I´ve watched so many different workout programs, from the ones you can buy on the internet and you get the DVDs so you can do them at home to some classes on different gyms and the way they do resistance training is using circuits (a technique I´m going to explain in other post), and I don´t like that I don´t consider it as the best option to get in shape and sustain it.
The goal of resistance training it to improve muscular strength, to get stronger and make your muscles work. If you want to build a good looking physique you need to get stronger, if you want to lose fat the right way you need to do resistance training so that you get lean and look great otherwise you´ll end up being skinny.
Resistance training is key for improving body composition. If you´ve been following me you know that I´ll about improving body composition meaning less body and more muscle mass. The way to gain muscle mass or maintain it is through resistance training.
Do you remember some posts ago when we talked about cardio training? We said that all physical activity sends a signal to your body, cardio makes your body more efficient using calories so if you do the same cardio activity for the same period of time at the same intensity your body adapts so it´ll use less energy every time you do it. This slows down your metabolism so you need to do more exercise and you need to eat less, this is why it is so hard to sustain your weight loss results from traditional weight loss programs.
With resistance training the signal you are giving to your body is to get stronger, when you are doing resistance training you are giving a stimulus to the muscles and that stimulus let your body knows that it needs those muscles so it needs to get stronger and grow to be able to make it through the next workout. This increases your metabolism because your muscles need more energy. If you want to get in great shape and sustain it without too much effort this is the way to go, focus on resistance training.
Making this type of training the base of your programs does not means that you will get huge, it only means that you´ll get stronger and your body will look toned and firm. Of course you can bulk and huge if that´s your goal although I don´t recommend it, improving body composition means getting to a weight that is healthy for you based on body fat and muscle, if you get to big it doesn´t matter if it´s body fat or muscle your it´s unhealthy, your heart and lungs have to work a lot more and it puts your health at risk.
Resistance training can get very complex because there are so many variables that come into play and that need to be adjust according to your goal, but I´ll try to keep it as simple as possible.
Resistance training means that you are moving your body against some resistance or force which can be your own body weight, free weights, gym equipment, machines, even rocks or tires. The best options are your own bodyweight and free weights (barbells and dumbbbells). There are different types of exercises or movements which are bodyweight, compound and isolation (I´ll write a post for each of them); and there are also variables like rep ranges, rest pause, failure, drop sets and more (I´ll also write a post for each of them).
Whether you want to gain muscle mass or just to get in shape you need to get stronger on some exercises and you need to follow an strategy called “progressive overload” which is a way to measure your progress. You need to choose the right exercises, choose the proper weight according to your rep ranges and sets, create a workout plan that gives your muscles around 48 hours before you train them again and you also need to focus on good form.
Most of the injuries I´ve seen in the gym is because of ego, people try to lift more weight that they can, they lack good form and they get injured. We most avoid injuries at all cost, you want to get in shape and look good there´s no reason to want to guys around you, every time you workout is about being better than the last time so don´t compare yourself to anyone.
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