Are You Doing Enough for Strength Training
Resistance training is to improve muscle fitness by exercising a muscle or a muscle group against external resistance. This training can incorporate using own body weight, resistance bands, free weights and dumbbells, balls or weight machines.
Am I getting enough minutes of exercise per week?
American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity in a week. Moderate-intensity activity guide is that it makes you work hard enough to break a sweat, but still able to carry on a conversation. The activity can be a combination of aerobic and strength training exercises. One helps to maintain or improve cardiorespiratory while the other is on muscular fitness and function.
Example of the distribution of your 150 minutes of activity can be like this :
30 minutes on Wednesday, 1 hour on Saturday and 1 hour on Sunday
Strength training is recommended for minimum of 2 days each week, with 8 to 12 repetitions of 8 -10 different exercises that target all the major muscle groups.
How does strength training benefit me?
It helps to maintain and combat muscle mass loss as we age. It also helps to prevent osteoporosis and decrease risk of heart disease by lowering body fat, and lowering the stress placed on heart while lifting a particular load.
What should I note before beginning an exercise programme?
Seek medical evaluation and clearance before engaging with an exercise, especially if you have blood pressure or heart condition which you can only participate in physical activity recommended by your doctor, a previous chest pain, loss of balance from balance or loss of consciousness, a bone or joint problem.
Which one should I start with?
Whichever form of resistance exercise is chosen, large muscle group exercises should be performed before smaller group exercises. Start at a comfortable pace and if any pain or discomfort, individuals should discontinue activity and seek medical consultation if necessary.
How many percent of load should I start with?
For beginners, you can try with 60-70% of the heaviest weight you can lift with maximum effort in a single repetition and 80-100% for advanced level.
How many sets should I do for building muscle strength?
You can start with 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions, once advanced, you can go for 2-6 sets of 1-8 repetitions. Rest 1-2 minutes between each set and exercise for lower intense exercises with light loads, and 2-3 minutes if you are using heavier loads at higher intensity.
It is recommended that you engage in the strength activities that are relative to your abilities. Some forms of mind body exercise (MBE) such as Qigong, Taichi, yoga and pilates can also provide strength and health benefits. Maintenance of balance is important in fall prevention, it is found that individual who engage in physical activities such as brisk walking, stationary cycling, resistance training and taichi or qigong have better overall balance.
(updated : February, 2020)
Disclaimer : The website may contain information relating to various conditions and treatment, gathered and sourced from reputable sources. However, this is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, it is solely intended for informational purposes only. Patients should always consult with a doctor or healthcare provider for thorough medical advice and information about diagnosis and treatment.
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) information on resistance training for health and fitness.
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