The Benefits of Resistance Training

By: James Purkey 

In the world of exercise there are several different methods and modalities that are emphasized and utilized when we work out. There are movements that focus on flexibility, mobility, endurance, power, skill, and so much more. A big one that should be found in your workout regimen is some type of strength training or otherwise known as resistance training. 

This form of training gets a lot of mixed thoughts and opinions because of the perception that I imagine is gained from what is seen from influencers and elite athletes. When some people hear or think about lifting weights, things like becoming bulky and the idea that they HAVE to lift insanely heavy weights are just two common objections that come about when people talk about resistance training. Although these can be a result of strength training they are not the case for the majority of people. These results involve more than just lifting, they also need dialed in nutrition, specific training, and hours of work. The thing is everyone would benefit from doing some type of strength training 2-3 times a week. 

I will be talking about the ways you can implement some type of resistance training and what some options are in another blog, but in the rest of this one I am going to discuss why you should be doing some type of resistance training. 

The whys are going to be tailored from the long list of benefits that resistance training provides. I am going to cover four of the reasons that I hold to be some of the most important reasons why you should be doing some type of strength training every week. 

Increased muscle and bone strength. This one is a big one whether you want to be the world’s strongest person, an ultimate athlete, or just to live a healthy and long life. Making sure our muscles and bones remain strong and sturdy is an important piece to that puzzle especially as we age. It’s also a big thing that athletes should be focusing on especially if they have the intention to improve overall performance.

Pain Management. I know this sounds crazy, but a big misconception with injuries or chronic pain is that movement won’t help. The reality is in most cases some type of resistance training can prove to be very beneficial in creating a more tolerable environment with pain or even diminishing it to the point where it doesn’t exist. 

Increased self esteem. This one is HUGE because personally this has been a big one for me. Ever since I entered the health and fitness world, I struggled with who I was and with my appearance, but as I started working out everything changed for me mentally. I become confident in myself and my appearance simply from just working out. When you become strong, you feel strong and you start to feel better and more confident overall. 

Resistance training helps you burn longer. I know this sounds confusing, weird, and wrong, but the thing is if you are shooting to lose weight you will greatly benefit from incorporating some type of resistance training. Although you may “burn more calories” doing cardio, resistance training provides a different benefit that will help with your overall attempt at losing weight. Resistance training helps with metabolism. This has to do with muscle growth. More muscle requires your body to expend more energy. More energy means more calories out. So if you are looking to lose weight it’s necessary to have resistance training incorporated somewhere, because this will allow you to develop and build muscle which will help in the overall scheme of losing weight.

This only scratches the surface of why you should be doing some type of resistance training. It’s beneficial with losing weight and it’s also key to making you a healthier and fitter human being. 

Working Out In a Fasted State

By: Ken Dominique

I’ve been asked about the potential benefits of intermittent fasting and fasted cardio. While more experienced athletes may need to fuel their workout to keep the intensity higher, there may be athletes whose goals are to lose weight that could benefit from doing a workout after not having eaten in 12, 18, or 24 hours prior to the workout. So, is working out in a fasted state really all it adds up to be? 

This is a great question, and it makes sense! If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in through your diet (calories out need to be more than calories in). Your body uses stored carbohydrates (glucose) as energy, and when that glucose storage is depleted, your body looks for alternative sources of energy. This is the basis of the ketogenic diet, which has become very popular in the last few years. This is where you eat a VERY limited number of carbohydrates, so your body has no stored glucose and chooses instead to burn stored fat as energy. 

While there are plenty of benefits to fasting, is it right for everyone? 

The short answer is, no.

If the goal is weight loss, there are plenty of ways to lose weight and body fat by eating real food. Remember, your body NEEDS food. It’s literally what you use for fuel. When you deplete your body of calories before a workout, you could become hyperglycemic and pass out, you could burn muscle instead of fat, and you probably won’t have a good workout anyway because you’ll be severely lacking energy! This can lead to muscle loss, a lackluster workout, or a visit from the paramedics. 

Your best bet is to eat something light before your workout, like a small piece of fruit or some greek yogurt. Personally, I always eat a half of a banana before the workout, and the other half afterwards. 

If fasted workouts are something that you’re going to try, let me know first. I’ll give you a specific plan that you can execute safely to see if it’s something that you can do sustainably. For 99% of people, fuel your workout! You will find that you perform better, run faster, lift more weight, and have more stamina during a tough WOD! And what happens when you lift more weight? You get stronger! What happens when you take fewer breaks during an AMRAP? You burn more calories! All of these things are what actually gets us closer to our goals.