Resistance Training – What is it and why should you do it?



An article from our team member – William Dutt, October 2018

Since July, I have been training the Wednesday morning Strength and Conditioning class. It seems only fitting my first article to be on resistance and strength training, in particular; What is resistance training? Should you be doing resistance training? and How to start doing resistance training?

What is Resistance Training?

When we think of resistance or strength training, too often we picture a buffed-up bloke in a gym ‘pumping iron’ (gym-junkie term for lifting weights). At ALTA Fitness, we’re proud to not be that person.

When you think of resistance or strength training, forget the gym-junkie body builder image and simply think of resistance training as moving a weight or force. This could include your own bodyweight, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls or pushing JC on the sled. Resistance training doesn’t have to involve heavy weights either. Instead of concentrating on the weight, focus on the movement pattern and maintaining body position and posture. It is important to remember strength is relative and varies from person to person.

Should You Be Doing Resistance Training?

Short answer – YES. Whether you’re an athlete, retiree or loving parent, everyone can benefit from resistance training.

Research shows resistance training improves your muscle function and strength, increases bone and muscle mass and reduces body fat. Resistance exercises are also commonly prescribed in the treatment of many chronic conditions, including; lower back pain, musculoskeletal dysfunctions (eg. osteoporosis, arthritis, sarcopenia and injuries to the shoulders, hip or knees), diabetes, hypertension and even some forms of cancers. Ultimately, resistance training can improve how we move, feel, think and live.

How To Start Doing Resistance Training?

As a rule of thumb, start with small, manageable amounts and slowly progress with time. Try starting with small bouts of resistance exercise, 15 – 30 minutes, 2 – 3 days per week. When comfortable and confident, gradually progress to longer sessions (45+ minutes) and aim to perform resistance training 2 – 4 times per week, depending on your goal. Progressions may also include increases in; weight, the number of exercises performed, the number of sets performed, the number of reps performed or repetition timing.

If you’re not currently doing resistance training, try this ALTA Fitness Home-Based program which can be completed using light resistance bands or dumbbells.

Day 1

(Eg. Monday)

Day 2

(Eg. Wednesday)

Day 3

(Eg. Friday)

Squats Lunges Split Squats
Hip Raises Fitness Ball Leg Curls Banded Crab Walks
Chest Press or Push Up Shoulder Press Push Up
Resistance Band Row Thoracic Extensions Resistance Band Row
Plank Side Plank Dead Bugs

If you would like to know more about resistance or strength training, don’t hesitate to ask any of the friendly staff at ALTA Fitness.