Strengthening and the concept of resistance training are processes that tend to go hand in hand with physiotherapy and long term self-management of numerous musculoskeletal conditions. However, resistance training itself comes in many different forms which are designed to achieve specific goals such as power, endurance or strength. So how does resistance training work and what are the guidelines for achieving functional and sustainable outcomes?
Physiologically, resistance training is theorised to work in numerous ways including increasing the amount of neural firing to muscles, improving the oxidative capacity of muscles and stimulating the production of additional fibre-developing compounds. Utilising the principle of resistance overload will ensure that the body is required to continue these processes and physical adaptations will be maintained.
Research has demonstrated that regular resistance training has numerous health benefits outside of pure muscle strengthening including reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering body fat, decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels and facilitating greater levels of bone mineral density.
According to the most current ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) guidelines, these are the recommended parameters for general resistance training:
- Resistance training should be performed on a minimum of two non-consecutive days each week, with one set of 8-12 repetitions for healthy adults or 10-15 repetitions for older and frail individuals.
- 8-10 exercises should be performed that target the major muscle groups
- Resistance exercises can be performed with various methods including free weights, Pilates machines, bands or with body weight
Prior to starting a resistance training program it is important that a thorough medical screening is done in consultation with your GP. After you’ve been given the all clear then why not call Tailor Made Physiotherapy on 9481 9856 for additional advice and to develop a resistance program that has been customised to fit your specific needs.