Why Resistance Train?

By: LeShelby Winrow

What is resistance training and why should we be doing it? Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscle to contract against an outside force. This can be done using weight, resistance bands or bodyweight. Resistance training can be done separately or combined with a cardiovascular routine. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends resistance training at least two times per week. (1) One set should perform 8-12 repetitions is ideal for beginners.  As your strength increases you can increase your training to three days per week. It is important to make sure you rest in between training days to give your body time to rest. Physical and mental health benefits that can be achieved through resistance training. Listed below are several benefits from the American Heart Association to incorporating strength training in your workout plan.

A well-rounded strength-training program provides the following benefits (2)

  • Increased strength of bones, muscles and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments);
  • Lower risk of injury
  • Increased muscle mass, which makes it easier for your body to burn calories and thus maintain a healthy weight
  • Better quality of life
  • Here is an example of a full body resistance plan for a beginner.
Exercise Sets Reps
Bodyweight Squat 3 10-12
Leg Press 3 10-12
Chest Press 3 10-12
Lat Pulldown 3 10-12
Seated Shoulder Press 3 10-12
Dumbbell Bicep Curl 3 10-12
Triceps Pulldown 3 10-12



  1. Thompson, W. R., Gordon, N. F., & Pescatello, L. S. (2010). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  2. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Strength-and-Resistance-Training-Exercise_UCM_462357_Article.jsp#.VsJGKI-cGS1


Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies department