If you put your ear to the ground there are many rumours you will hear regarding weight and resistance based training. So many athletes are now swapping their running training for plyometrics, their endurance training for heavy intervals, changing their cycle shoes in for free weights. But why is this? Why is resistance based training becoming so popular?
In a nut shell, there are many types of resistance based training. You can use your body weight, resistance machines, free weights or functional style equipment to increase muscle mass and put your body through a vast array of challenges. No matter your fitness level or end goal, it is now proven that to get there you need to change up your routine and get off the treadmill once in a while. In fact, is your body making any changes at all in the last month of doing your ‘1 hour a day’ treadmill jog?
Let’s take a quick sneaky peek at the science behind the rumours. Firstly, increasing your muscle mass will increase your functional strength (as long as you haven’t overdone the bicep curls and you can still move your arms!) With the right exercises you could be opening that jar with one finger, running with the vacuum cleaner, jumping to the yard to play with the kids and changing the flat tire all by yourself. For athletes, this means they can train specifically to be stronger in their sport.
My next point is one for the ladies… Did you know you burn MORE calories with muscle mass than with fat cells. That means the more muscle you have, the more fat you lose. I know what I would rather be built from! Don’t believe me? Dr. Ellington Darden, founder and chairman of Living Longer Stronger, LLC, said the muscle built in just 90 minutes of strength training per week can burn as many calories as several hours of aerobic exercise. It is also important to note, that unless you are 1 in 1000000000000000 or you take testosterone supplements, you won’t build big, bulky muscle; so lift the same as your husband and you will just build a beautiful lean, feminine physique, leaving the HENCH look to the men 😉
Increased muscle mass will give you more daily energy, endurance, stamina and will power! It can also aid sleep, helping you sleep deeper and longer. Lekker!
Forgetting everything else, muscle is a major HEALTH necessity. Muscles aid the body in standing, moving, joint protection, internal organ well-being and posture. Therefore it can prevent many illnesses, injuries, falls and back injuries; no matter how old you are. Resistance exercise is proven to increase bone density; new research concludes it also positively impacts on insulin resistance, glucose metabolism, metabolic rate, blood pressure and gastrointestinal transit time. These are associated with diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Now you’ve read this, the next time I say “Squat!” you just say “How many!?”
Safiyah Esack – 16/04/2013