Resistance training is any form of exercise that causes muscles to contract against an external force. The training works by introducing stress via resistance that breaks down muscle forcing it to rebuild. In a study published by Current Sports Medicine Reports, written by PhD. Wayne L. Westcott titled “Resistance Training is Medicine: Effects of Strength Training on Health” we can better understand the many advantages resistance training has on adults compared to normal exercise routines heavily focused on cardiovascular exercises. Dr. Westcott reports that inactive adults experience 3%-8% loss of muscle mass per decade paired with a resting metabolic rate reduction and major fat accumulation. Wescott also noted that after only a short 10 week resistant training program, many of these adults saw significant improvements such as a 1.4kg increase in lean weight, a 7% increase in resting metabolic rate and a fat reduction rate of 1.8kg. Interestingly enough Wescott and his team found some other benefits from resistance training as well. Along with improved physical performance such as walking speed, many of the participates noticed increased self esteem. Visceral fat reduction and increased insulin sensitivity due to training also assisted in participants management of type 2 diabetes.
Other studies including the research produced by Chris J. Has of the University of Florida, Barry Franklin of Beaumont Health System and M.S. Feigenbaum of Furman University support Westcott and his teams findings and provide further evidence as to why resistance training can help improve any individuals quality of life. Has and his team concluded that resistance training performed at sufficient intensity is the best way regardless of age for an individual to acquire and maintain a lean body mass. Has and his team also concluded that this training is not entirely time consuming and had seen major improvements in participants whom had exercised as little as 2-3 times per week. Interestingly enough, the University of Florida professor saw an increased oxygen intake of 22% in patients, a treadmill time to exhaustion increase of 26% and a 6.5% decrease in time to ascend a staircase in participants both male and female ages 60 and over. These every day, real life results are applicable to all of us and show in a more immediate detail the importance resistance training plays in our every day lives. Resistance training shows healths benefits in both the long and short term so regardless if we are looking to improve stamina to help with every day task or help improve our chances in battling chronic diseases that kill thousands each year, resistance training should be incorporated into everyones lifestyle.