Resistance Training, what is it?
Before we begin, let us all acknowledge that fitness is hard. You may have already gone to the gym several times before to gain the muscles/body you dream off but fell short of that goal because for some reason you didn’t get the results you wanted.
If body fitness was a test, you might have kept failing. And why?
The answer is simple: you forgot about the second set of questions that were on the back of the paper.
Fitness is equal parts of exercise and nutrition. You cannot get rid of all that extra weight you have or build muscles without doing both. So before you read the rest of this page, make sure you have a proper diet in place. You aren't going to get any results from this if you don't eat the right stuff. Seriously, don't reward yourself for exercising with a burger, that's literally working in the opposite direction of our end goal.
Anyone who’s looking to build muscles probably has one of four goals:
- Superhero: To participate and win the next body-building competition or act in the next Marvel movie.
- Greek God: Look like a Greek God, six-packs and all, and do your best impression of Zeus.
- Functional fitness: So when there is a nuclear holocaust and all technology is wiped off the face of the earth, you can go handle the manual labor effortlessly
- Metabolically Healthy: Have enough muscle to be metabolically healthy and gain the benefits of living a long life.
The lower you go on the list, the easier and less effortful it is to achieve your goal.
- Superhero: Exercise every day, once in the morning and once in the evening, each session lasting between one to two hours
- Greek God: Exercise at 4 to 6 days a week (the older you are more efforts will be needed), each session lasting at least an hour
- Functional Fitness: Do monkey stuff, typically lasting 45 minutes a day, 4 to 6 days a week
- Metabolic flexibility and longevity benefits: 15 minutes a day, anywhere between once a day to once a week or less
This page is about becoming Metabolically healthy, if you can achieve this goal then you can shift upwards to Functional fitness.
However Greek God and Superhero are not DIY, you need professionals, like gym trainers and fitness coaches, to oversee your progress with them.
Progress: it will be slow, do not expect immediate results. Even visible changes will take three months. However, over 18 to 24 months the difference could add up to something amazing. So remember: consistency is key. You must be consistent over a long period of time.
Time this will take 10 minutes a day, once or twice a week that’s all. You can even do it while waiting at an airport! Tough maybe make sure you have enough space before starting. Last thing you want it to hit someone in the face by accident and then end up sitting with them for a six hour flight.
The Basics: Resistance training is performed not by lifting a heavy amount of weight, but by pushing your body to your very limits, straining your muscles by holding positions that may seem easy at first, but are difficult to do. A good example would be the Ironman(the exercise, not the superhero).
Keep in mind:
Movements must be slow, do not move quickly. The muscle will become completely fatigued in 90 seconds for most people.
Give 30 seconds rest before starting the next set.
For every following set, increase the weight or, if you are doing body exercises, exercises which uses your own body weight instead of things like dumbbells, like push-ups or dips, slow down your movement or use only one arm/leg.
Injury prevention: the reality of injury is real, don’t think it’s something that can never happen to you. As such working with body-weight exercises is better as the risk of injury is less.
- Sleep adequately: Your body recovers when you sleep. So you remember all those gym guys with t-shirts like, ‘Eat, Sleep, Gym’ shirts? Well, Sleep is there for a reason.
- Eat enough protein and ergogenic nutrition.
This is the basic process you need to follow for Resistance training:
- Load to failure: perform every exercise, not to a set count, but until your muscles cannot possibly perform another one of the movements.
- Wait for recovery
- Load again
For Loading you need to follow the following exercises:
- Push: Chest press or push-ups
- Pull: Lat pull down or pull-ups
- Legs: Rowing, dips (Pull), Leg press, Squats (Push).
So your exercise schedule must look a little something like this:
- Stretch: Very important.
- One push exercise, 3 sets, performed until failure.
- 30 seconds break
- One pull exercise, 3 sets, performed until failure.
- 30 seconds break
- One leg push exercise, 3 sets, performed until failure.
- 30 seconds break
- Give yourself a pat on the back and remember, tomorrow you have to stay consistent and do all of this again.
Note: after every exercise one must increase the difficulty as mentioned before.
For Best Results Possible: Triple failure:
- First failure: when your muscles are at a point where they take the maximum load.
- Second: Hold that position until you cannot anymore
- Third: Move to a position of minimum load and hold until you cannot do so again.
MAXIMUM LOAD: the position where you muscle will face the most resistance when performing an exercise. Example: Push up: the half-way point between the beginning at the ground and when you have fully pushed out your hand.
If the above mentioned format proves to be too difficult for first timers, which is understandable given the fact that most of might not always been ready to jump into the heart of a strenuous work schedule.
As such, here are several exercises that you can perform which will be significantly easier for beginners:
Push against a wall:
Pull up with a suspension trainer:
You can add two more exercises when you think you can ready to progress. The Rest cycle and increasing difficulty after every set remain the same.
If you went through a particularity hard session, causing your body/muscles to ache all over from fatigue then you need to stop and give enough time for recovery.
Recovery can take anywhere between 4 to 10 days, depending on the person. Starting before your body has fully recovered can result in injury to self.
Stay safe and consult a doctor is any issues come up with the given exercise.