Benefits of Resistance Training (RT)

There is overwhelming long term researched evidence that resistance training can be used to train and maintain skeletal muscle mass and function when the mechanical stimuli provided by tasks of daily living are not sufficient to offset the declines that occur in muscle engines with aging. The profound beneficial effects of RT on the musculoskeletal system can prevent osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and accompanying falls, fractures, and disabilities.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine have each endorsed moderate-intensity RT as a complement to aerobic exercise programs in the prevention, treatment, and control of hypertension.

RT has beneficial effect on bone density, osteoarthritic symptoms and lipid profiles. It is recommended to improve and maintain blood pressure and cardiac health. Resistance Training has also been linked to improvement in type II diabetes and Parkinson’s. 8 weeks of RT has been shown to be effective at decreasing adiposity. RT is a novel potential primary prevention strategy for healthy and higher-risk children that may improve a key component of the metabolic risk profile in children.

The RT Training marketplace began in 1936 when Jack LaLanne opened the 1st profession gym in California. Since that time growth and interest in RT has been exponential. The addition of better tools, better instructors, better technology and a developing body of science and research has fostered a growing market worldwide. Resistance Training is here to stay but it remains dynamic, flawed and under construction.
RT machines place the greatest amount of force where a muscle is the strongest; it can be a safe way to apply the overload necessary to stimulate muscle growth after an injury to a specific muscle engine. RT machines specifically stress the contractile element of muscle. They do not stress the elastic component of fascia and the connective tissue responsible for providing shape and transmitting forces from one section of muscle to another. Improving muscle size and strength and definition requires using external resistance to stimulate the contractile element to become capable of generating higher levels of force. Machine training is the most effective and safest for achieving this outcome.
Machines provide the most time-efficient means of being able to perform drop sets to the point of complete fatigue, which ensures that all fibers in a particular muscle have been engaged. Machines work well for develop a custom circuit training program to use especially when not working directly with a professional or trainer (36). Resistance training machines often place the user in a fixed position that doesn’t mimic a functional movement. They let the rest of your muscles relax while you focus on a specific area. Most machines don’t offer a compound movement pattern that has been found to be an important piece of RT. Machines force the body to move in a fixed path of motion. This one factor helps muscles stabilize, but at the same time can force the body to move in a way that is not entirely natural – which can place stress on joints and tendons that are not used to the movement pattern. As with any movement done repeatedly, you can set up a repetitive motion injury. Free weights, cables and tubes can give you a less restrictive path of motion. Most machines train you while sitting and “sitting may be the new smoking”. RMT is gravitational with the force always being directed downward.