The Transformative Power of Resistance Training Unveiling 5 Key Benefits

Welcome to the Aptitude Blog. Our mission is to bring you a mixture of things that will be fun, useful and even imaginative – helping you to achieve your goals at the gym and give you some valuable insight into our world and the different things that are going on. 

In our first post, we are going to spend a bit of time talking about the benefits of resistance training. It’s not just for young people or body builders. If you’re looking to stay strong, healthy and aligned, then resistance training is the way. Without further ado, here is our first blog.

The transformative power of Resistance Training

One quick leap into social media and you’ll think that there is a new fitness trend for every day of the week. With more and more trainers appearing in your feed promoting the health benefits of any random exercise they can to stand out, health and fitness has become a bit of a minefield.

It’s important to remember a few basic principles when it comes to your health and fitness goals. A sensible diet, regular exercise and good rest are all essential to function well and help to avoid injury and illness in the later years. 

Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a newcomer to the gym, incorporating resistance training into your routine can yield transformative results for your physical and mental well-being. 

Let’s delve into the five key benefits backed by scientific studies, highlighting why resistance training deserves a prime spot in your fitness regimen.

Muscle Strength and Mass Improvement

Resistance training, often synonymous with weightlifting, is a potent catalyst for muscle strength and mass enhancement. A landmark study published in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” found that individuals engaged in resistance training experienced significant gains in both upper and lower body strength over a 12-week period (Gentil et al., 2017). This increase in muscle strength is not only essential for daily activities but also contributes to enhanced athletic performance and overall functional fitness.

Resistance training also has the added benefit of stimulating muscle growth (muscle hypertrophy) which results in a boosted metabolism, sculpted muscle (over time) and overall better physical performance. 

Bone Density Enhancement

It sounds boring, but bone density is a big worry for many people, especially for women going through menopause and general ageing. Osteoporosis, a condition characterised by weakened bones, can however be combatted. Resistance training has been identified as an effective strategy to combat bone loss.

Research published in the “Journal of Bone and Mineral Research” indicates that resistance training positively influences bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, a group particularly vulnerable to osteoporosis (Lohman et al., 2008). By subjecting bones to increased stress through weight-bearing exercises, resistance training stimulates bone remodelling and enhances mineralization, ultimately reducing the risk of fractures and maintaining bone health.

Metabolic Boost and Weight Management

If you’re looking to shed excess weight – and we know that this time of the year is the time when we can’t say no to that lonely mince pie, then resistance training emerges as a potent ally in the battle against our excess eating, and subsequent weight gain.

It’s not all just about steps or training for a 10km run, studies have shown that resistance training significantly enhances metabolic rate and promotes fat loss.

A meta-analysis published in the “Journal of Obesity” revealed that resistance training not only contributes to fat-free mass gain but also induces a prolonged elevation in resting metabolic rate, facilitating weight management (Westcott, 2012). The inclusion of resistance training in your fitness routine can thus be a game-changer for those seeking sustainable weight loss and improved body composition.

Mental Well-being and Stress Relief

Arnold Schwarznegger wasn’t just the most incredible Mr Olympia for his generation, he became the highest paid film star and eventually, the Governor of California. What does all this have to do with resistance training? 

Well, the benefits of resistance training extend far beyond physical improvements, with a growing body of evidence highlighting its positive impact on mental well-being. Engaging in regular resistance training has been associated with reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

A study published in the “Journal of Sports Science & Medicine” demonstrated that resistance training significantly decreased symptoms of anxiety in young adults, emphasising its potential as a non-pharmacological intervention for mental health (Gordon et al., 2017). The release of endorphins during resistance training acts as a natural mood enhancer, offering stress relief and a sense of accomplishment.

In Schwarznegger’s case, when running for Governor, doing the 20 hour days on set or just general wellbeing today (as highlighted in his weekly newsletter), resistance training allows him to “release from the day” that without wouldn’t be otherwise possible. 

Enhanced Cognitive Function

The cognitive benefits of resistance training go beyond the physical realm, as research suggests a positive correlation between muscular strength and cognitive function. A study published in the “Journal of Aging and Physical Activity” found that older adults engaged in resistance training exhibited improved cognitive performance compared to their sedentary counterparts (Liu-Ambrose et al., 2010).

The mechanisms behind this cognitive enhancement are multifaceted, involving improved blood flow to the brain, increased production of neurotrophic factors, and the mitigation of age-related decline in neural connectivity. Incorporating resistance training into your routine may thus not only sculpt your physique but also sharpen your mind.

Good for the muscles, the bones, stress relief and even the mind, resistance training is one of the most holistic approaches to fitness. 

From sculpting a strong and lean physique to fortifying bones and boosting cognitive function, the evidence supporting the advantages of resistance training is compelling. As you embark on your fitness journey, consider the transformative power of resistance training – a potent tool for achieving optimal health and well-being.

If you don’t know where to begin or need help in setting some resistance fitness goals, then get in touch with our team today. We can help talk you through where to start and our personal trainers are available to help you smash your goals throughout the whole year.

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