What’s resistance training and why should I bother?
Resistance training, also known as strength training or weight lifting, is the practice of performing exercises against resistance to build and strengthen muscles. If you’re someone who’s already doing cardio workouts, such as running or cycling, then incorporating resistance training can improve your overall fitness level and offer a range of other benefits.
By adding resistance training to your routine, you’re increasing your muscle mass, which in turn increases your metabolism. This can help to burn more calories throughout the day, even when you’re not working out. Resistance training can also help to improve your posture, balance, and stability, making it easier to move and reduce the risk of injury.
For people who are looking to build muscle, resistance training is a must. Building muscle can bring a host of benefits, including better bone health, increased energy and strength, and a more defined physique. But even if you’re not looking for a bodybuilder’s physique, incorporating resistance training into your cardio routine can significantly improve your overall fitness level and give you a leaner, more toned appearance.
Types of Resistance Training: Let’s Pump Some Iron
Now that we know the benefits of resistance training, let’s explore the different types of workouts we can do to build our muscles and boost our metabolism. There are four main types of resistance training we can do: bodyweight exercises, free weights, resistance bands, and weight machines.
Bodyweight exercises are those exercises that use our own bodyweight as the resistance. These exercises include push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks. They are easy to do at home, and they are ideal for beginners because we don’t need any equipment. Moreover, we can modify them to make them more challenging as our strength improves.
Free weights are another way to do resistance training. These are weights that are not attached to a machine, and they include dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. Free weights can be used to work any muscle group, and we can easily increase or decrease the weight to challenge ourselves.
Resistance bands are an inexpensive and portable alternative to free weights. These elastic bands come in different resistance levels, and they can be used to mimic the movements we do with free weights. Resistance bands are great for beginners or those who prefer not to use weights because they can reduce the risk of injury, and they are easy to store and take with us wherever we go.
Weight machines are found in most gyms, and they offer a great way to work our muscles in a controlled way. They come in different types, such as chest press, leg press, and lat pulldown, and they allow us to adjust the resistance to suit our strength level. Weight machines can be challenging for beginners, but they are effective for targeting specific muscle groups, especially if we are recovering from an injury.
Now that we know the types of resistance training, we can choose the one that suits our goals and preferences. To avoid boredom and maximize our results, we can also mix and match the different types of resistance training in our workouts.
Include Resistance Training in Your Cardio Routine
When it comes to working out, most people prioritize cardio, believing that this is the only way to lose weight and get fit. However, incorporating resistance training into your cardio routine can help you achieve your fitness goals faster and more effectively.
The first step to incorporating resistance training into your cardio routine is to warm up properly. A warm-up should include movements that increase your heart rate and loosen up your muscles. You could start with a light jog, jumping jacks, or dynamic stretches to get your body ready for the workout.
Next, choose exercises that target different muscle groups. Mixing things up helps balance your body and avoid overtraining certain muscles. Exercises like squats, push-ups, lunges, and pull-ups are great bodyweight exercises. You could also use free weights, resistance bands, or weight machines to add more resistance and variety to your routine.
Setting realistic goals is also important. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you tailor your workout plan. Start with small goals and gradually work your way up. For example, you could aim to increase your resistance or complete more reps of an exercise each week.
Remember to focus on form and technique, especially when using weights. Incorrect form can lead to injury and undermine all your hard work. You should also make sure you give yourself enough time to recover between workouts.
By incorporating resistance training into your cardio routine, you will not only improve your overall fitness but also reduce your risk of injury and improve your bone density. You could try different combinations of resistance training and cardio, such as alternating days or doing both in the same workout. Whatever you choose, make sure you enjoy the process and stay consistent.
If you want more tips on incorporating resistance training into your cardio routine, check out this helpful article.
Final Thoughts: Resistance Training is Key to a Holistic Fitness Regime!
So there you have it folks, my take on how resistance training can take your cardio routine to new heights. I have been practicing resistance training for years now and I can testify to the tremendous benefits it has brought to my overall fitness journey. By adding bodyweight exercises, free weights, resistance bands, and weight machines into your cardio routine, you can increase lean muscle mass, improve your physical strength, boost your metabolism, and achieve a toned and defined physique.
Remember, before incorporating any form of resistance training into your fitness regime, it is important to warm up properly and choose exercises that are appropriate for your fitness level. Setting achievable goals and tracking your progress along the way can also help you stay motivated and reap the maximum benefits of your workout routine.
With that being said, it’s time for you to take control of your fitness journey and start incorporating resistance training into your cardio routine today!