160320 Strengthening your body provides positive and specific health benefits (1 of 2)
It doesn’t seem to matter what mode of resistance you use to initially get stronger, i.e. machines, bands, or even your own bodyweight, it all counts. However if your goal is to become as strong and powerful as possible and build up useable lean muscle then you will be well advised to use free weights.
Let’s take a brief look at several important reasons to resistance train, beginning with your bone health.
Increasing your bone mineral density (BMD) is of paramount importance in preventing fractures that may occur if you fall. This increase in BMD comes through the use of an exercise protocol featuring either high repetitions, 10-20, with a load that is between 30-75% of your tested one repetition maximum (1RM) or loads between 80-90% for three to five sets of four to eight reps. The rest periods vary from one to four minutes between each set.
The best exercises to use in making your bones stronger are structural, multi joint, large muscle group exercises such as the squat, bench press, deadlift and the military press to mention just a few. Not only will these types of exercises produce stronger muscle contractions they also help keep you from falling.
Strength training helps reduce the chances of a fall by improving the strength of the muscles, increasing your bodies balance properties, and developing agility and coordination abilities.
The myth of using cardio machines to lose weight continues unabated, perpetuated by clueless trainers. Sadly enough, this isn’t the most productive course of action to take if you are trying to lose your unnecessary body fat.
Here is the reason it isn’t the best; while mindlessly riding a machine you are not building up your lean muscle mass. You need resistance to make your muscles adapt and grow. Once you get off the machine your body returns to its normal state relatively quickly. The residual effect of this type of exercise does not effectively carry over during the next few hours in contributing to a faster metabolism. Weight training does and it does so for hours afterwards.