Resistance training is good for you
Resistance training is any type of training in which your muscles work against a resistance (e.g. Strongman training, Powerlifting, Weightlifting); the resistance may be provided by a weight, an elastic or rubber band, or you own weight. Resistance training should be the main focus of your workout as it is worth your money for the following reasons:
– Adding lean muscle mass counteracts one of the principal effects of aging, which is the loss of muscle. Aging without doing anything to resist the typical influences of the western lifestyle, your body composition changes: you lose muscle as you gain fat. It can begin happening fairly early in life, such as the late 30s or 40s. This development is, by definition, unhealthy but you do need fat to survive. A normal distribution of adipose tissue is an amazingly efficient form of energy storage and regulation. However, lots of extra fat is evidence that the calories you consume exceed your total energy expenditure (TEE), or the amount of calories you burn off each day. Extra fat is bad for you internal organs; a robust distribution of extra muscle is healthy for your internal organs. The medical community has named this condition of losing muscle Sarcopenia. To prevent or delay sarcopenia, you don’t need to rely on pills; you just need to lift weights.
– Resistance training helps avoid injuries by strengthening muscle fiber, connective tissue (such as ligaments and tendons), and bone mass. A person who lifts weight has greater bone density than someone who doesn’t lift. Having greater bone mass density reduces the risk of getting osteoporosis especially in women.
– The practical effects of being stronger cannot be overemphasized; think of all the “heavy work” you have to do in ordinary life, from lifting items around the house to performing physical tasks around the yard or at work. Ever since I have been doing resistance training, I have noticed a huge difference in this area.
– Resistance training counts as anaerobic and aerobic cardiovascular training. In other words, resistance training will give you significantly better oxygen capacity for walking up hills and stairs, carrying loads, and just getting around in life. Anaerobic training means utilizing energy in the absence of a continuous replenishment of oxygen, as in sprinting. Aerobic exercise involves utilizing a more or less continuous supply of oxygen as you breathe and run, bike, or swim, for instance. Strongman training and weightlifting help both areas. Ever noticed how much you are puffing after a strongman medley or high-intensity resistance training? It follows that if a muscle has more capacity for pulling a given weight, you will use less oxygen doing so. In addition, your cardiovascular system, brain, liver, even the endocrine system ( all of the glands that secrete the all-important hormones that rule what goes on in your body, such as growth hormone, testosterone, and the adrenal hormone like epinephrine and cortisol); all of those systems must upregulate to support this new muscle fiber you are adding.
– New muscle fiber increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the amount of calories you burn at rest or during normal activities, but not by the degree that people typically assume it does. If you add 5 kg of muscle to your body, for example, your calorie burn increases by about 60 to 100 calories per day. The benefits of new muscle and resistance training are greater strength, injury prevention, balance, and metabolic health, not necessarily more calories burned per day.
– Cardiovascular work is usually initiated at the expense of resistance training. Unless you are running or biking at high intensity (e.g. HIIT), the value of these exercises for most people is minimal. Excess cardio, for example, actually burns up or catabolizes (breaks down) your lean mass. Despite increased testosterone, hypertrophy does not typically take place with aerobic endurance training. In fact, oxidative stress may actually promote a decrease in muscle fiber size in order to optimize oxygen transport into the cell. Without the proper exercise stimulus, the cellular mechanisms that mediate muscle fiber growth are not activated to the extent that hypertrophy occurs. This means that too much running or biking could potentially make some of your muscles smaller.
Sports Scientist / Personal Trainer