Hard to Resist
What you need to know about resistance training
Resistance training has been gaining in popularity for more than a decade. But what exactly is it?
Basically, resistance training is any exercise, routine, or workout that causes your muscles to contract against some external resistance. Resistance training induces muscle contraction, says Susie Reiner, fitness director at Club Fit in Briarcliff. “When you're doing resistance exercises, small muscle fibers break down,” she explains. When the body repairs itself, the muscles get stronger. To do resistance exercises, you can use weights, dumbbells, tubes or bands, and a variety of other objects — even your own body weight.
Resistance training is used to build muscle, gain strength, increase endurance, tone up, and help with weight loss or weight management. While cardio exercise is important, Billy Goda, fitness director at The Saw Mill Club and The Saw Mill Club East in Mount Kisco, says resistance training builds muscular strength and endurance in ways that cardio does not.
A word of advice: If you’re a beginner, consider a session with a personal trainer who can get you started on a safe program that you can build upon as you get stronger, and that’s right for your needs, goals, and abilities.