Is resistance/weight training for me?
A common concern among people considering weight training for the first time, particularly females, is fear of becoming too big and bulky. This is a common misconception and it is in fact very unlikely, unless seriously heavy weights are being lifted 4-5 times a week. Even if this was the case, it would take many months/years to build significant muscle bulk. More commonly limb circumference actually reduces with weight training, due to the reduction in skin fold thickness and fat loss.
Why is resistance training important?
Weight training improves muscle tone, strength and assists with aerobic capacity. A toned body will burn more energy.
What are the benefits of resistance training?
Regular resistance training performed one to two times per week helps to:
- Improve muscle tone and definition
- Enhance weight loss
- Prevent osteoporosis by maintaining bone density
- Decrease risk of coronary artery disease
- Decrease risk of type II diabetes
How long will it take to see results?
Strength gains can occur within 2-3 weeks, even without signs of muscle hypertrophy (muscle size increasing). This is due to the neural adaptations which occur as a response to weight training. Within 8 weeks of participating in regular resistance training you will notice a change in muscle tone and size as the muscle fibres increase. Both men and women have a similar capacity for strength and muscle size gains.
What is the best way to achieve results faster?
A specific weight training or resistance program tailored to the individual, taking into account age, sex, general health, training background and genetics, is the best way to achieve results fast. Talk to your personal trainer or physiotherapist and have them tailor a program to suit your needs.
Can I still make strength gains if I am older and just starting weight training?
Yes! Research has shown that even as we age muscle fibres are still susceptible to the changes which occur with regular resistance training. The sooner you start, the better, but it is never too late!
What if the gym is not for me?
If you’re not keen on going to the gym to lift weights another option for resistance training is to try Clinical Pilates. This uses machines called reformers and trapeze tables to provide spring resistance exercise.