Resistance training is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of exercise. In just a few decades, resistance training transformed from an exercise form only massive male bodybuilders engaged in, to a form of exercise that is currently being utilized by everyday men, women and even the elderly. People love the rapid strength gains, mobility improvements, fat loss and body shaping that resistance training can provide. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that, in order to follow an effective resistance training routine, access to expensive equipment is required. This is completely false.
Resistance training is a form of exercise in which you use resistance in a deliberate way to build and strengthen muscle. The resistance needed can be found in many different forms. Traditionally, people have used weights and machines, but these are only tools and they aren’t always essential. Anyone can follow an effective resistance training routine with minimal or even no equipment. Below, I list some of the ways you can gain the tremendous health, body sculpting, and fat loss benefits that resistance training can provide.
Using your body as resistance isn’t just convenient, its also extremely effective. Doing bodyweight resistance training exercises not only trigger your body to build strength, increase muscle and develop a faster metabolism, but they also make you better at moving and controlling your own body. This makes the strength you gain very applicable to the real world. So long as you perform controlled reps, do them at a moderate to high intensity, and do sets with rest in between (rest in between sets is what makes the workout strength building), you are doing resistance training. Some of the best body weight resistance training exercises include squats, one legged toe touches, hip thrusts, push-ups, planks, sit ups and prone cobras. If you are strong enough, you can also include pull ups into your routine.
Resistance bands look like big rubber bands. Anchor one end to a doorframe or something that is sturdy and stationary and you can stretch the other end to provide resistance in almost any direction you can imagine. Although they are a piece of equipment, they are inexpensive and take up very little space. They are also great to use in combination with bodyweight exercises. Some of my favorite resistance band exercises are side chops, shoulder presses, pulldowns, chest fly’s and good mornings.
Old school dumbbells are still considered near the top of the most versatile and effective pieces of resistance training equipment that exist. Advanced strength athletes even use dumbbells in all or most of their workouts. They range in weight from 1lbs to as high as over 100lbs making them appropriate for almost all levels. Some of the best dumbbell exercises include lunges, deadlifts, chest press, rows, side raises, curls and overhead tricep extensions.
I have trained clients as a fitness professional for over two decades and I can’t think of a single client in my entire career that I wouldn’t be able to train effectively if all I had available were the pieces of equipment above. If you want to utilize resistance training for its powerful body transforming benefits, you can do so with just bodyweight or by investing under $100 in the equipment I listed above.