Why do you need resistance training in your programme?

The Cadence Beats instructors got together to talk resistance training and why it’s so important.

Resistance training and variety(always mixing your training up) form the best formula to fast-track your health and fitness goals. Quite simply resistance training (sometimes called strength training) is when we make our muscles work against a weight or force – think free weights, weight machines, resistance bands and your own body weight.It doesn’t have to be difficult to integrate into your fitness programme and it is enjoyable.

Here are nine reasons you need to incorporate resistance training into your programme now.

  1. It improves your body composition – helps you lose fat

As you do resistance training, your muscle-to-fat ratio improves and so the number of kilojoules your body burns at rest increases.

  1. It builds fast-twitch muscle fibres that raise metabolism

As we get older, more of our fast-twitch muscle fibres become slow-twitch muscle fibres, which causes you to lose muscle mass and your metabolism to slow. Resistance trainingcan preserve your fast-twitch muscle fibres, which also burn more fat before and after workouts.

  1. Enhances the performance of the nervous system.

Strength training highly engages our central nervous system. Strength training develops motor neuron pathways that enhance a person’s brain-body coordination during functional movements.

  1. Increases endurance in athletes and non-athletes

As you grow stronger, your muscles won’t fatigue as easily meaning you can sustain activity for longer – this can be applied to the daily demands of work, lifestyle benefits such as tramping and swimming and sporting performances.

  1. Decreases blood pressure and improves heart function

The stronger your muscles are and the more you train them (don’t forget your heart is a cardiac muscle), the better and more efficient their blood supply becomes – not only does this mean less pressure is put on your heart, but your heart will get stronger – your heart rate lowers and stroke volume increases.

  1. Strengthens the bones, ligaments and tendons

As we age our bone density decreasesmaking strength training an even more important part of our fitness regime. Resistance training puts healthy strain upon the ligaments, tendons and joints that more helps develop their resilience. By putting our bones under stress through regular resistance training we stimulate the bone to increase its density to cope.

  1. Decreases chance of injury

Improved muscle strength and tone protects the mobility of the joints meaning the likelihood of injury goes down. Correct functional training ensures improvement to our proprioception (brain-to-body-partsignal mapping). Put simply, if we were to trip over, with poor proprioception we would more than likely twist an ankle or the likeand fall to the ground injured. Good proprioception would signal to the ankle ligaments that we were falling, ensure they adjust and therefore have a higher likelihood of maintaining our balance, and therefore not twisting an ankle or falling.

  1. Prevention or control of chronic conditions

Doing explosive exercises improves your cardiovascular health, clearing out build-up in your arteries that accumulated as a result of weight gain. The weight-loss benefits of strength traiing also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

  1. Better sleep, better mood, higher energy levels and a boost in self-confidence

Among other reasons, exercise reduces arousal levels, anxiety and depressive symptoms meaning the quality of your sleep improves. Better sleep directly impacts your energy levels, and physical changes and feeling stronger boosts your self-esteem.