You may think that resistance training is only meant for bodybuilders and powerlifters but this method of thinking is not true. Resistance training has many vital benefits and is essential in everybody's training routine. Whether you are interested in general fitness, sport performance, bodybuilding or aging with grace, resistance training is vital to any training program.
Weight Training and General Fitness:
When it comes to general fitness we really want to have a well rounded program that includes many different dimensions of fitness. Of course this would include resistance training. Resistance training provides a vital strength component that is critical to a healthy well rounded lifestyle. This strength component becomes increasingly important as we age. Resistance training also helps us to build and maintain bone density. Resistance training produces a load on our body which promotes bone strength and growth. It is better to start sooner rather than later so no procrastinating!
Weight Training in Sport:
Resistance training is critical to sport and can greatly improve performance in all areas of fitness. You may think that if you are training for a particular sport then there is no use for weight training but you would be mistaken! There are multiple avenues of physiological change that an athlete undergoes through resistance training.
Muscular Strength: The first would include an increase in muscular strength. By programming resistance exercises that reflect movements in a particular sport we can increase maximal strength in that area and this increase in strength will be reflected in sport performance. For example in volleyball movements like lunging, jumping and serving are vital so this particular athletes resistance training should mimic these particular movements.
Power adaptations: Many sports rely on powerful explosive movements and many of these movements are greatly improved by resistance exercises. With repeated resistance training, muscles will generate greater force upon activation resulting in a more explosive movement. Not only do we see an improvement in sport performance but we also see an increase in injury prevention in athletes who regularly participate in resistance training.
Weight Training and Seniors:
Weight training is critical as we age and no matter how old you are, properly executed resistance training can be beneficial for you! Not only do we lose muscle as we age but our bones also deteriorate at an accelerated rate. Now apply what we know about resistance training, It promotes bone strength and muscle strength which are both impacted greatly by aging. This means that resistance training is just as important if not more important for seniors to participate in.
If you are not currently participating in a resistance training program we encourage you to start! It is a very important dimension of fitness that should not be overlooked. If you need guidance just look into working with a personal trainer. Personal training is great for both new and experienced weight lifters!