Briefly let me first define resistance training and then I’ll tell you my ‘Why’. I’ll explain the reasons why I do resistance training, why my clients do resistance training and why I’ll never give it up.
Resistance training is exercise which requires the muscles to work against some form of resistance. These movements increase the demand on your muscles and central nervous system. This change from normal daily movements to resisted movements causes an adaption and this adaption causes your muscles to get stronger. Resistance training is used for building muscles; improving performance and recovering from injuries.
But that is not what resistance training REALLY means to me or why I continue to do it every week. Resistance training is incredibly empowering. It has helped me realise what my body is capable of other than just focusing on what my body looks like. Even when I lift a weight or do an exercise that is completely challenging I trust my body and really feel that through the struggle I am strong, failure or not. This psychological element is what keeps me coming back day after day, week after week and is better motivation for me than training only for appearance goals.
There are many physiological reasons to strength train; list upon list is provided with any google search. But what matters to me is reducing pain and delaying age related loss of strength and bone loss. It is important to me to be able to remain active throughout my life for as long as I possibly can and enjoy a better quality of life. I know if I keep my body strong and active that I don’t experience as much ache and pains than when I don’t train or move as much. These pains are anything from shoulder and neck pain, lower back pain or the discomfort of getting fatigued and out of breath doing normal everyday activities.
Building Trust with your Body
At some point in your life you may feel like your body has let you down. This could have left
you with a feeling of ambivalence or disconnect with your own body. Some of my clients have commented on how resistance training has helped them reconnect and believe in themselves again. They said this self belief appeared as standing up for themselves, not dwelling on situations out of their control and putting themselves forward for opportunities and events they wouldn’t have had the courage to do previously.
Remember your first big challenge
If you’re reading this and you are resistance training already or maybe it’s something you want to get back to, think back to the first time you lifted or did something in the gym that you really didn’t think you could do. But despite this lack of belief, you did it. You were faced with the proof that the constraints you felt were all inside your own mind and in fact you were capable of more than you thought.
Think back to your own experience, how did you feel in that moment? Remember the power you felt in these moments and think if I could do that, what else can I do?
This increased psychological sense of strength has positive effects on our mental health and transfers outside of the time we spend in the gym or at fitness classes. For me the hours I clock up training don’t just relieve stress through fatigue and mental exhaustion but the continued sense of power gives me the strength to feel more mentally capable throughout my day.
Taking the next step
Through my own experience and watching my clients develop I strongly recommend women do resistance training. I hope that these reasons have shown that resistance training has nothing to do with fat loss, being smaller, taking up less space, slimming or whatever diet culture wants you to believe you should do. I want all women to know that resistance training is more than just building a body for other peoples approval. If fat loss is your goal try focusing on what your body is capable of, how you feel, how powerful you are and let fat loss become a side effect.
I would encourage anyone who has been thinking about starting or getting back to resistance training, or about building resilience, taking the focus off ONLY how you look or wanting to feel physically stronger to give resistance training a chance.
If you don’t know where to start please get in touch. I help women become the happiest, fittest most confident versions of themselves.
Here’s how I do that,
Use behaviour based habits to improve nutrition without restrictions and meal plans
Use safe and effective methods to teach how to exercise so you achieve maximum results
Address body image concerns and provide easy to follow steps to love or accept the way your body looks, feels and performs.
Make your life and achieving goals easier rather than adding difficultly to your life chasing unrealistic expectations of perfection
I would love to hear what your experiences of resistance training are and how it makes you feel? Comments here and on Social Media are always welcome.