If the pandemic has taught as anything, it’s that the world can adapt their workout plans to ensure that they’re still able to train – even when the gyms are closed. We’ve seen more and more people turn to regular walks or runs, yoga, Pilates, HIIT or even go as far as to build a home gym. Another workout option that has grown in popularity is resistance training.
For many years, resistance training has been viewed as a man’s workout, however, in light of needing to work out from home, research has now found that resistance is just as beneficial too women. It also found that older people are also able to reap the benefits of this exercise.
Understanding The Research
A study involving 651 men and 759 women over the age of 50 with no prior experience in resistance training compared the two groups’ strength gains and muscle mass after taking part in regular resistance training workouts.
The reason researchers chose to include women over the age of 50 is to alleviate the risk of menopausal hormone changes that could affect the outcome of the training, and as a result, the study.
The results found no gender-related differences in upper body strength or relative muscle mass. This leads to the hypothesis that women are able to benefit from resistance training as men when it comes to improvements in strength and muscle mass.
In addition to that, the study also found that the structure of the programmes may need to be adjusted to accommodate the different genders as well as their training needs. For example, the men in this age group may need to incorporate high-intensity training to their programme to improve their upper and lower body strength. At the same time, women may benefit from more frequent training when compared to men.
The Benefits Of Resistance Training
When it comes to resistance training, it’s not just an effective form of strength training; it can also prevent diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and arthritis. It can also improve stamina, promote flexibility, increase bone density, and even help promote a better night’s sleep.
Additional health benefits include:
- Improved muscle tone and strength
- Promoting balance, flexibility, and mobility
- Weight management
- Reduces cognitive decline as you age
- Pain management
- Reduces risk of injury
- Improves posture
- Improves sense of well being
- Improved mood, self-confidence, and self-esteem
- Prevents insomnia
- Improved overall performance
Regular exercise has proven to be a beneficial part of leading a balanced, healthier life for both men and women. As we age, we need to continue following a regular exercise routine to ensure that our body is healthy and able to perform daily tasks.
Resistance training can be tailored to suit every body type, gender, and fitness level to ensure that you’re able to reap the benefits. We need to escape the mindset that there’s a distinct gender divide when it comes to working out. Both men and women can benefit from following similar workout programmes, however, each person’s capabilities will differ and this needs to be considered. The focus needs to shift from a gender-based approach to an individual approach.
There are tonnes of resistance training exercises that you can slot into your workout routine. Find out what these are – and so much more – on our Personal Training Diploma. Read more about it here.