Adding Resistance to your Session
It’s important to build on the fitness platform you’ve created as you work out. You gain knowledge about your body and awareness of your strengths and your weaknesses. Now you can start adding resistance to your sessions.
In a previous blog, I’ve mentioned that introducing resistance into your workout has an important bearing on your health and wellness. Resistance will improve bone density, improve strength which in turn reduces joint and back pain, improve posture and an interesting one – help burn fat. Using resistance serves to draw fat away from the organs and the fat cells and burns it off as energy via the muscle cells.
Getting started with resistance
Using body weight as resistance will initially be enough. I’m 178cm and 68kg, so using my body weight to press or plank is way more than I’d ever lift in a gym situation. Using your own body weight is effective and it means you can work out with resistance anywhere, anytime. Adding resistance with weights will increase these benefits by improving the tone and strength of the muscles.
Choosing a weight
A good way to find the right weight is to choose resistance which is comfortable at the start of the repetition but heavy enough to be really hard at the end of the repetition. Increasing the load every few weeks as you begin to adapt and the weights start to feel easier to handle. This is a good base, however everybody is different and responds differently but getting it right in the beginning is important for progress.
I often prescribe compound exercises – using more than one muscle group,such as squats and lunges, so using a heavier weight would be effective for these while exercising one or smaller muscle groups, such as bicep curls – maybe start by using a lighter resistance. While using resistance it is important to perform the exercises using good technique to avoid injury.
To see a difference in tone we will need to further increase the resistance but done over time and with good form. This permits the muscle to be briefly overloaded causing the body to produce more muscle fibre in response to what it sees as muscle damage stimulated by the production of growth hormone. Increases in the body’s metabolism through continuing your regular resistance workout will allow more fat to be drawn into the muscle cells and burnt off as energy.
Gradually does it
As with everything new, start gradually and build up, your body will adapt through continued repetition of the same exercise. It is important to keep your technique perfect to avoid injury.