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Here’s an overview of resistance training, the equipment you need and how to get started.

What is it?
Resistance training – sometimes called weight training or strength training – is a “specialized method of conditioning designed to increase muscle strength, muscle endurance and muscle power,” according to the American Sports Medicine Institute (HealthLinerx). Resistance training can be done in several ways: with resistance machines, free-weights (dumbbells and barbells), rubber tubing, or your own body weight as in doing push-ups, squats or abdominal crunches.

The goal of resistance training, the ASMI says, is to “gradually and progressively overload the musculoskeletal system so it gets stronger.” Regular resistance training strengthens your bones, builds and strengthens your muscles, and leaves your body more toned. Resistance training should not be confused with weightlifting, powerlifting or bodybuilding, which are competitive sports.

The National Strength and Conditioning Association, recommends that any fitness program should include resistance training, along with aerobic exercise and flexibility training. Aerobic workouts, which strengthen the heart, focus on the large muscle groups of the lower body. Strength training offers a way of balancing that by challenging all the major muscle groups, including those in the chest, arms, back and abdomen.

How many calories does it burn?
The number of calories you burn depends on your weight, the length of your session and how hard you work your muscles.

For example, a 130-pound female training hard for 20 minutes burns about 117 calories. A 150-pound female doing moderate training burns about 68 calories in the same period. A 180-pound male training moderately for 20 minutes burns about 81 calories. A 200-pound male training hard for 20 minutes burns 181 calories.

Advantages
Strengthening your muscles through resistance training offers many benefits and may make it easier to do your daily routine. You’ll find that carrying your briefcase, doing laundry and hauling groceries becomes easier when your arm and chest muscles are toned.

Here’s how resistance training can help:

Some types of lower back pain can feel better through strengthening muscles in your midsection.
Regular resistance training tends to improve posture.
Resistance training often makes sports and activities, such as golf, cross-country skiing and tennis, more enjoyable.
A regular program of resistance training can help protect your bones and internal organs.

Resistance training can help you burn more calories at rest and even while you sleep. Compared to fat, muscle tissue is more “metabolically active” at rest, meaning the body expends more energy (read: calories) to maintain a larger musculature.

Another advantage: Resistance training can be done almost anywhere. Joining a fitness center with a full circuit of resistance-training machines is nice if you can afford it and don’t mind exercising in a public place. But all you need is a carpeted floor or mat and set of dumbbells, barbells or other weighted objects. You can even use a phone book, bags of rice and liters of soda.

Disadvantages
While there are no disadvantages to resistance training, per se, you can strain a muscle or injure a joint if you don’t warm up properly, if you over train or if you don’t maintain correct form, or body position, throughout each resistance-training exercise.

Be sure to get your doctor’s OK before starting a resistance-training program. If you have a physical limitation or are recovering from an injury, see a physical therapist or exercise physiologist.

Some people have soreness, especially in the first week of workouts. However, this soreness is short-term and goes away quicker with after-workout stretching coupled with doing your weight training program regularly.

Who should participate?
Resistance training helps at any age. It can improve athletic performance. Coaches can guide teens through exercises that strengthen muscle groups used in the particular sport they are involved in.

As people age, strength training becomes even more important. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), loss of muscle mass, or sarcopenia, begins after age 30 and is accompanied by decreased muscle density and increased fat between the muscles. Muscle atrophy may result from the loss of muscle fibers and is directly proportional to age-related decreases in strength.

Embarking on a strength-training program, the ACSM says, can help older adults remain independent and prevent or delay the onset of some age-associated diseases. Using progressively increased resistance, strength training can also improve an older person’s ability to stand erect and avoid falls.

Learning to do resistance training
If possible, talk with a nationally certified exercise professional, such as a personal trainer, to instruct you on how to begin. Certified exercise professionals work at fitness centers and gyms to help you.

If you are planning strength training at home, read the instruction manual carefully before using any equipment. You can buy books on resistance training to help beginners get started and avoid injury and burnout.

Guidelines
Here are some things to keep in mind.

