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A New View on Resistance Training

Jul 3, 2019 | The Pointe

Pointe personal trainer, Lucy Hey, is the guest author for this month’s installment. The following summarizes Metabolic Effects of Resistance Training (Zachary Mang, MS, Amber Logan, Fabiano T. Amorim, PhD, Len Kravitz, PhD), an article from the May 2019 ACE Fitness Journal.

We are constantly reminded that working out is good for us. And there is ample evidence about the benefits of cardiorespiratory exercise. Now, a recent ACE Fitness Journal article detailed research results proving the benefits of resistance training. The article, Metabolic Effects of Resistance Training, ACE Fitness Journal, May 2019, highlighted studies showing improvements to chronic conditions via resistance training. The studies led the authors to conclude that “lifting weights triggers changes at the molecular level that improve fitness and thwart chronic disease”. Conditions included: Diabetes, Blood Pressure, RMR and EPOC (Resting Metabolic Rate and Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption), Obesity, and High Cholesterol. Following are some of the study highlights for each chronic condition:

Diabetes: In a 10-week study, inactive men & women with Type 2 diabetes were divided into 2 groups. The resistance training group showed a more favorable decrease in A1c (-18%) vs. the aerobic group (-8%).

Blood Pressure: In a 3-month study after following a 3XWeek, circuit resistance program participants had reduced their systolic and mean arterial blood pressure. The primary finding was weight training improved brachial artery endothelial function. Endothelial cells support blood vessel contraction, relaxation and other vital functions involved in BP regulation. It was further recommended that resistance training NOT be performed to the point of failure in the context of reducing blood pressure.

RMR and EPOC: Resting Metabolic Rate (measure of calories burned at rest) increased by 5% in a 9 month study. EPOC or Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption studies placed resistance training results at the same level of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and both exceeded the moderate intensity steady state aerobic group.

Obesity (BMI over 30): “Long term muscle mass growth gradually increases RMR, causing greater caloric expenditure at rest and enabling weight loss”. Volume was found to be a critical factor in muscle mass with the most muscle growth occurring in the group performing 10 or more sets per week per muscle group. Reps/set not listed but 8-12 was used in other studies.

High Cholesterol: In a 10 week study of active women, ages 70-87, following resistance training of 3Xweek, 8 reps, 3 sets, of total body exercises, the trainees averaged a total cholesterol reduction of 10 pts, LDL (“bad”) by 18.3, Triglycerides by 29 and their HDL (“good”) rose by 10.

The conclusion? Resistance works and improves the quality of life! Lift free weights, use weight machines, bands, kettlebells, battle ropes, suspension training. In short, mix it up and keep it interesting and challenging. (As with all exercise programs discuss changes with your doctor).


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