So you’re stuck on a ton of cardio and a little bit of resistance training. You’ve either hit a wall, or are losing weight but barely gaining any functional weight (muscle) or toning and tightening. The problem is simple, the solution is simple: less cardio, more resistance training. Resistance training should be your staple for progress, cardio should be your supplement, and you should keep both in your regimen.
There are a thousand different thoughts about resistance training among thousands of different people. All of them combined together are right, to the fact that resistance training can be manipulated any way to achieve the results that you want. You can power train, strength train, endurance train, sculpt, tone, and so on. So no you will not get blocky or bulky from it if that is not the desired goal. Plus diet has a large impact on that as well.
First and foremost, resistance training increases lean muscle tissue. When you increase lean tissue, you increase metabolism, and you’ll burn more fat. Your body tightens and you increase muscle tone. With minimal weight training and primarily cardiovascular training, some fat may be lost, but also functional weight can be at risk of being lost. That causes a reduction in metabolism, hence a halt in weight loss after a certain time period. Although weight losses can be significant at first, take a look at body composition, the level of fitness, and the overall tightness of the body. Numbers are great, but look and feel are just as important. Feeling great and being healthy is a great pedestal to be on, weight is just a number. Would you rather be 160 pounds and 45% body fat, or 185 pounds and 15% body fat?
Resistance training also helps with bone strength and density. The pull on the muscle tissue from the pressure of resistance causes stress on the bones, which causes them to strengthen. Resistance also causes microscopic cracks in bone due to the pulling, and also from the pressure of the weight, which causes them to repair and be stronger than before. Resistance training also causes greater calcium absorption and retention in bones. This also increases bone density. This is especially important for women, younger and causes great benefits going into older years.
For men, resistance training can help with hormones. Studies show that adding resistance training into a program can increase testosterone production and levels. It can also help increase growth hormone production. Also, the more lean mass you create, the better hormone production has been shown to be. This can be especially beneficial to any older men needing a testosterone treatment or replacement. A few other important things that resistance training does are it can help glucose metabolism and can help lower blood pressure. It can also help lower cholesterol. Brain function and nervous system function can be greatly improved due to the increased usage and good stress that comes from resistance training. It can also help increase balance and help you sleep better.
Resistance training is a great addition to your workout repertoire. Remember to start slow. Three days a week is plenty for general fitness, and if you aren’t goofing around, you can be done with a full body routine in 45 minutes or less, even a half an hour. Trust me, I’m the trainer. Get out, get going, and get started.
Jack Wilkins is a personal trainer and owner of Four Point Fitness, 8391 Market St., Boardman, a one-on-one, appointment only, training facility. Cardio-kickboxing classes are one of the many specialties offered. For more information visit www.fourpointfitness.net or call 330-565-0352. Check out Jack’s weekly blog at http://jackshealthandfitnessspot.blogspot.com/