First of all, I would like to say I have no bias regarding any training methodology, each have merit for the individual that follows that path. Early on in my personal training career, I experienced quite a lot of resistance – pardon the pun – regarding weight training. This was due to a misconception that weight training was in fact Bodybuilding. Perhaps this is due to the proliferation of magazines at checkouts displays showing Bodybuilders in screaming poses holding a dumb bell.
One of the most common fears expressed is: “I want to start fitness training but I don’t want to get big muscles”. Bodybuilding is a past time and one that takes dedication, diligence and a lot of time to gain the desired result. The training methodology differs from fitness training, as size and definition are the goal.
Obviously weights are used but this does not define the use for dumb bells or other resistance training equipment.
Weight training has similarities with bodybuilding, the exercises are similar but the rhythm of training differs. For example, bodybuilding will use a slower tempo, with a heavier load and a greater rest period between each set. The important thing here is that weight training may be used for sport specific training, strength training and various other modalities. The result of which are specific for the individual. However, the effect on the physiology is similar as are the benefits.
The fear of gaining increased body mass by using weights may be considered to be irrational and may hold you back from – on first blush – other unknown benefits.
Resistance is important, if we look to the bone and how resistance challenges the integrity of the bone we discover that, the more compression, flexion, extension and torsion applied on a bone the stronger it becomes. In the book Healing Moves by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell Krucoff MD, page 144 :
“Physical impact and weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation. Just as a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you use it, a bone becomes stronger and denser when you regularly place demands upon it”. Healthy bones also promote a healthy immune system as the cells of the immune system are derived from stem cells in the bone marrow.
Resistance or weight training is very important for numerous reasons. The health benefits out weigh the material aesthetics, all though being slim and strong are desirable attributes. Increased bone density and healthy immune system are just as cool.