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What the Health: Resistance Training

Resistance training can be an accessible, great way to stay active
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GRACE XU/THE VARSITY
GRACE XU/THE VARSITY

You may have come across something called “resistance training” while reading about how to improve your health. Resistance training refers to working against some force or weight to increase muscle strength. For example, when you use free weights, you are doing resistance training.

There are a multitude of benefits to regularly doing resistance training. The primary ones are stronger muscles, better stamina, improved flexibility, and the ability to manage your weight — all of which can protect your body from injury.

Nowadays, maintaining our health is more important than ever. Most of us spend the majority of our time indoors while remaining sedentary. One way we can change this habit is by doing resistance training at home. However, dumbbells and other equipment can be quite expensive, and therefore are not accessible to everyone.

Fret not — if you wish for a way to do resistance training, look no further than your own body. Resistance training involves working against some force; fortunately, that force can be your own bodyweight. Some resistance training exercises that use your bodyweight as a counterbalance include pushups, pullups, squats, and many others that can be found online.

When doing resistance training, it is important that you work your major muscle groups equally. One way to do this is by dedicating days to workouts for certain muscle groups. To prevent injury, it’s recommended to take 48 hours of rest between working out the same muscle group and stretching before every workout.

There are two factors that will maximize your muscle gains. The first is consistency, which means working out at least two to three times a week. The second is a technique called ‘progressive overload,’ which simply refers to upping the intensity of training each time you work out so that your body adapts by increasing muscle strength. This could mean increasing the number of repetitions of the same exercise that you perform without pausing, reducing rest time between sets of those repetitions, and more.

Resistance training may seem daunting at first, but it can do wonders for your body when done the right way.