Resistance Training – Gateway to a Healthier Life

Resistance Training can lead to a healthier and more enjoyable life no matter what your current level of fitness.

At Total Fitness Emporium we are very aware of the benefits that a controlled and regular fitness regime can bring, not just to bodybuilders and elite athletes, but ordinary people of all ages and physical abilities and conditions.

It has been understood for a long time that just as aerobic exercise keeps your heart in peak condition, regular strengthening exercises help keep your other muscles strong and healthy. These will improve bone structure, joint function, bone density, muscle, tendon and ligament strength and they also help maintain and combat the loss of muscle mass by increasing muscular fitness.

Warren Dyson – founder of the acclaimed Emporium Gym in Birmingham said;

“Strengthening or resistance exercises are vital to keep the muscles that support your back, abdomen, knees, chest, shoulders, neck, and wrist strong and less susceptible to injuries. Strong muscles mean greater endurance and energy as well as a faster metabolism that burns more calories and a better posture.”

So there really is a lot to be gained from resistance training.

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Resistance Training – much more than just building muscle

Resistance training can also prevent osteoporosis by augmenting bone mineral density. What’s more, regular resistance training can decrease the risk of heart disease by lowering body fat, decreasing blood pressure, improving cholesterol, and lowering the stress placed on the heart while lifting a particular load. Improving muscular fitness is therefore a very important in improving the quality of life.

What is Resistance Training?

Resistance training, as the name suggests, involves working muscles as they move against some type of resistance. This can come in many forms such as;

  • free weights (classic strength training tools such as dumbbells or barbells),
  • medicine balls,
  • resistance bands,
  • weight machines
  • your own body weight.

What you use and how you use them depends on what muscle group you are intending to improve, although it should be stressed that a well rounded programme should be devised first before you commence.

Getting Started

It is recommended by many organisations that weight training machines are used by beginners and novices as they help ensure that you perform the movement with proper form. Moreover at a gym such as Emporium, you also have the advantage of an instructor to help you use the machines correctly. The incorporation of free weight movements can be performed as a person increases his or her muscular fitness and gains greater muscle control and masters the correct breathing techniques.

How often you train and the type of training you do will depend on your level of fitness and your individual goals. However you should always establish progressive resistance training programs to meet your key resistance training goals. This will define specific trainable characteristics of muscular fitness, such as strength, power, hypertrophy and local muscular endurance.


Resistance Training for Beginners

Here is a handy guide to some key terms and some basic principles of resistance training.

  • Exercise – a particular movement that is designed to strengthen a particular muscle or group of muscles.
  • Repetitions or ‘reps’ – this refers to the number of times you continuously repeat each exercise in a set.
  • Set – is a group of repetitions performed without resting. For example, two sets of squats by 15 reps would mean you do 15 squats then rest muscles before doing another 15 squats.
  • Rest – you need to rest between sets. Rest periods vary depending on the intensity of exercise being undertaken.
  • Variety – switching around your workout routine, such as regularly introducing new exercises, challenges your muscles and forces them to adapt and strengthen.
  • Progressive overload– to continue to gain benefits, strength training activities need to be done to the point where it’s hard for you to do another repetition. The aim is to use an appropriate weight or resistant force that will challenge you, while maintaining good technique. Also, regular adjustments to the training variables such as frequency, duration, exercises for each muscle group, number of exercises for each muscle group, sets and repetitions, help to make sure you progress and improve.
  • Recovery – muscle needs time to repair and adapt after a workout. A good rule of thumb is to rest the muscle group for at up to 48 hours before working the same muscle group again.

Going to the gym is not all about bodybuilding and creating the perfect physique. A carefully planned resistance training programme will have long term health benefits as well as making you feel better about yourself.

We will help you set achievable goals using some of the best equipment in the Birmingham area. The only limit is your own desire. Come and discuss your resistance training needs with a professional trainer and take the first step to a healthier life.

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