Learn why resistance exercises can create results, fast!
I’m going to share why resistance workouts are my favourite ‘go-to’ exercises when I want to create quick results. The best part is that it’s not complicated, and if you’re new to exercise or you don’t have any equipment at home, there are lots of resistance-workouts you can do at home, using nothing but your own bodyweight!
I’d like to start by addressing the most common (and incorrect) concern around resistance training. Working with and training thousands of people over the last 18 years I ‘ve regularly encountered resistance from women who don’t want to include resistance training in their fitness routine because they’ve been told it will make them bulky. Unfortunately are a lot of fitness myths out there, and this is one of the big ones.
I’m here to let you know resistance training doesn’t make women bulky. And, once you see and feel the amazing benefits of resistance training, I guarantee you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner!
Try my upper-body resistance workout video and I’ll show you how to tone your arms and upper body with 7 simple resistance-based exercises.
What is resistance training and why should I do it?
Resistance training is exercising against some kind of resistance or force, that makes your muscles contract and work harder. It’s designed to increase muscle strength and endurance.
Cardio works your heart, which is important, but we should not neglect all our muscle groups, joints and bones which are just as critical for us to achieve all-round fitness. That’s where resistance training comes in.
The point of resistance training is to really strengthen and shape your body.
Is weight training the same thing as resistance training?
Weight training and resistance training are often confused. Weight training is simply one of many options when it comes to resistance training. Resistance training could be kettlebells, bodyweight, suspension straps, bands, medicine balls and so on.
If you are really looking to shape and strengthen your body and have well rounded fitness you should be including some sort of resistance work.
What kinds of workouts focus on resistance training?
When it comes to resistance training the options and types of exercises are endless. I’m a fan of Pilates and yoga. They’re both forms of resistance training with a specific focus.
Looking for a whole-body type of resistance workout?
You might try high-intensity interval training (HIIT), circuit training, TRX, stability work, functional group sessions – or – you can join my 28 online program and get results from the comfort of your own home.
What kind of equipment is used with resistance training?
Resistance training might include exercises that use equipment such as:
- resistance bands,
- suspension straps,
- medicine balls,
- some gym equipment, and
- any kind of free-form weight like dumbbells
Of course, you don’t need a lot of exercise gear, in fact, many resistance workouts don’t require any equipment at all!
Try a resistance workout with Sam
Try this upper body HIIT workout at home
Workout time needed: 28 minutes.
How to do an upper-body resistance HIIT workout at home (with a resistance band)
- Band Push-Ups (do the max you can)
Loop the resistance band around your hands and behind your back. Get yourself into a plank position with your hands on the floor slightly wider than your shoulders. Perform a push-up movement, lowering your chest to the floor and pushing back up. You can also perform this exercise on your knees if you find push-ups challenging.
- Band Overhead Tricep Extension (20 reps)
Loop your resistance band under the couch or under a table. Hold the band with both hands behind your head. Push the band overhead while keeping a slight bend at the elbows. Brace your abs, make sure you don’t arch your back. Slowly lower your hands back behind your head, using your forearms. The upper arms should stay in the same place, with elbow pointed throughout the whole movement, engaging the triceps.
- Half Kneel Row – Right Side (15 reps)
Loop your resistance band under the leg of a couch or table. Hold the band with your right hand and get yourself into a half-kneeling position with your left leg bent. Now pull the band back, bending your elbow until your right hand is close to the right side of your ribcage. Note: Make sure you maintain great posture and don’t shrug as you execute the movement.
- Half Kneel Row – Left Side (15 reps)
Swap hands, taking the resistance band in your left hand, change your legs so your right leg is bent. Now repeat the half-row movement, this time your left hand is pulling the band back towards the left side of your ribcage.
- Band Shoulder Press (15 reps)
Using a smaller resistance band loop pull the band to create tension. Maintain the tension as you press it above your head. Return the band to just in front of chest and repeat.
