Benefits of Resistance Training

Filed Under: Heart Health, General Health

Resistance training is NOT synonymous with term same “strength training,” which encompasses ANY resistance exercise that builds strength. Nor should it be confused with lifting, power lifting, or body-building, all of which are competitive sport endeavors that value achievement and excessive efforts.

Rather, resistance training is defined as any exercise that involves contracting your muscles against some form of external resistance—a dumbbell, rubber exercise tubing, or even your own body weight. And, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, the goal of resistance training is “to gradually and progressively overload the musculoskeletal system so it gets stronger.”

Some folks use blocks like we do in yoga and Pilates, while others fill various sizes of water bottles. (To compute the weight of your water bottle, just weigh your own body before and after holding the filled water body to extrapolate its weight.)

Research shows that resistance training has real health benefits to your muscles and bones. Resistance training does all of the following:
•    Increases your over all flexibility;
•    Strengthens your muscles (and remember, the heart is a muscle too);
•    Increases your muscle mass; and
•    Enhances your endurance for physical activity.                

Even in our hospital-based, medically supervised cardiac rehab program—where we supervised people recovering from heart attack and strokes, as well as bypass surgery—free weight training was slowly introduced into their exercise programs, once an appropriate time in their healing had passed and they had been exercising for several months with us.

For resistance training tips or advice for cardiovascular problems, visit

DISCLAIMER: The content of is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

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