Resistance Training Benefits When Adding to your Workouts
Resistance training is often miss perceived as being a way to “bulk up” or gain weight, giving a more masculine appearance. Usually, this leads to people to head straight to cardio-based training when seeking to lose weight and avoid the weights altogether. Regardless of what you’re ideas may be of lifting weights, chances are resistance training will be beneficial for your goals and will help you lean out and improve your overall mobility, flexibility, strength and performance in the gym. Resistance training can help avoid weight gain, improve body composition, and promote long-term benefits. Following are some reasons why integrating muscular training into your regular exercise routine is essential to achieving your health and fitness goals.
Increased Caloric Expenditure
A significant reason as to why resistance training is excellent for your health is that it increases your caloric expenditure because of training sessions and long-term muscle gain. So, what does this mean? Caloric expenditure is the number of calories your body burns during any form of activity. During training sessions, your body burns a significant number of calories and the more challenging the workout, the more it burns. However, these benefits extend post-workout. There is evidence to suggest that caloric expenditure remains elevated for days after the workout. A study on this found that during a single resistance training session, the resting energy expenditure increased by 5% and stayed elevated for up to 72 hours post-workout.
Similarly, taking part in resistance training regularly has been identified to increase the resting metabolic rate by around 7% in adults old and young. Additionally, other post-workout benefits include increased muscle mass resulting from resistance training. The increase in muscle enhances metabolism as it requires more energy to maintain the tissue. This means that consistent resistance training can eventually help you burn more calories during the day and while resting, thus helping with your weight loss goals.
Improved Body Composition
When referring to Body composition, we are talking about the relative proportion of fat mass and fat-free mass in the body, which consists of muscle, bone, organs, water, and connective tissue. Factors such as physical inactivity, bad diet, ageing, and many chronic diseases may result in the loss of muscle mass, bone mass and gains made in fat mass. When participating in regular weight training, your body can prevent or reverse these losses resulting in increased muscle mass, improvements in bone density and fat losses. These impactful alterations mean that tracking body-composition changes over time can be more beneficial to you than measuring body weight. While bodyweight can stay stable over time, muscle mass and fat mass can fluctuate due to muscle weighing more than fat. An example of this is a study where researchers found a 6.8-pound reduction in fat mass with a 4.4-pound increase in fat-free mass; however, there was no change in body weight subsequent of a 26-week resistance-training program in adults.
Following this research, it is also essential to understand that you do not need to be concerned about ‘bulking up’ if you are following a diet that supports your goals. Unless you are explicitly training, eating, and supplementing to increase muscle size and weight, you will not experience this effect. Therefore, by altering your body composition through increasing muscle and reducing body fat following a consistent resistance training schedule can help you reshape your body, gain muscle definition, and maintain a healthy weight.
Regularly taking part in weight training can proportionately improve overall improve strength in both young and older adults; however, strength is not directly correlated with large muscles and ‘bulking up’. Therefore, improving strength is a great thing to do for your overall health and wellbeing and increasing muscle size will not directly be a result of this. Low-intensity muscular training can still have positive effects, although more significant strength improvements are experienced as exercise intensity increases. A reduction in strength as we age is often associated with functional declines, slower walking speed, heightened fall risk, loss of independence and low quality of life. Therefore, resistance training is an integral part of a thorough fitness program at any age to preserve and enhance strength and physical function.
Improved Health Outcomes
In addition to all the outcomes previously listed in this article, resistance training may also have beneficial effects on many other health results. Research has indicated that resistance training can help the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Additionally, resistance training has been associated with positive mental health outcomes, including better cognition, self-esteem, fatigue, anxiety and depression.
Resistance training is an essential component of a detailed fitness program. If your goals are to enhance weight or body composition, increase strength and function, or improve your overall health and wellbeing, resistance training can help you reach it. If you are new to resistance training, start slowly with lower resistance and slowly progress over time.
If you’re looking to find out more about resistance training or want to start, find a fully qualified health and fitness professional near you at www.fitbook.co.uk.
By Ella Orrock