Updated February 19th, 2024 at 18:15 IST

Understanding Resistance Training: Building Strength, Muscle, Endurance

Unlike cardio like running or cycling, which primarily focus on improving endurance, resistance training targets muscle strength.

Understanding Resistance Training | Image:Unsplash
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Resistance training, also known as strength training or weightlifting, is a form of exercise that involves using resistance—such as free weights, resistance bands, or body weight—to challenge and strengthen muscles. Unlike cardiovascular exercises like running or cycling, which primarily focus on improving cardiovascular health and endurance, resistance training targets muscle strength, size, and power.

How resistance training works

File photo of resistance training | Unsplash

During resistance training, muscles are subjected to external resistance, causing them to contract and generate force against the resistance. This process stimulates muscle fibers to adapt and grow stronger over time. There are various methods of resistance training, including:

Free Weights - Exercises using dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or other handheld weights allow for a wide range of motion and target specific muscle groups.

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Resistance Bands - Elastic bands provide resistance throughout the entire range of motion and are versatile for performing exercises targeting different muscle groups.

Bodyweight Exercises - Exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges use the body's weight as resistance and can be modified to suit different fitness levels.

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Benefits of resistance training

Resistance training stimulates muscle growth by causing microscopic damage to muscle fibers, which then repair and grow stronger during the recovery process.

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File photo of resistance training | Unsplash

Weight-bearing exercises like resistance training help increase bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially as we age.

Building lean muscle mass through resistance training can boost metabolism, helping to burn more calories even at rest and aiding in weight management.

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Resistance training improves overall functional strength, making everyday tasks easier and reducing the risk of injury during physical activities.

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts use resistance training to improve sports performance, agility, and power, translating into better performance in their respective activities.

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Strengthening muscles around joints helps improve stability and reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, resistance training can improve flexibility when combined with stretching exercises.

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Published February 19th, 2024 at 18:15 IST