Dr. Steven Scappaticci, B.Sc. (Hons.), CSCS, DC, FRCms
Part 2: Resistance Training
Whether it’s training with body-weight, resistance bands, or free weights/machines, the benefits of resistance training are bountiful. Gone are the days where resistance training (commonly referred to as weight training) was seen as something solely for the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the world. Almost everyone can benefit from weight training in one way or another.
Before getting into more detail, I want to express the importance of mobility training that I highlighted in Part 1 of this 3-part series. Being able to control your joints when moving is essential before loading those joints from an external source such as a resistance band or free weight. Interestingly enough, weights such as kettle bells can often be used in the progression of mobility work, which is the perfect segway into our topic of resistance training.
As mentioned above, there are many ways to provide resistance to your body movements. Using your own body weight is a great way to master the movements that are needed for a particular exercise (i.e. squat) as well as being beneficial for warming up. Resistance bands and free weights provide additional load and stress multiple periarticular structures. It is important to know where to start and what your body needs before jumping into “Clean & Jerks”.
There are numerous health benefits that are associated with resistance training. Len Kravitz, Ph.D., has nicely summarized the adaptations and health implications of resistance training. Specifically, Dr. Kravitz mentions favorable adaptations involving muscle fiber size, muscle strength, bone composition (more on this below), body composition, heart rate & blood pressure, lipoproteins, and glucose metabolism. A number of these are important in preventing chronic diseases such as: cardiovascular disease & diabetes mellitus.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) has physical activity guidelines for many age groups. In a majority of these age groups, resistance training is included. It provides an increase in muscle mass and bone density for those that are still developing (i.e. 18 years old), while maintaining muscle mass and bone density for those who are older (i.e. 40 years old). Even more important is the incorporation of resistance training for the elderly, as it helps to prevent muscle loss (sarcopenia) as well as bone loss (osteopenia). In fact, when those who are diagnosed with osteoporosis are given a type of exercise to try and keep their bones healthy, the exercise they are given is weight-bearing exercises.
Overall, the benefits of resistance training are important to your health. You don’t have to be the one lifting the most weight in the gym, just as long as your body is challenged a bit.
Tip: When starting out, it may be beneficial to work with a personal trainer, strength coach, or an experienced partner.
Note: Consult with a health care practitioner before starting any new exercise regime. Similarly, if you have any joint pain, get examined/treated before putting that joint through any form of training.
What Patients Are Saying
I had an amazing foot treatment with Steve yesterday. It left me feeling like I have #newfeet #sharpdressedman" - Darlene