Resistance training is often overlooked by people who are trying to improve their fitness levels. However, it is a very effective way to reduce weight, increase lean muscle tissue and increase muscle mass and should should be included as part of your training routine. Fit + Fabulous  employs the following resistance techniques as part of an overall training plan.

Circuit Weight Training

Circuit weight training is carried out by performing a set of an exercise and then moving directly onto a different exercise and then another and another. The weights should be 40-60% of your 1RM* which provides a light to moderate resistance. To improving muscular endurance high repetitions are required to improve the tone of the muscle and result in weight loss.

How does this work?gallery-21

The circuit should work the agonist muscle (the muscle you are targeting, e.g. biceps) and then work the antagonist muscle (e.g triceps) directly after in the next exercise. This allows the muscle to rest sufficiently whilst the opposite muscle works hard. With having little or no rest in between sets your heart rate will remain elevated and you will continue to burn calories.

What are the benefits?

By keeping your heart rate elevated for a longer period of time you increase your metabolic rate which in turn uses fat as fuel and tones the muscles.  It is a very efficient way to exercise if time is of the essence.

Compound Weight Training

This technique involves combining two different exercises into one fluid movement, e.g. a squat into a shoulder press using dumbells. Using more than one plane of movement, numerous joints and different muscle groups requires more energy making this a very efficient training method. Technically any two exercises can be used in combination however it is better to combine an upper and a lower body exercise at the one time.

How does this work?

In the example of a squat into a shoulder press using dumbells you are recruiting a huge group of muscles in the lower body (gluteus maximus, quadriceps and hamstrings), core muscle groups for stability and upper body (trapezius, anterior/posterior deltoids and triceps). In order for these muscles to all operate together more energy is required meaning that more calories are used.

What are the benefits?

By increasing the amount of muscle mass used in each exercise you burn more calories in less time it would take to perform each exercise separately.  In theory this form of exercise can be used for muscular strength or endurance depending on the repetitions and the resistance.

*1RM – 1 Rep Max – This is the maximum weight you are able to lift in 1 repition