Resistance training, to put it simply, involves moving heavy objects in brief, intense sessions with rest intervals in between. It's the single most effective form of exercise you can do — just a few sessions of 30 minutes or less per week can get you incredible results if done under the supervision of a personal trainer (and no ladies, it doesn't make you "bulky").
So what are the benefits?
Resistance training adds muscle to your body, which boosts your metabolism and helps you get that lean, toned look you're after. The brief bursts of maximum effort involved stimulates muscle development and increases bone density, helping to injury-proof your body. It can also improve organ function, helps to balance your hormones and glucose levels, increases fat metabolization, and helps delay the ageing process through increased production of testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH).
In terms of fat reduction, the process of breaking down and rebuilding muscle burns a huge amount of calories both during and after your workout, and it helps to preserve vital lean tissue as you get rid of fat. And again, if you're worried about getting bulky, don't. Only the most dedicated bodybuilders have the time and commitment to achieve the Incredible Hulk look, and women are further cushioned from this possibility because they lack testosterone.
When, where and how?
Resistance training is actually most effective when carried out in moderation. There's a common tendency among weight lifters to spend hours in the gym conducting prolonged, repetitive workouts. This is both tedious and unnecessary. 2-3 sessions of 20-30 minutes per week will produce far superior results and help you avoid the risk of injury and burnout that comes with excessive training, especially if you work with a personal trainer who knows what they're doing.
Whatever you do, make sure to ease into resistance training if you're just starting out. Begin with a low weight and focus on getting your form (technique) right before increasing the difficulty of your exercises. As you increase the weight, maintain good form to maximise results and prevent injury. The importance of good form can't be overstated, so ideally you should head to your local gym or personal training studio and learn from a personal trainer who can analyze and correct your technique.
When you first start out, gains in strength and muscle mass will come thick and fast as your body responds to the shock of resistance training. Over time, you'll adapt to the stress and growth will slow down somewhat. Don't worry, this is to be expected. The key to sustaining progress is to keep it challenging. Add more weight, perform more repetitions, increase the intensity, try new exercises, change the structure of your routine and generally try to make your body do things it's not used to doing. As soon as you get comfortable, you'll stop seeing results.
Want to start seeing real fitness and weight loss results? Request a free consultation here at our Personal Training Studio in Ranelagh and we'll show you how resistance training can help you reach your goals.