Why you need to resistance train with a coach
Someone recently made a tongue in cheek comment to me that “real men don’t do cardio!” The inference was that men strength train and women use stationary bikes!
Well, we all know that’s not really true but it got me thinking about the types of training we tend to do and how we do often favour one type of training over another.
At Inspire we are extremely focused on strength training because a) it’s crucial for health and independence as we age, b) it’s a useful tool in weight management and c) we believe that for most people cardio is a lot easier to take up. You can walk, jog, run, cycle, swim etc. They’re all pretty simple and low cost and providing you don’t overdo it while you’re starting out, there’s a low risk of injury.
Resistance training, on the other hand, is more complex. You need to think about how to challenge your muscles. What’s the right weight to lift, how often, how many reps? Which exercises should you do? What about existing imbalances and how that affects you? How often should you change your programme? What equipment should you use, dumbbells, kettlebells, bars, suspension trainer, bodyweight? And it’s a lot easier to injure yourself through poor technique or inexperience with equipment.
See, it’s complex!
It’s unlikely that if you’re going to take up jogging, you’ll need a personal trainer to get you started. A phone, the couch to 5k app and a decent pair of trainers are all you really need but if you’re going to start resistance training, and you really should, then it’s a great idea to get a coach.
First, why should you? And, why does the World Health Organisation recommend at least two thirty-minute resistance training sessions a week as part of our overall activity? Because the benefits are well worth the effort and if you want to stay fit and active and independent for as long as possible, it’s essential.
Resistance training and increasing your muscle mass:
- Helps the body regulate blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity
- Improves blood pressure
- Helps prevent falls
- Increases the number of calories your body burns so helps manage weight
- Reduces the signs and symptoms of heart disease, arthritis and Type II diabetes
- Improves bone density reducing the risk of osteoporosis
- Improves sleep
- Can reduce depression and anxiety
- Improves cognitive function
- Improves gait and balance, also helpful in falls prevention
- Reduces back pain
- Helps manage blood cholesterol
- Reduces body fat
- Improves confidence
Sounds like a no-brainer doesn’t it?
So now you’ve decided to add a bit of strength training to your weekly workouts where DO you start? As we said, working with a personal trainer or coach is a really good idea when you’re starting out.
At Inspire, our programmes are specific to the individual. Not just based on where you’re starting from but also taking into account what your goal is and if you’ve got any existing injuries or muscle imbalances that need addressing.
We also regularly assess your progress to ensure that your programme develops at the right pace for you. This helps avoid plateaus in your training and keeps you safe.
The rest of your exercise will still be recorded in our free fitness app. Cardio is still important too and we want to recognize and reward your activity but we’ll give you much more help and guidance on your strength training programme because we want to make that as easy as cardio for you!