There are many ways you can do a resistance-training workout: Using free weights (such as dumbbells), weight machines, resistance bands and tubes, or calisthenic exercises like sit-ups and push-ups.
Most resistance workouts include several exercises targeting different areas of your body. Each exercise is usually repeated eight to 15 times in a row, followed by a 30 to 60 second rest, then another one or two sets of repetitions. For maximum benefits, work at a weight resistance that allows you to perform two to three sets of eight to 15 reps.
It's easy to perform any resistance training exercise incorrectly and strain your body, or simply not get any benefit, so it's important to follow instructions closely and try to follow these guidelines:
- Balance your muscle groups. Include exercises that target different muscle groups, otherwise you create a body imbalance. For example, if you exercise your chest or ab muscles, make sure you also exercise your back muscles; or if you exercise your biceps, also exercise your triceps.
- Mimic everyday activities. Keep functional fitness in mind when resistance training and perform exercises that "mimic", and will help you with, your everyday activities.
- Exercise both sides. Always balance your exercises on both sides. For example, exercise your right bicep and your left – not just one or the other.
- Take breaks. Make sure you take a break for 30 to 60 seconds after each set.
- Avoid injury. Warm up before you start, and always use the correct technique. Ask for advice if you're not sure how to do an exercise or how to use a weight machine.