Why should I do resistance training?

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT

Multiple research studies demonstrate that resistance training has a positive relationship to health factors and chronic disease and therefore should be an integral part of an exercise and weight management routine.

Resistance training has been shown to be beneficial in the prevention and management of chronic conditions such as:

  • low back pain
  • osteoporosis
  • loss of skeletal muscle mass that may accompany aging
  • diabetes
  • susceptibility to falls
  • impaired physical function in frail and elderly persons
  • prevention of and rehabilitation from orthopedic injuries
On top of all of this, and maybe most relevant to what many people want to achieve from their fitness programs, resistance training has been shown to positively impact obesity and weight control. Resistance training stimulates our bodies to maintain or increase our muscle tissue. This has a direct impact on our metabolism, causing us to burn more calories throughout the day without doing anything extra. The more calories we burn throughout the day, when combined with a sensible, reduced calorie diet, will help us to maximize weight loss success.
There are numerous reasons why you should inlude resistance training as part of your exercise routine.  Resistance training has been shown to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, serum lipid profiles, bone-mineral density, lean body mass, body composition, metabolic efficiency, tissue tensile strength, power, and endurance.
Resistance training has many applications. There isn't one uniform reason why people should do it. The reason RT might be right for you depends on where you currently are, physically speaking, as well as where you'd like to be. A better question would be, "How can resistance training help me if my goal is X?"

Just as there are many different goals and individual variations, there are many different ways to incorporate resistance training. 

An example would be resistance training as it applies to fat loss.
  1. It provides a strong stimulus to preserve the lean body mass your currently have while you're short changed in incoming energy (calories). 
  2. It can stand as a means of expending calories to help establish a calorie deficit. 
The former is most effectively done by lifting weights heavily, relative to your maximum ability, and progressively (more work over time by increasing weight lifted, density, tonnage/volume, etc.). The latter is most effectively done by lifting lighter weights for greater volume and using lower rest between sets and exercises.

This is VERY general, however. And resistance training's application would be different for such goals as strength development, power development, etc.

Resistance training offers many benefits to your over all health.  This is especially true as we age.  Muscle loss usually starts in our 40’s and the decline accelerates after 50.  Doing things like getting up out of a chair, carrying a bag of groceries, etc are things we do on a daily basis.  As we age these things get more difficult to do because of muscle loss.  Resistance training slows and sometimes even stops the muscle loss thereby allowing us to perform our daily activities and keep our independence.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Resistance training provides different cardiovascular benefits than cardio.  It is better at increasing blood flow and lowering your blood pressure.  Not to mention, resistance training (in addition to cardio) keeps your blood sugar from going on a roller coaster ride. 

And, as if you needed more incentive to add resistance training to your work out, it strengthens muscles and increases balance.  Having weak muscles and poor balance increases your risk of falls. And, by extension, fractures. And, by further extension, emergency room visits that can have you laid up for weeks.  Not sure what types of exercises to do?  Check out You: On a Diet and You: Being Beautiful for some simple, but effective resistance exercises.

Resistance training will increase your muscle mass. Increased muscle = Increase in Resting Metabolic Rate. It also provides shape and tone to muscles. If you are wanting to improve you RMR and look great resistance train.

Resistance training is a necessity for increasing strength, improving bone density, and raising metabolism -  to name a few benefits. As we age, we have to take pro-active measures to limit the degenerative process of the body. Resistance training will aid in developing strong bones and muscles. 


Resistance training offers many benefits above building muscle, such as increased circulation and balance. Because, your muscles actually work in pairs; biceps and triceps, quads and hamstrings, etc., when you do resistance training you can balance the front & back body or left & right body as you work. Balanced musculature improves posture and protects your body from injury.
It is a great way to build lean muscle and strong bones (for women at-risk for osteopenia and or osteoporosis. An additional benefit of resistance training is fat-loss coupled with cardio-training and balanced nutrition. I hope this helps and have fun!

