As we engage in our activities of daily living – dressing, grooming, moving, walking, and performing our responsibilities of work, school, play, and competition – we use our muscles to overcome the resistance to performing the movements of these life-required and life-enhancing activities. Our ability to accomplish these tasks effectively and efficiently, depends on the ability of our muscles to exert the proper amount of force required for each task. Therefore, engaging in resistance training is vitally important for people of all ages.
Resistance training: subjecting the body’s musculoskeletal system to resistive loads greater than which it is accustomed. Resistance training stimulates the muscles, bones, and soft tissues like tendons and ligaments, to adapt to the increased stresses and strains placed upon them, causing them to become stronger and better prepared to handle those increased forces without becoming injured. Resistance training can be achieved using a variety of machines, devices, and free weights. These include:
- Multipurpose resistance (weight) machines including Home Gyms
- Free weights (barbell and plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, weight sleds)
- Resistance bands
- Resistance tubing
- Cuff weights
- Twist and Bend Exercisers
- Medicine balls
- Resistance provided by another person
- Your own body weight
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) provides guidelines for Strength Training, stating that resistance training should be a part of every adult and child fitness program. Further, the resistance should be of sufficient intensity to enhance muscular strength and endurance, maintain fat free mass, and maintain or increase resting metabolic rate. Resistance training programs should be progressive in nature, customized to meet the individual’s needs and desires, and provide a training stimulus to all the major muscle groups.
Click HERE to view or download the ACSM’s “Resistance Training for Health” summary infographic.
Click HERE to view or download the ACSM’s position stand abstract: “Progression models for resistance training for healthy adults”.