Exercise Fundamentals: Resistance Training

Moving forward in your workouts from isometric movement into resistance training will be key for proper muscle development. Before we get into it too much, let me take a moment to explain how I arrived at this fitness theory.

There are a few foundational things I hold fast to: training to be better than your sport, working hard to develop supportive and connective tissue, and then lastly, using “core central” movements and exercises. I’ve used these methods for years working to perfect this order of muscle development.

How does it apply to resistance training?

If you consider that I am migrating from isometric movement into weight lifting the system breaks down this way. If I intend to build a solid foundation isometrics will do that and more. If I want to be efficient at every body weight exercise and move into weight lifting with no injury, resistance is key. So for instance, if my sport is long distance running, and I want to be better at my sport, then running sprints is how you can effectively increase muscle development and lung capacity overall. This training will make you less susceptible to injury as well as increase your speed. Make sense?

What is resistance training? Resistance training has two different meanings. A broader meaning is that which refers to any training that uses a resistance to the force of muscular contraction (better termed strength training). Then there is elastic or hydraulic resistance, which refers to a specific type of strength training that uses elastic or hydraulic tension to provide this resistance. In this post, I am speaking more on the elastic form of resistance training which is more accessible even though the benefits are still great for both hydraulic as well as elastic.

Did you know that resistance training will increase skeletal muscle by 20-40% in as little as 6-8 weeks? What about the building of bone density? You can increase bone density by up to 50% just by keeping one day of resistance training in your work out over a one year span. Resistance training will actually burn more fat than your typical cardio exercises. This is done by using more muscles or larger muscle groups to increase your heart rate into the “fat burn zone”.

Skeletal muscle is the white muscle tissue that connects the smooth muscle which is more visible than the skeletal muscle. There are 4 types of skeletal muscle: type 1 fibers, type 2 a fibers, type 2 x fibers and type 2 b fibers. Each have their nutritional make up as well as fast twitch properties–with type 2 b fibers being the fastest. Follow that? It’s about building supportive and connective tissue completely.

Now that you understand how resistance training strengthens, I can explain what core central means. You’ve often heard how certain trainers on workout videos say “make sure you engage your core!” Well it’s kind of like that but minus the annoying voice and the over use of spandex… Core central exercises will do all the engaging for you, if you do it properly. Using a method of training that pulls your core into play isn’t rocket science, but it does take a professional to ensure that your form is efficient for proper muscle development. Considering the proper form, as well as the fragile state of skeletal muscle when it’s at its weakest, makes a good case for a knowledgeable personal trainer. If you are not considerate of these facts you can definitely injure yourself. Even if it’s just a pulled muscle, a pulled skeletal muscle can be more painful and take longer to heal.

Now that you feel me on the resistance training, watch out for the video and the next installment of exercise fundamentals.

By: Terry Barga

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