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The Benefits Of Resistance Training and Resistance Exercise

29th September 2021

29th September 2021

By Beth Shelper

Looking to increase your strength, tone up or maintain your weight? The Strong Protein can help with that.

Aside from this award-winning supplementation, though, you may have heard that resistance training is a great way to do that. But what is resistance training, what are the benefits of resistance training and can resistance training burn fat? All very good questions.

What is resistance training

Put simply, resistance training is an overarching term that refers to exercises that involves a weight or external force that causes the muscles to contract. The aim of the game when it comes to resistance training is to up your strength, increase your power and tone up.

Pretty much any exercise can be tailored into a resistance training exercise, due to the flexibility and adaptability of the strategy. And that’s why it’s one of our favourites.

Whatever your fitness goal, there’s a perfect resistance training exercise to help you get there, and that’s why the workout style is so popular. It’s a real classic, and something you should definitely be incorporating into your schedule.

Can resistance training burn fat?

Yes, absolutely! The implementation of resistance training in your workout routine has been proven to reduce fat and therefore aid in weight loss when regularly engaged in. A study published by The International Journal of Cardiology in 2013 revealed that when compared to just cardio training such as running, swimming and cycling, high-intensity resistance training led to faster weight-loss. Music to our ears.

The benefits of resistance training  

The best part about resistance training is the range of benefits that resistance exercises bring to the table. From better posture to increased balance, the benefits of resistance training are (seriously) impressive and include:

  • Increased flexibility levels
  • Weight management assistance
  • Enhanced performance
  • Pain management benefits
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Lowers your risk of dementia
  • Improves overall self-esteem
  • Decreases stress and anxiety

Best exercises for resistance training

As with all workout strategies and routines, it’s important to mix it up. Ensure that you are targeting a range of muscle groups and making time for rest days in between workouts… it’s really important that you are giving your muscles at least 48 hours of recovery time to prevent injury. Rest days are just as important as workout days, we promise!

When it comes to the best resistance training exercises, this entirely depends on your end fitness goal, current fitness level, and most importantly, what you enjoy doing. Whether you use free weights, resistance bands or body weight, some of our favourite resistance training exercises include:

  • Seated rows

Up the weight here and for an extra burn, add a resistance band around your thighs. You’ll hate us for it but thank us later.

  • Banded squats

Banded squats are an effective way to make the most of your workout and really target those gluteal muscles. Next time leg and bum day rolls around, place a resistance band around your tights and lower into the squat formation and repeat. Go for a set of pulse squats too, if you’re feeling particularly brave. Prepare to feel the burn.

  • Hip abductions

Next time you’re at the gym, head on over to the hip abduction machine. This is one of our favourite resistance training exercises and really targets your gluteal muscles.

  • Bench presses

An absolute classic: bench presses are a must on arm day. Adding bench presses to your resistance training routines is a sure-fire way to improve your upper body strength and tone your muscles.

  • Lunges

A top tip is to add resistance bands to your current favourite exercises such as lunges for an extra burn. Depending on your strength level and desired result, resistance bands come in varying ‘resistance’ stages such as light, moderate, and heavy, so you can really feel the burn.

Why do resistance training

You may be thinking, well, that’s all well and good… but I’m not looking to add weights to my routine. I’m happy with my cardio. And whilst that’s all well and good, it’s great to mix up your workouts for a few reasons. And resistance exercises can help with that.

It’s important to diversify your workouts to not only give your body a chance to rest and recover, but to ensure that you are always challenging yourself (both physically and mentally), avoid getting bored, and ensure that you are avoiding risk of injury.

The flexibility of resistance training not only allows you to switch it up, but you’re also able target different muscle groups and reap some of the amazing benefits we mentioned above whilst increasing your fitness levels, too. That sounds like a win-win.

Summary

So, if you’re not already including resistance training exercises into your workout regime, we hope you’ve convinced you to give it a go. We think that the impressive list of benefits of the technique alone is reason enough to start your resistance training journey, but if you’re working towards fitness goals such as increased muscle mass and greater weight loss, this strategy is definitely one for you.

References

  • Dutheil, F., Lac, G., Lesourd, B., Chapier, R., Walther, G., Vinet, A., Sapin, V., Verney, J., Ouchchane, L., Duclos, M., Obert, P., & Courteix, D. (2013). Different modalities of exercise to reduce visceral fat mass and cardiovascular risk in metabolic syndrome: the RESOLVE randomized trial. International journal of cardiology, 168(4), 3634–3642. Click here.