One should incorporate resistance training into a fitness program because the primary way to build lean muscle and burn fat is through resistance training. A fitness program that just incorporates cardio training alone will cause the program to become unbalanced which will cause limited results and frustration. 

Resistance training not only builds muscle and strength, it’s great for your bone strength.

Strength training makes everyday chores so much easier. Take for instance carrying grocery bags, pushing the vacuum cleaner, walking up stairs, picking up the kids and pushing the lawn mower and everything else you do. So why not make things easier on yourself? Get lifting.  

To keep the answer short, you should do resistance training to build muscle to support your skeletal system. Especially train the core muscles that provide stability for the spine. The other reason you should do resistance training is because muscle is a very active tissue and uses more energy to sustain itself than fat tissue, so if you have more muscle on your will burn more calories. It can be used as a means to lose weight and also weight management.

It is super important to do resistance training. Strength or resistance training can improve your athletic skills and help you prevent injuries caused by working and sports. In my experience a huge number of everyday people and athletes whom will seek resistance training after being injured because, they have not strengthen certain muscles they have neglected from years of sports or hard work. Using resistance training to increase strength in your back, shoulder, chest, biceps, triceps, quads, gluteus, hamstrings, and hips will improve your overall fitness level. Think of resistance training as preventive medicine for your body to decrease risk for injury, increase bone density, preventing back pain, lowering your risk for disease, improving your energy level, improve weight loss, preventing loss of muscle, improving sports performance and keeping you younger. Get with your Personal Trainer or Fitness Expert to figure out a program that works for you, they may be even able to incorporate running into your routine. Keep doing resistance training or get started and don't forget your strength training will build a healthier, fitter you.

There are a number of reasons why resistance training is a great form of exercise. It can be ideal for burning calories and weight loss. It also helps keep the body strong and capable of accomplishing all of the activities of daily living.
Sharine Forbes
Geriatric Medicine
In a recent study conducted by the University of British Columbia in Canada there are cognitive benefits to resistance training. Resistance training has proven to increase blood flow to the area of the brain associated with performance and associative memory. Therefore, one can conclude that resistance training can help improve cognitive functions thus decreasing the risk of developing dementia and even reversing memory decline. 

Everyone should have some form of resistance training incorporated into their workout routine. Resistance training gives you stronger muscles. The more lean muscle you have the more fat you burn. So it will expedite the weight loss process. Many people feel that resistance training means lifting heavy weights and developing "big muscles." That's not true at all. Resistance training can range from lifting weights, to using bands, or even using your own body weight to do planks or pushups. Overall, it will make you feel and look great!

Resistance training is great exercise for just about everyone. A lot of times we find ourselves caught in the same exercise routine--doing the same motions--training our bodies in the same way-day after day after day. Finding a proper resistance training routine is a great way to break the cycle and mix things up. Also, if you have found yourself doing mainly cardio workouts--that's great but can cause you to neglect a variety of joints and muscles. Resistance training helps to keep your whole body strong. Hope this helps

Resistance training or strength training promotes muscle growth. I realize most people want to lose weight, and that is important, however having more fat free mass or muscle should also be your goal. We have all heard the saying muscle weighs more than fat. That is incorrect. A pound is a pound wheather it is feathers or rocks. The difference is the amount of space a pound of feathers occupies in relation to a pound of rocks. A pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. Resistance training helps you increase your muscle mass. This also gives you more muscle tone and muscle definition. Women do not need to worry about getting bulky, this will not happen because we do not have the testosterone needed to do that. You will look healthy and vibrant. 
JC Pinzon

The real fountain of youth lies in the zealous pursuit of weight training, which—when done correctly—is also aerobic in nature. The muscle-building and hormone-producing effects of weight training hold the true potential to halt the aging process.

It is important to do resistance training not only to strengthen your muscles, but also to strengthen your tendons, bones, and ligaments. Resistance training, coupled with flexibility training will improve your posture and your body composition. After age 30, your strength levels will slowly decline. Therefore, resistance training is just as important, if not more important as we age.

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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.