Should I wait until I'm in better shape before I start resistance training?

JC Pinzon

No matter what shape you are in now you can start resistance training at any time. The benefits of resistance training are many. You can start by working at home if you want to get a feel for your muscles. There is no need to join a gym unless you get bored doing it by yourself at home or you need to progress to bodybuilding exercises that isolate specific muscles. Home exercises can be hard enough if you follow a program. You can start doing simple exercises for large muscle groups like push ups, squats, sit ups, dips, etc.

Start by recording how many pushups you can do and try to progress in every session you do. If you want you can purchase some rubber bands for exercise in your local sports store and begin resistance training before you join a gym. Resistance exercise will make you stronger, increase your self esteem, decrease your body fat, increase your bone density, decrease your blood pressure and it will help decrease your cholesterol levels as well.

Gyms are usually expensive and take a lot of time. Join a gym only if you are looking to sculpt your muscles with bodybuilding exercises or if you enjoy taking group classes. If you do so it is best to invest in a certified personal trainer for a few sessions so you get an idea of how to work out correctly and not get hurt. Exercise is good for you no matter what kind of shape you are in. Ask your doctor if you are in doubt and get medical clearance before you do any strenous activities.

You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to feel great. Too many people put off starting because they do not "feel" ready. This is just procrastination, an excuse to not start. Start with light weights to introduce your muscles to the concept of exercise and build gradually - that is the way everyone starts, even Schwarzenegger started like that. A personal trainer can help you put together a focused program.

Many people think of resistance training as heavy duty weight lifting, and while it’s important not to start power lifting until your body is properly equipped to bear the load, incorporating moderate levels of resistance training, at any level of experience, is essential to reaching your goals.

Essentially, resistance training is teaching your body to respond to and handle added stress by increasing muscle strength and the ability to adapt to heavier loads.

When you first start out, working on stabilization techniques such as balancing on a stability ball while using light weights, or using the resistance of your own body by doing exercises like push-ups and planks, will be enough to challenge your body to incorporate new muscles and build up strength. Doing stability exercises will help you develop better posture and balance, which will support you in all additional exercise you do, and additional muscle will burn more calories, so combined with your cardio workout you’ll reach your weight loss goals much faster.

Resistance training creates a stronger foundation, better posture, supports weight loss, and increases bone density, all important elements to a healthier, stronger you. So don't wait, start today!

A huge part of truly getting in better shape is created by smart resistance training. There are, of course, many other factors as well but resistance training is a core part of a good fitness program. My simple answer is you should definitely use resistance training as well as cardiovascular, flexibility, balance and nutritional training as all elements of a good fitness program. Together they will create the environment where you can truly get into shape.
No. Resistance training is a very important component to conditioning and should be included from the beginning of your workout program. Many people believe they should wait to “get in shape” before ever seeking the help of a personal trainer or beginning resistance training. However, fitness professionals can help you design the correct resistance training program that fits your goals, needs, and desires so that you don't waste months in the gym trying to guess at what will work best for you. Don't wait to incorporate resistance training into your workouts, just start slowly with advice from a knowledgeable professional and you will start to see results faster!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.