Progressive Resistance Training

I could tell you that resistance training is where you resist training and go back to the comfy sofa with your bumper bag of Doritos and 6 pack… of beer. But, I’m not gonna!

As a matter of fact, resistance training refers to training against resistance. But, what the hell does that mean, right?

Well, resistance could be anything which makes the natural order of a movement or exercise even more difficult.

Here are some examples…

  • Cycling into head winds…
  • Jogging with a heavy backpack…
  • Running whilst waist high in the sea…
  • Training with weights…

Resistance training isn’t simply done for the sake of it. It’s done because by adding any kind of resistance to a physical activity, the muscles are stimulated in such a way that (with the correct diet, of course) they compensate by growing stronger, or stronger and bigger.

You will notice that after significant time of performing resistance training, when you go back to activities done in the normal fashion, your performance will be that much better. You’ll be that much stronger and/or faster.

The key to the kingdom of resistance training is keeping it progressive.

For instance, making the resistance you train against increase. Of course, you can’t control the wind, nor make water thicker, which is why finding methods and exercises which utilize weights is so convenient and effective. Simply pop on another plate of a size increment of your choosing, and that’s your added resistance.

Some parts of your body such as your biceps and triceps may also be used against each other as resistance in the form of static isometric holds. (The biceps are flexed at a 90 degree angle, with the other arm holding them in this position, while you force with all of your might to contract the bicep fully.)

The result of such isometric body holds is, because the opposite muscles of both arms – biceps and triceps – are resisting each other, both become bigger and stronger in tandem in order to overcome the resistance they meet the next time… only… the muscles of the other arm come back stronger, too, so the cycle of growth and strength increases continue.

Resistance – and progressive resistance – training really is the only way to achieve bigger, stronger muscles. So, you may wish to think about how you can integrate progressive resistance training into your training. (P.S. Don’t be afraid of going into a fully blown weight training program – that’s excellent. Myths of becoming muscle bound are nonsense; the top athletes in the world all train with weights, and, the key to remaining supple is simply stretching regularly!)

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