The Importance of Resistance Training in your Fitness Journey*

Friday, 23 October 2015, By Jackson Privett

Achieving your fitness goals requires commitment and dedication to the Four E's: Emotions, Education, Eating and Exercise. By consistently focusing and improving on the Four E's, no goal, no matter how big you dream, is unattainable.

Exercise is a necessary requirement to any fitness journey and consists of two key elements: Cardio and Resistance Training. Whilst Cardio is a fundamental aspect of training that provides many health benefits including increased cardiorespiratory function, increased heart function and decreased resting heart rate (heart rate slows as blood is able to be pumped both easier and in greater volume around the body per Left Ventricle contraction), it is the presence of Resistance Training in your program that will provide the greatest long-lasting benefits. 

Resistance training refers to any bodily movement in which a force is applied in the opposite direction to the movement. Such training can be applied under any number of different methods including weights training, bodyweight training, plyometric training and isometric movement training. Resistance training can also be altered to suit an individual's specific goals, whether that is to lose fat, build muscle, increase endurance or manage injury.

Key benefits of performing resistance training during your workouts include:

  • Increase in energy burning and metabolism both during and post-exercise. Increased stress placed on muscles during resistance training leads to a faster depletion of energy in the muscles, resulting in the body needing to increase metabolism rate to refill energy stores thus increasing the rate at which macronutrients are burned and utilised. In addition, after finishing your workout, the body continually burns energy for roughly two hours through a process known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). During this time, it is important for to minimise the intake of carbohydrates so the body has to rely on fat stores for energy.
  • Increase in size and strength of muscles trained, known as Hypertrophy. The adaptation is due to the healing of torn muscle fibres in the body. As the body recovers, the torn muscle fibres are repaired stronger than previously. This is a defence mechanism of the body to decrease the risk of future tearing of muscle fibres. That is why it is extremely important to continue increasing intensity of your workouts to ensure continued growth and development of the muscles. An increase of muscle mass in the body is also a key determinant in Metabolism Rate, meaning the more muscle mass you have, the more energy your body has to burn in order to satisfy your muscles.
  • Increase in Bone Density. Over time, as stress is placed on our bones repeatedly, defence mechanisms of the body result in an increase in bone density to withstand the stress placed upon the site. Such adaptation can be beneficial to all individuals, but can be especially advantageous to those currently suffering or at risk of bone degeneration disorders later in life such as Osteoporosis.

Other benefits of Resistance Training include:

  • Improvement in Mobility and Balance
  • Improvement in Pain Management
  • Increase in Stamina and Energy Levels
  • Improvement in Posture
  • Improvement in overall Well-Being

The benefits of Resistance Training are endless and new benefits are still being discovered today. It is important to remember however, that such benefits are not immediate. Your body needs time to adapt to the applied stimuli. Therefore it is important to integrate regular resistance training into your long term workout routine and keep track of your progress to continue progression and make the most of the benefits available. Just remember, 'Rome wasn't built in a day'.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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