Have you heard about the term “resistance training”? Are you still unsure whether to incorporate resistance training into your list of things to do? Well, look no further. Because today, I will be explaining why resistance training is important.
Resistance training is important for general health and fitness. There are many ways to perform resistance training, including resistance band, free weight, weight machine, and bodyweight exercises. These can be used to train the muscles in the chest, arms, back, legs, shoulders, and core.
2 years ago, I was a skinny guy with typical skinny problems.
But after I started to take on my resistance training seriously, my life changed for the better.
And this is why I want to share with you a bit of what I have learnt throughout my journey.
- What Is Resistance Training?
- Why Resistance Training Is Important?
- Why Resistance Training Is Important For Skinny Guys
- Resistance Training Is Important For General Fitness
- Resistance Training Is Important For Health Reasons
- Choosing Suitable Methods Of Resistance Training Is Important
- Whole-Body Resistance Training Is Important
What Is Resistance Training?
If you perform a 10-minute browse on most health and fitness websites or Youtube channels, then you will probably come across the term “resistance training”.
But what exactly is resistance training?
To put it simply, resistance training is any physical exercise which involves pushing or pulling against an opposing force.
And although most people immediately picture weight lifting, resistance training can also take on other forms. And these include resistance bands and even your own body weight!
Why Resistance Training Is Important?
So why is resistance training important?
Before we answer this question, it would help to clarify how much resistance training you should be performing.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) provides an answer to this question. In short, the ACSM recommends people perform at least 2 non-consecutive resistance training workouts every week.
Furthermore, the ACSM associates physical activity (such as resistance training) with longer and better quality lives.
Despite the associated health and fitness benefits, many people still fail to satisfy the ACSM resistance training recommendations.
In fact, a 2018 study by the American Journal Of Preventive Medicine reveals that only 30.2% of US adults meet the ACSM recommended quota. And even more shockingly, almost 60% of US adults do not perform resistance training at all!
Therefore it is important to include regular resistance training in your weekly schedule (if you aren’t doing so already). And this will allow you to live a longer and generally healthier life!
Why Resistance Training Is Important For Skinny Guys
So why is resistance training particularly important for skinny guys?
As an ex-skinny guy myself, I know the everyday struggles of a skinny person. Most of the struggles can be considered superficial, some issues are fitness-related, whilst others are health-related.
Some of the fitness-related issues of being skinny are:
- Everyday physical activities are harder.
- Sports performance is reduced.
- Frequent low-energy.
In comparison, common health-related issues from being skinny are:
- Frequent illness.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Underdeveloped body.
Now, if you can resonate with these issues, you will likely also want to change things for the better.
And as I will explore below, regular resistance training is associated with relieving many of the health and fitness issues described above! (you will also get bigger muscles ^.^)
Resistance Training Is Important For General Fitness
Fitness is defined as the capability to perform your daily physical tasks and activities of interest. As I mentioned above, this may include your everyday tasks as well as sports participation.
And resistance training is important to increase your general fitness levels!
So how does resistance training increase general fitness?
A 2016 study showed that resistance training is effective at increasing lean muscle mass. More specifically, this study showed that 8 weeks of resistance training (between 1 to 3 sessions per week) can increase lean muscle mass by around 2%.
Furthermore, lean muscle mass development leads to increased fitness benefits. These include:
- Increased muscular strength.
- Increased muscular endurance.
- Enhanced movement.
- Improved balance.
Therefore, resistance training increases your lean muscle mass and is important to improve your everyday fitness levels!
Resistance Training Is Important For Health Reasons
In addition to the fitness benefits, resistance training will also provide health benefits. So what exactly do I mean by health benefits?
The WHO defines health as a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being.
And resistance training will benefit you physically, mentally, and socially. More specifically, the health benefits of resistance training include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Improved bone density.
- Better posture.
- Increased self-esteem and confidence.
- Higher quality sleep.
- Boosted energy.
Bone Density Is Improved By Resistance Training
Bone density is something which develops with physical exercise. And many people nowadays have weak bone structures due to an ever-so-popular indoor lifestyle.
Because of this, it is important to partake in physical exercise to promote bone health. And resistance training has been shown to be a very effective method to increase bone density!
Posture Is Improved By Resistance Training
For many years, my posture was terrible. I used to live a very sedentary lifestyle (I was a massive gamer lol), and this had massive consequences for my shoulder and back posture.
And you know what?
After 2 months of barbell rowing exercises, my shoulders were pulled back to where they should be!
Self-Esteem And Confidence Is Improved By Resistance Training
A common mental obstacle facing skinny guys is low self-esteem and confidence. And resistance training has been shown to increase self-body image and confidence!
This is a big reason why resistance training is important for skinny guys.
In fact, resistance training changed my life!
Before, I had serious self-esteem issues, mainly due to my skinny body. And 2 years after I started resistance training, I have been the most confident I have ever been in my whole life!
