Why you should incorporate resistance training in your workout

By PCYC Dalby Gym+Fitness Instructor, Renee

The world of resistance training.  Those who do it, couldn’t imagine their lives without it and those who don’t are missing out!  The benefits of resistance training go far beyond the ability of being able to carry in the weekly grocery shop all in one go.  Sometimes half of the struggle is where to start!

The rules are simple – working the muscles against external force or resistance, will improve overall muscular strength, fitness, and endurance.  “But how?” you may ask.  It all starts by picking your weapons of choice – resistance bands, dumbbells, barbells, plate weights, cans of baked beans, kettlebells, or good old fashioned body weight!  From here, the possibilities are endless, but let’s go through some of the basic principles.

Warm up

If you are planning a resistance training session, an appropriate warm up is a must.  This means more than just jumping on a treadmill for a few minutes.  An effective warm up should consist of not just cardiovascular work but also mobility, stability and dynamic stretches that are specific to the muscle groups that will be worked during the session.  Along with some core activation such as planks (side and conventional) bird dogs or dead bugs should have your primed and ready to train!

Movement patterns

Form over weight every time! To ensure we finish the training session injury free we must first ensure that movement patterns are safe!  Overloading poor movement patterns is a sure-fire way to a popped valve.

Tap into your body’s natural weightlifting belt

Every body is equipped with its own built in weight lifting belt, otherwise known as your transverse abdominis.  Every movement that is made, whether bearing load or not, should first start with a tight brace or the ‘lockdown’.  This will ensure that the movement is stabilised, controlled and safe.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

Train with a purpose, this could mean anything from building muscle, training for a marathon or just a bit of mental clarity – To avoid walking around a gym wondering what to do, make sure you have a plan of attack in place before hand.  Goal setting, tracking training sessions or following a training plan are all great ways to measure progress and give you a point of focus to work towards. If you are not sure what to at the gym, try our 12 week Activ8 Fundamentals program!

Rising the lows

It is guaranteed that you will not always be motivated to train.  A health and fitness journey should be a sustainable lifetime commitment that you make to yourself.  Not an 8-week block filled with smashing yourself in the gym and severely restricting your diet.  Creating balance through eating for need, not want, and training for the benefit of a better functioning body, will see your habits take the reins when motivation fails you.  In saying this, it is also so important to listen to your body and take the time to rest to avoid overuse injuries and burn out.

Make it fun

Even though your training sessions should challenge you to some extent, don’t spend hours every week working through a training plan that doesn’t (in the words of Marie Kondo) “spark your joy”!  Do the things you love! If you love lifting weights – lift weights, if you love boxing, then box, if you love to run, RUN! If your idea of fitness is dancing, then DO IT!  It’s your own personal journey and the only person you should be accountable to if yourself. Make it yours and make it count!