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With everything that goes into a daily schedule, the commitments of a busy lifestyle can mean it’s pretty hard (and sometimes impossible) to make time to exercise. It can also be hard to find the motivation to exercise after a long day even when you do have the time. It can be a really vicious cycle. With that in mind, you may be searching for some tips on how to find time in the day to exercise, correct? Or maybe some tips on how to extend the hours in the day so that you have enough time to get everything done? Well. Whilst we’d be millionaires if we had the answer to the second question (although The Focus Capsules might be able to help with that one), we can definitely help you with the first. Figuring out how to make time to exercise can be pretty difficult, but we’ve got five tips below that might just help you when it comes to fitting in fitness. How to make time to exercise If we could give you just one piece of advice: preparation is key. Planning and scheduling is the only way to successfully stay on track, and staying on track and remaining consistent is absolutely the quickest way to smashing your fitness goals. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit, so if you can choose and apply one of our below five tips to fitting in exercise to your life, we promise that after those initial three weeks, making time for exercise will become like second nature.  Here’s our top five tips for when it comes to making time for exercise… Switch up your commute Wondering how to fit the gym in with work? Think about your commute. The average commute is around 62 minutes in the United Kingdom. That’s over two hours a day that we are commuting. Not only is that a huge chunk of the day, but it’s two hours of the day that could be spent exercising… potentially. If you could switch up your commute to walk, cycle or run (maybe all, but even part of the way), this somewhat redundant time can be used to not only get you where you need to be, but assist you in fitting in fitness to your busy day. Granted, if you are commuting over an hour a day, it’s likely you are using a train service or perhaps driving yourself to your destination… but this doesn’t mean that you can incorporate some level of exercise into your day. Park slightly further away, or maybe get off at an earlier stop and walk, run or cycle the rest of the way. Every little helps. Set an earlier alarm (sorry) Whilst this is probably the tip that nobody wanted to hear, a great way of making time for exercise is to set your alarm earlier to give yourself extra time in the day. Getting up earlier not only provides you with a great chunk of extra time to get your workout in, but allows you to avoid the morning rush hour, give your body time to prepare for the day, and allows you to slow down a bit and avoid the awful morning rush that comes with those extra ten minutes in bed. Gym classes start as early as 5am, offering you the perfect opportunity to get an hour of exercise in before your commute and work. If classes aren’t your thing, though, there’s nothing better than a sunrise run or cycle. Seriously! Try it. Make the most of your lunch break Stop using your lunchbreak to just sit and scroll on your social media channel of choice. Make a conscious effort to leave your desk, office or home workspace and get out and about. Go on a walk, run, cycle or even lunchtime swim during your lunch break and really make the most of your lunch hour. The best part about this strategy is no early alarm, no late finish time… just time to yourself in the middle of the work day to not only smash out your workout for the day, but have some well-deserved time to yourself in amongst the office chaos. Sounds good (and productive) to us. Make every task count Waiting for your food to cook in the microwave? Do some star jumps. You may look a little crazy in the shared office kitchen, but so be it. No pain no gain, right? Want to watch your favourite TV show after work? Why not watch it whilst on the treadmill at the gym. Need to take the dog for a walk? Make that lap round the field two laps. Need to grab some milk and bread from the store? Walk, don’t drive. Little changes here and there add up to an overall healthier and more active lifestyle. At the end of the day, fitting in exercise doesn’t strictly refer to going to the gym or heading out for a run. Like we said… every little helps. Be strict with your schedule It’s time to start treating your exercise schedule like your work schedule. Got a gym class booked for 6pm? It’s now non-negotiable, just like that end-of-quarter sales meeting you’ve got pencilled in your calendar. Too often we fall victim to the post-work social calling (aka a trip to the pub), or even just the temptation of our sofa after work, which means that the scheduled post-work workout gets thrown out the window. Not anymore. If you’ve scheduled a workout, stick to it. Don’t sack off your gym schedule for something better (or nothing at all). It’s a commitment you’ve made that is just as important as those daily meetings, only this time, it’s a commitment to yourself. Making time for exercise is just as important as everything else, as it’s key for your health, wellbeing, and overall performance after all! Summary So. You wanted to know how to exercise with a busy schedule… we hope we’ve answered your question. Whilst it can be tempting to cancel, post-pone or even neglect our exercise routines as a result of the demands of work, relationships or otherwise, fitting in exercise needs to become a priority. Period. If you’re struggling or are unsure of how to make time for exercise, give one (or all) of our above tips a go. Find out which tip for fitting in exercise works best for you and start your fitness schedule. Exercise and working out is a hugely important part of your schedule, so it’s time to start treating exercise like a priority. Self-care 101. References SME News. 2021. New survey reveals large regional differences in workers’ commuting experience - SME News. [online]. Click here. Brain Pickings. 2021. Popiva, M. How Long It Takes To Form A New Habit. [online]. Click here. Read more

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