- Band Curl (20 reps)
Stand inside the band with both feet Hold the band at hip height and focus on your biceps, while you curl the band up with your thumbs facing the sky. Curl up until your fists finish near your face.
- Band Upright Row (15 reps)
Loop your resistance band under the couch or under a table. Hold the band with palms facing inwards in front of your thighs. Keeping your back straight, pull the band up towards your chin. Make sure to keep your elbows higher than your forearms as you pull upwards. Lower the band back to starting position.
Repeat the entire workout sequence for another 3 rounds to get a great upper body resistance workout.
Still not convinced about resistance training?
Can you do resistance training without equipment?
You betcha! Resistance training can include a range of exercises that don’t require equipment where you can use your own body weight as the force your muscles can resist against. Resistance training can be very effective simply using your body weight. From squats, pull-ups and push-ups right through to Pilates and Yoga movements, they’re all brilliant forms of resistance exercises.
The benefits of resistance training
Here are 7 more reasons NOT to resist the resistance!
1. You lose more body fat and burn more calories
One of the many benefits of resistance training is that it tones and shapes lean muscle. When we have lean, toned muscle we increase our metabolism. A higher metabolism means that you will burn more calories all day long – long after you have finished your workout – even while you’re sleeping!
2. You’ll gain strength without bulking
One of the most common reasons women avoid resistance training is because they are afraid of “bulking.” This is a misconception, it physiologically cannot happen.
Don’t confuse an increase in muscle strength with an increase in muscle size.
3. You decrease the risk of osteoporosis
Resistance training not only strengthens your muscles; it strengthens your bones. Resistance training increases bone density (which reduces the risk of fractures and broken bones) to create a strong and healthy spine and is critical to combat natural bone attrition as we age.
4. You’ll reduce your risk of injury
Resistance training increases the strength of your connective tissues and joints. Strong joints, ligaments, and tendons can help you prevent injury. Strengthening muscles and connective tissue will reduce your chance of injury from daily tasks and routine exercise, and it can even improve your sports performance.
5. You’ll improve your posture and reduce pain
Resistance-training will strengthen your back, shoulders, and core, which can help correct poor posture so you can stand taller, with your shoulders back and spine straight. A stronger back and core also helps prevent lower back pain.
Having strong joints, ligaments, tendons can also relieve pain from osteoarthritis, as you’ll find your improved strength reduces the amount of strain/stress on your joints. (Reference: https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/managing-arthritis/living-with-arthritis/physical-activity-and-exercise/strength-training/ )
6. You boost your mood & reduce stressors
Weight-training can brighten your entire day or help you overcome a bad one by releasing endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that can prevent pain, improve mood, and fight depression. An increase in endorphins also naturally reduces stress and anxiety, and stimulate your mind to improve alertness and boost your overall energy.
Exercise and strength training release endorphins, which provide a natural, ‘happy high’.
7. You’ll get the best results
To continually change our body, we must continually challenge our body – and this means changing up the intensity and type of exercises we do. This is exactly what resistance training can provide as there are countless exercises and routines available. Plus, as an added bonus, ‘changing it up’ helps us stay motivated to exercise as our mind stays stimulated!
How to get started with resistance training
With all the health and fitness benefits gained from resistance training, I hope you’ll be motivated to try it yourself. It’s now just a question whether you want to workout at home or if you prefer going to the gym.
At the gym: An experienced fitness trainer will be able to create a resistance program for you to ensure you get the best results.
At home: If you’d prefer to get the same benefits from the comfort of your own home, you can join 28, my online workout program. There are hundreds of fully customisable workouts, a tasty nutrition plan, plus you’ll also get daily motivation from me in real-time!
FREE guide to resistance band workouts
Fill out your details and I’ll send you my fully illustrated guide to getting a great full-body workout at home… using nothing but a simple resistance band!
So, my final note…
Don’t resist the resistance. If you’re looking to tone up and burn fat, remember resistance training will help you burn calories even after you’ve finished training. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day.