More Exercise Scientists and people from the medical profession are advocating resistance training as a way people can keep mobile and their youth as they age. Even though I have exercised on weights for over 50 years I would like to point out both the disadvantages and advantages of using resistance as a medium of exercise … and attempt to keep a balanced point of view in the process. I would like to also make it clear that from my point of view it is very hard to be neutral…as I always say, question everything and never take something at face value…we live in our own worlds after all?
I used the photo above as a demonstration of one of the negatives of exercising with resistance, not just because she is an attractive young woman. One of the negatives of using resistance is that it will emphasis any imbalance that someone has. That is why it is essential to exercise with a personal trainer – or with an experienced training partner – or at least in front of a full length mirror, so that you can check your form. As you can see, the young woman’s feet are not square, her knees are pointing in slightly different directions and she is leaning to one side.If this imbalance is not corrected, she is susceptible to injury. So the first negative of using resistances while exercising is that it will increase your chance of injury if you don’t use the correct form or there is an imbalance somewhere along the movement chain. This can easily be corrected if you know how.
The second negative is that people tend to stick to the same routine and the result is not only lack of improvement beyond the initial progress but you don’t get any improvement in cognitive function. By constantly changing your routine and the exercises you do, not only do you improve bodily movement but you also challenge the mind because you have to concentrate on what you are doing…just like a musician who plays the same piece of music over and over again without thought, you will never get the desired result!
The third negative has to do with ego. People don’t like this word because it has the connotation of arrogance but I would put it more in the category of ignorance myself. Once you learn to observe the thoughts you have, then you can control your life so in this instance learn to stay focused (or present if you like). Listen to what your body is telling you by its reaction to what you are doing …the loading and the intensity you are using. So concentrate on yourself and not what everyone else is doing in the gym and progress and exercise at your own rate. A note here: if you are exercising using a personal trainer who is worth their salt, they will be able to help you stay focused and will be watching for signs that you are not coping – or too easily coping – with what you are presently doing.
So quick summary: concentrate on what you are doing if you are not using a personal trainer.
The positives come with provisos. If you are doing the right program in the correct way. If you constantly change your routine to challenge both body and mind. If you leave the rest of your life at the gym door and concentrate on what you are doing within each present moment, you will gain the results you desire. Just be very specific about what you want!
I have a question for you. Are these points that I have made above actual positives and negatives or is this posting just another way of saying what I have already said previously? And does it really matter? Because the reason that I repeat myself is that repetition is one way to ensure that we learn…and I include myself here obviously?