Although it sounds superficial, building muscle mass can add real confidence to a skinny guy!
High-Quality Sleep Is Facilitated By Resistance Training
This is more of a general benefit that doesn’t apply just to skinny guys. Nonetheless, it’s an important health benefit.
Nowadays, most people know the importance of quality sleep. And sleep is widely regarded to be a key component of good health.
Furthermore, studies have shown that a long-term resistance training programme can improve all aspects of sleep!
I have kept with my current resistance training programme for 2 years now. And I can definitely say that better sleep is an aspect of life which I now enjoy.
Trust me, a 1-hour intense resistance workout will do wonders for your ability to doze off later!
Mood And Energy Are Boosted By Resistance Training
Mood and energy are important aspects of mental health. And a study has revealed that resistance training can relieve the symptoms associated with mild to moderate depression.
A good resistance training programme will provide structure to your life. And it gives you something to look forward to.
Furthermore, there is a scientific reason why resistance training can improve your energy levels. That’s because physical stress stimulates endorphins (happy hormones) to be released.
And let me tell you- there’s nothing better than starting your day with a good endorphin rush. This is why I love working out in the mornings!
Choosing Suitable Methods Of Resistance Training Is Important
So I mentioned that there are different ways to perform resistance training, each varying in the type of equipment utilised.
Here are the most common forms of resistance training equipment:
- Weight machines.
- Resistance bands.
- Body weight.
That’s a plethora of equipment!
The different types of resistance training equipment are not created equal though. Some may be more suitable for skinny beginners than others.
Let me explain.
Free Weight Resistance Training
Free weights include dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. And they are one of the more popular ways to perform resistance training. This is because they often lead to the biggest muscle-building gains!
Although free weights are the most popular form of resistance training, they are also the least beginner friendly. This is because they are completely unguided, and require proper form and technique to use safely.
Check out my introduction to lifting free weights to learn how much starting weight you should be lifting as a beginner!
Weight Machine Resistance Training
From my experience, weight machines are a fantastic way for skinny beginners to learn the ropes. This is because they are guided exercises, and this will decrease the chance of injury.
Resistance Band Resistance Training
Resistance bands are also a fantastic way for beginners to begin resistance training. This is because they are extremely cheap, convenient, and safe!
Furthermore, many of the popular free-weight exercises can also be replicated using bands. All in the comfort of your home!
Body Weight Resistance Training
This is surely the MOST convenient of resistance training exercises right?
Body weight exercises can be performed anywhere. And you may be surprised to find out how heavy your body actually is!
In fact, bodyweight exercises are a great way to develop your relative strength-to-body weight ratio (this is a commonly used indicator for fitness).
Additionally, if you want to maximise your body weight exercises, then you should invest in a dip/pull-up station!
Whole-Body Resistance Training Is Important
When I say whole-body resistance training, I mean you should be working your entire body. And this is very important when it comes to resistance training.
In fact, I would strongly recommend working the entire body. This is in contrast to targeting specific muscle groups (like the chest, or arms).
Whole-body resistance training is important because it leads to balanced body development.
When I first started, I completely ignored the legs (all I wanted was a bigger upper body!)
And man what a mistake that was (I developed the classic chicken legs syndrome!).
Here is how you can work the entire body in your resistance training programme.
Chest And Shoulder Muscles
The most effective way to engage the chest and shoulder muscles are through compound pressing movements. Fly-type movements are also a good way to isolate your training onto the pectorals and deltoids specifically.
As a skinny guy, you will find that your arms will develop naturally if you incorporate compound exercises that train your chest, shoulders, and back. So I wouldn’t worry too much on arm-specific exercises (yet). However, you can check out my building arm muscle guide, should you wish!
The back can be trained effectively through compound rowing and pulling movements. Similarly to the shoulders, fly-type movements can also be used to isolate specific back muscles.
Similarly to the arms, you will find that by incorporating compound exercises into your resistance training workout, you will also simultaneously work the abdominal muscles. Therefore, I would concentrate your efforts on working the compound lifts rather than daily sit-ups (at least for the beginning of your resistance training journey).
Do not forget the legs! As with the chest, shoulder, and back, go with the compound lifts. These include the deadlift, squat, and leg presses. Trust me, these three exercises alone will grow those skinny legs!
Today I have answered the question “why resistance training is important”.
I have described what resistance training is, explained why it’s important for skinny guys in particular, and explored the health and fitness benefits of resistance training.
Additionally, I have shared my experience and opinion on the importance of choosing suitable resistance training equipment, and the importance of working the entire body.
Resistance training is important for everyone because it provides a wealth of health and fitness benefits. But it is especially important for skinny guys who want to add lean muscle mass onto a skinny frame!
Are there any other important aspects of resistance training you would like to share?
Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions! You can find my details on the “contact us” page.
You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition (with printable worksheets) I used to go from skinny to ripped!
Thanks for reading guys!
(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)