Strength training is an incredibly important aspect of any exercise programme. This type of training increases our muscle strength as well as that of our connective tissues. Muscles are used every day for a variety of different activities. The human body has over 600 muscles which provide movement that is caused from stimuli and input from the nervous system.
Every movement that we make involves some kind of muscle movement. some of this movement is voluntary while others are involuntary. The muscular system has the marvellous ability to become stronger and bigger with the proper stimulus such as weight training.; one the other hand, our muscles can become smaller and weaker if they are not used.
What is resistance training?
Resistance training is a type of strength training in which each effort is performed against a specific opposing force which is generated by resistance, in other words resistance to being pushed, squeezed, stretched or (alternatively) bent.
Exercises are isotonic if a body part moves against the force. Exercises are isometric if a part of the body is holding still against the force. Resistance exercise is used in order to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles.
What are the physiological responses to resistance training?
Resistance training operates inflicting microscopic damage or tears to the muscle cells, which in turn are quickly restored by the body to help the muscles regenerate and grow stronger. The breakdown of the muscle fibre is called catabolism and the repair and regrowth of the muscle tissue is called anabolism.
Hormones, which are secreted from the endocrine glands in the body, are substances that regulate function of body cells, tissues, organs or systems. Hormones are released by a number of glands such as the pituitary, testes, ovaries, pancreas and thyroid as well as the adrenal cortex. More recently, science has documented hormone secretion from other organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver and adipose tissue.
In reference to gender, the main distinctions between male and female endocrinology comes down to differences in the reproductive structures. Males produce high levels of testosterone and muscle lower levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Females produce high levels of oestrogen and progesterone as well as much lower levels of testosterone.
Exercise places a significant challenge on the body owing to the increased energy it requires as well as the physiological demands it puts on the body’s nervous, muscular, cardiovascular and metabolic and respiratory systems. As the body responds and subsequently adopts to exercise a number of complex hormonal interactions occur simultaneously. For example hormones can increase blood pressure, stimulated protein synthesis and increase the body’s metabolic rate.
With resistance exercise, there are instant increases in epinephrine and norepinephrine. These two hormones are responsible for raising blood glucose and are essential for increasing force production, muscle contraction rate and energy production. Levels of these hormones actually begin to rise before the resistance training workout. This is anpreemptive response of the body preparing for the challenging exercise to follow.
Interestingly enough, the elevated blood glucose levels do not typically lead to an increase in insulin unless protein/carbohydrate supplementation precedes the workout. A larger uptake of blood glucose by the skeletal muscle occurs owing to an increase in function by the cell’s glucose transporters, which increases metabolism in the muscle cell. Periodic resistance exercise training has proven to increase insulin sensitivity, which means that the body can take in and use glucose more effectively.
Strength exercise, or resistance training, is responsible for working your muscles by making use of resistance, such as a dumbbell or your own body weight. This type of exercise adds to lean muscle mass, which is especially important for weight loss as lean muscle burns more calories as opposed to other types of tissue. When people drop pounds, they can also lose muscle, so it’s vital to perform resistance training to maintain that muscle mass.
If you are lost on how to perform resistance training, it is always a good idea to consult your local personal trainer to show you how to do this safely.