Get a physical exam before beginning a resistance-training program, especially if you have a medical problem, are very overweight, or have been inactive for some time. Ask your doctor to help you modify your routine if you have any physical limitations.
At the start of each exercise session, warm up for five to 10 minutes by doing light aerobic activity, such as walking on a treadmill. Warmed-up muscles are more flexible and less likely to be injured when challenged with weight.
Work every muscle group one at a time. This helps develop balance, both literally and aesthetically.
Begin your workout by challenging the large muscle groups of your lower torso, chest and back before moving to the smaller muscle groups in the arms. This helps prevent tiring the smaller muscles that help with other exercises.
Establish your fitness goals. If you are interested in developing bigger muscles, use heavier weights and do fewer repetitions, or “reps.” If you are mostly interested in improving muscle endurance, use lighter weights but do more reps.
If you are a beginner, start with relatively light weights and do 12 to 15 reps per set. Do only one set the first week, then you may want to increase to two sets the second week, and three sets beginning with the fourth or fifth week or whenever you feel ready for a greater challenge.
For your first few workouts, give yourself 90 seconds between sets to recover. As you get stronger, you may be able to gradually shorten your rest periods.
Try to go through your strength-training routine three times a week, waiting at least 48 hours between workouts. Every other day is a schedule that works well for most beginners. Crunches and other exercises that work the abdominal muscles can be done daily.
Never lock your joints. Keep your knees and elbows slightly bent, even at “full” extension.
If you are using resistance machines, make sure the machine is set correctly for your height.
Push or pull the weight up and down slowly, staying in control at all times. In this way, you are working your muscle in both directions.
Exhale during the exertion phase of your exercise. Never hold your breath while resistance training. Your muscles are working hard, so they need as much oxygen as they can get.
Try to visualize your muscle contracting. This helps you isolate the muscle group you are challenging and concentrate through the exercise.
Check your form in a mirror. When you can no longer perform with good form, it’s time to lower the weight or to rest.
Track your progress. Log how many reps and sets you do and how much weight you use for each exercise.
Vary your routine. Use a variety of exercises and modalities to challenge each muscle group.
Gradually increase the intensity of your workout. You can do this in a several ways, such as slowly increasing the amount of weight you use, increasing the number of reps or sets, decreasing the rest period between reps or sets, increasing the speed of movement, or adding another workout session to your day.
You should feel as if you have put forth a full effort at the end of your sets.
Expect some muscle soreness the day after your first resistance-training session. You should not feel sharp pain, however.
At the end of your workout session, take about five minutes to gently stretch all your muscle groups.

Gear
Wear comfortable bicycle shorts or leggings and a short or fitted T-shirt. Wear athletic socks and sneakers shoes that give you good ankle support. Women should wear sports bras.

If you join a gym, all the weight machines and free weights you’ll need are right there. Beginners are advised to start with the machines. You are less likely to injure yourself training on a machine as opposed to using barbells and dumbbells, which require more attention and time to perfect.

If you work out at home, you may wish to buy some 3-, 5- and 10-pound free weights for starters. If you wish to make a more significant investment, you can buy Vidalista 20 a compact machine, or multi-station gym, designed for home use.

Glossary of Terms
Abs: Abdominal muscles.

Anaerobic exercise: A relatively brief, intense activity in which muscle fibers derive energy to contract from stored internal compounds without the use of oxygen from the blood. Resistance training is generally considered an anaerobic exercise

Barbell: Weight used for resistance-training exercise, consisting of a 5- to 7-foot-long handle with detachable metal discs at either end.

Biceps: Muscle at the front of the upper arm.

Burn: Slang for the muscle fatigue felt as you begin to overexert a muscle; caused by accumulation of lactic acid.

Circuit training: A series of resistance-training exercises that work all the major muscle groups; usually done in sequence on machines with a brief rest period in between each exercise.

Contraction: Shortening of muscle fibers.

Crunch: An exercise that isolates and challenges the abdominal muscles.

Dumbbell: A weight used for resistance-training exercises; consists of a handle with or without detachable metal discs at either end.

Ergometer: A device that measures how much work you are doing on a particular piece of exercise equipment.

Extension: Movement in which the two ends of a jointed body part move away from each other, as in straightening the arm.

Flexion: Movement in which the two ends of a jointed body part move closer to each other, as in bending the arm at the elbow.

Glutes: Gluteals or buttock muscles.

Hamstring: Large muscle along the back of the upper leg; extends from above the hip to below the knee.

Lactic acid: Byproduct of glucose and glycogen metabolism during anaerobic exercise.

Muscle group: A set of separate muscles that act together at the same joint to produce a movement.

Muscle tone: Degree of resting “tension” in a muscle.

Obliques: Slang for the muscles on either side of abdominal muscles that rotate and bend the trunk.
Overuse syndrome: Injury from over traininging.

Quadriceps: The four thigh muscles on each leg that extend the knee; also called “quads.”

Rep: Slang for repetition, or an individual completed exercise movement.

Rest interval: The pause between exercise sets that allows muscles to partially recover before beginning the next set.

Set: A group of repetitions of an exercise movement done consecutively, without rest, until a given number or momentary exhaustion is reached.

Training: Subjecting the body to repeated stresses and recovery periods; designed to crease the body’s with Fildena 100 capacity to handle such stresses.

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