Resistance training : Everything you need to know about lifting weights (Part 1)

Resistance training : An introduction –

Resistance training is done particularly for athletic performance. It  is known for its effects such as increasing muscular strength, power , speed, hypertrophy, local muscular endurance, motor performance, balance, and coordination .

Traditionally, it was only performed by elite athletes and bodybuilders. However it has gained a lot of popularity over the past two decades. This can be performed for most populations including adolescents, healthy adults, the elderly. It is also performed for clinical populations.

Types of resistance training




1.Recreational training- This involves resistance training for general fitness. This shows moderate improvements in muscle strength, local muscular endurance, and hypertrophy.

 2.competitive training-

Training is performed to maximize muscle hypertrophy, strength, power, and/or local muscular endurance.  Examples- power lifting , weightlifting , body building and athletics .

3.Maintenance training-  

Maintainence refers to the Training performed to maintain the current level of muscular fitness rather than to develop further gains. However it can result in detraining if training threshold is not met. Therefore it should be performed in cyclical manner.

resistance training- vcurehealthcare

Program design of resistance exercise-

This includes the following factors

1. Instruction

 2. Set a goal

3. Set proper variables for exercise

4. Progression of exercise

Exercise instruction

  1.  Focus on exercise instruction- This includes technique, breathing, and correct use of equipment. It is important to perform exercises in a proper technique to prevent injuries and maximise benefits. A qualified professional should supervise the session.

Before initiation it is important to identify if you are at risk to perform them. For people with injuries or illness, it is important to have a medical clearance. This ensures that resistance training is beneficial and does not prove to be harmful to an individual.

Individualised goals for resistance exercise

To ensure maximum benefits, it is important to have an individual goal.

Some common goals of resistance training include

 increases in muscle size,

increase in strength and power

 local muscular endurance

increase in balance and coordination

improved flexibility

to obtain reductions in body fat

to improve general health.

 Variables of resistance exercise

These include

: 1) muscle actions used

2) exercise selected

3) workout structure

4) sequencing

5) volume (total number of sets and repetitions)

 6) rest intervals between sets,

 7) repetition velocity,

 8) training frequency


Muscle actions

This can be concentric, eccentric or isometric.

Most programs use eccentric and concentric exercises.

Eccentric produces Greater force per unit of muscle size. Also, Eccentric actions require less energy per level of force. These and are critical for optimal hypertrophy, yet may result in more delayed onset muscle soreness. Dynamic muscular strength improvements are greatest with eccentric actions.

 Exercise selection

Two general types include free weight or machine exercises.

 single- and/or multiple-joint.  Exercises focusing on one joint or major muscle group are single joint exercises.

multiple joint exercises stress more than one joint . This also involve major muscle group. Both are effective.

Single-joint exercises, e.g., leg extension and leg curl. They target specific muscle groups. They posses less risk of injury.

 Multiple-joint exercises, e.g., bench press, squat, involve a more complex activation and co ordination. There is a large muscle mass involvement. These are most effective to improve strength.

 Exercise order and workout structure.

This refers to The sequencing of exercises and number of muscle groups trained during a workout. There are three basic workout structures:

 1) total-body workouts

 2) upper/lower body split workouts,

and 3) muscle group split routines.

Total-body workouts involve  one to two exercises for each major muscle group.

Upper/lower body split workouts involve performance of upper-body exercises during one session and lower-body exercises during another workout session.

Muscle group split routines involve performance of exercises for specific muscle groups during the same workout.Example- A “back biceps” workout.

Multiple joint exs show optimal gains. Proper technique is essential.


Some sequencing strategies include:

 When training all major muscle groups in a workout-

 1. perform large muscle group exercises first then proceed to small muscle group exercises;

 2. perform multiple-joint exercises in the start and then single joint ones.

3. perform total-body exercices depending on complexity, proceed from most complex to least complex.

The same principles apply for individual muscle groups and split muscle groups.

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