Weight Training – Do I need to do it?
“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”
– Vince Lombard
Weight Training – Do I need to do it?
Resistance training (weight training) is a form of exercise where your muscles are activated to move against an opposing force. People all desire different outcomes from resistance training and as such a wide range of modalities can be used to optimise gains, including body weight exercises, machine based exercises, free weights, elastic bands, circuit training, functional training, plyometrics and even some everyday movements..
To achieve the best out of your program and achieve your goals, the principles of specificity, overload and progression need to be incorporated. Your exercise program should be specific to your goals (site specific -muscle development, reps/sets/rest/load, and frequency). In addition the intensity through reps/sets/rest/load should be large enough to elicit a response, which can then be progressively increased and varied over time to generate further improvement. It is recommend that sequential order of exercises be administered with the large muscle groups and multi plane exercised performed before small muscle group and single joint exercises.
Weight training is not just for males. Females should perform resistance training too! The benefits far outweigh the risks (namely: it will aid in you losing fat, without gaining muscle).
Reviews by Howe et all (2011) and Bonaiuti et al (2002) found that resistance training is not only effective for your muscles and fat, that it actually prevented or reversed bone loss and improved the mineral density (BMD), especially in postmenopausal women. In addition Feigenbaum and Pollock (1997) explain how resistance training is effective in reducing the risk of heart disease and improvement in glycaemic control through improvement in insulin sensitivity.
If you have osteoporosis, special care is necessary, especially when performing high load resistance training and loading exercises like skipping and jumping. Unnecessarily high bone stress too soon may lead to injuries like stress or complete fractures. A gradual increase in the load is even more important. Please consult your exercise physiologist before undertaking this type of exercise.
It’s never too late to begin resistance training. Remember when performing resistance training make sure you are using correct form and through full range of motion. If you do not know how to perform an exercise, ASK a professional. In addition, make sure you are breathing correctly during your lifts – when you are performing the heavy lifting part of the movement, you need to breathe out – for example during a bench press you would be breathing out as you were extending your arms and pushing the weight away from your body.
Bonaiuti D, Shea B, Lovine R, Negrini S, Robinson V, Kemper HC, Wells G, Tugwell P, Cranney A (2002) Exercise for preventing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Cochrane Database System Rev (3)
Chaconas E, Olivencia O, Russ B (2013) Exercise Interventions for the Individual With Osteoporosis. Strength and conditioning Journal
Feigenbaum, M. Pollock, M. (1997) Prescreption of Resistance Training for health and disease. Medicine and Science in sports and exercise. 31(1) 38-45
Howe T, Dawson L, Downie F, Murray A, Ross C, Harbour R, Caldwell L, Creed G (2011) Exercise for preventing and treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Cochrane Database System Review
Kraemer W, Adams K, Cafarelli E, Dudley G, Dooly C, Feigenbaum M, Fleck S, Franklin B, Fry A, Hoffman J, Newton R, Potteiger J, Stone H, Ratamess A, Triplett-McBride T. (2002) American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. American College of Sports Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 34(2): 364-380