Resistance Training Tips

Resistance Training Tips Image

Resistance training is also known as weight or strength training. It involves moving parts of your body against some kind of resistance, like weights, resistance bands, weight machines, or even your own body weight.

Resistance training helps to build stronger muscles. It also strengthens your bones and joints, reducing your chance of injury, improving your balance, posture and can even boost your metabolism.

Resistance training tips:

  • Warm up for 5-10 minutes to help you improve blood flow and prime the muscles- a walk or simple repetitive movements similar to the movements you are about to do are best.

 

  • If you are a beginner or returning from injury start light, even 1-1.5kg weights if you need to. You may even try going through the motions of strength training with no weight, since you’re still lifting the weight of your arms and legs.

 

  • How much should I lift if I have no issues?- you should aim to lift a weight that’s heavy enough to challenge yourself. A good guide is to select a weight that tires your muscles after 12 to 15 reps, with proper form of course.  Even a single set of 12 reps with a heavy enough weight can help build your muscles versus 3 sets at a lighter weight

 

  • Increase your weight gradually. When you can easily do the recommended number of sets and reps, increase the weight by 10- 20%. Remember, if you don’t challenge your muscles, you won’t see gains. Aim to lift a weight that tires your muscles after 12-15 reps.

 

  • Lift your weights using controlled movement- try not to swing wildly or use momentum and remember that correct alignment will limit injuries.

 

  • Keep breathing during your workout. Generally, breathe out on exertion, as you lift or push a weight. Breathe in as you relax.
  • Muscle Soreness

Don’t worry about soreness and a bit of muscle fatigue that lasts a few days. This is known as DOMS. We know that when we are trying to build muscle we are also damaging it- micro tears happen and the body repairs that damage, adding another layer of support or more muscle.

The body’s response to the tearing or damage is to flood the area with specialist repair cells and to trigger pain receptors. So, muscle soreness, which usually presents a day or two after intense exercise is not caused by the micro damage but related to the body’s inflammatory response to it.

DOMS can strike any time that the frequency, duration or intensity of your workout is increased. This is generally positive. Especially if your aim is to improve strength, stamina, speed or size. It indicates that your body is adapting to meet the increased physical demands placed upon it. If you are trying to improve strength for example, you need to break down some of your existing muscle structure to create bigger, stronger and more capable muscles going forward.

The signature symptoms of DOMS- extreme or atypical soreness, joint stiffness and tenderness, tends to surface 12-24 hours post activity. DOMS may worsen for up to 72 hours post activity. You can help yourself during this period of discomfort by staying active. Even though it may feel like the last thing you want to do. You are more likely to get positive adaptive changes in the structure of your muscles by continuing to exercise gently. Try not to give yourself time off. It is important to also stay hydrated and you can use ice to ease pain especially for the first 24-48 hours.

After Physio on a Roll workouts you may feel a little sore but should not have trouble walking down stairs!

  • Rollers and DOMS

Strategic use of a  foam roller  can also be a great way to ease DOMS. Rolling can improve the blood circulation to the affected area. This aids in the removal of the by -products of the inflammatory response.

  • Incorporate cardio into your exercise routine. Aerobic exercise, like running, or tennis, can help build muscle if performed at the right intensity, duration, and frequency.
  • Eat a healthy diet that has a good dose of protein. These foods will fuel your workouts and help build muscle through certain amino acids like leucine. Animal sources have the most protein, but vegetable sources are also sufficient.

*Always remember to talk to your doctor or physio before starting a new workout routine. This is especially relevant if you have a health condition. They will have recommendations for exercise modifications that can help you use resistance to build strength but without compromising  your particular issues.