose the weight, so you will look firm and tight, not flabby and loose.

Tone Your Muscles
If you’re relatively thin, but just want to fill out your clothes better, resistance training is the only way to go. Light dumb bells firm up the muscle tissue just enough to make you look fit.

Achieve Your Goal
Whether your goal is to lose weight, tone muscles or grow big bulky muscles, you will need to do some type of resistance training.

What about setting fitness goals?

 

When you really think about it, getting ready to start an exercise program should be like starting up any serious change in your life.  If you were starting a new business, you would set goals and if you were starting a project around the house, you would set goals.  Sometimes they would be formal and written down, other times they would just be a thought process you went through in your mind.  Either way, it should be done when beginning an exercise regimen. 

Goal setting 101 teaches us to think in terms of short term goals and long term goals, and they are both important to keeping an exercise regimen going. 

First, in the short term, you could say in 30 days, I’m going to be down five pounds or my waistband will be much loser than it is today.   You need to set either a date or state the number of days, weeks or months specifically.  This way you have your ‘check in’ points along the way.  Also, you want to be more specific than saying ‘lose weight’.  You want to state the number of pounds, or a marker such as your waistband tightness.  You don’t need to think in terms of weight loss only.  You could say, since I can use the five pound dumb bells today, in 30 days I want to be strong enough to use eight pound dumb bells.

Now, once your time frame and specific goal is set, it’s time to put a plan in place on achieving that goal.  So if your plan is to lose five pounds, it’s time to set parameters on your eating habits, as well institute an aerobic routine with some resistance training for toning too.  If your goal is to increase to eight pounds dumb bells, it’s time to institute a plan for getting stronger through resistance training.

Now, at the first check point, whether it  be 30 days, or some other time frame, you take a look to see if you’ve achieved your short term goal.  If yes, it’s time to set the next goal, if no, then go back to your plan and find out why it failed.  Was it the plan or was it you not following the plan?

Second, you need to add in a long term goal.  Now thinking in terms of months and years – what do you want to be doing, or what do you want to be wearing?   This could be a wedding date, a vacation date or just that you want to be in shape to keep up with your grandchildren. 

With having that long term goal in mind, you are able to continue to set short term goals to reach it. 

Can you do this on your own?  Do you need help?  Remember I’m here to help you.

 

The Three Major Elements of Exercise

A well balanced exercise program needs to include three major areas of fitness: Resistance or strength training, aerobic or cardio training and stretching or flexibility training.

Resistance (strength) training 20 minutes of resistance training with dumbells, barbells, body weight, resistance bands or using weight machines twice a week. All the major muscle groups of the legs, abdomen, arms, chest, back and shoulders should be worked.
Aerobic (cardio) training 30 minutes of exercise at about 60% to 85% of your maximum heart should be done at least 3 times per week, more often is best. The 60% to 85% is known as your the aerobic range, which is calculated by subtracting your age from 220, then multiplying that number by .60 and .85 to obtain your heart rate range. 
Stretching (flexibility) training 15 minutes of stretching, after you’re fully warmed up, to include all the major muscle groups at least 3 times per week.