Why do some people benefit more from resistance training than others?

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JC Pinzon
Fitness

There are many factors that can contribute to benefit from resistance exercises. Some people take advantage of their genetics and develop their bodies with a simple program. Others struggle to gain a pound of muscle. It all depends on genetics; it also depends on your routine, which should be structured and gradually increasing in volume. Your nutrition is also related to the benefits; you should eat enough protein to feed growing muscles that can lift heavier weights. Finally one should rest to recover. You will benefit more from resistance training if you control your nutrition, rest and follow a good routine.

Resistance training will benefit everyone with muscle density and strength, it burns calories for weight control, it helps with your hormones, and it increases your self-esteem and many more benefits that we don't see. People have different goals. Find yours and achieve it. You cannot control your genetics, but if you follow a balanced workout program along with a good diet and good rest you all the factors to see more benefits. Do not compare yourself with anybody, just challenge yourself and log your data so you can improve in every workout. Be consistent and patient and the benefits will come along. I have been training for 30 years and still strong. My body looks better than my teenage years. If you want muscles then be patient, if you want to feel good hit the gym and train you will feel better after. That is the most important benefit of resistance training.

 


Wendy Batts
Fitness

There can be multiple factors that play into why someone may seem to gain more benefit from resistance training. The first one is simply genetics. Some individual bodies are just wired to respond better. Their type of muscle fiber distribution (certain fibers are better at certain things), how the muscles attach, the length of their limbs, etc. These are all set physical characteristics that are in large part out of our control.

If you were to compare two physically identical individuals embarking on their own resistance training programs, here are some reasons whyone may do better.

  1. The right volume of work: working out too much or not enough can both lead to slower progress or a lack of results. The balance between the positive stress of exercise and recovery is important to the results one receives from the workouts.
  2. Exercise technique: the performance of an exercise can play a role in how effective it is.
  3. Posture: often times we have muscle imbalances or natural postures that are less than ideal. These impact how well we perform exercises, which in turn can impact the results we get.
  4. Nutrition: what we eat can support our workout efforts, or take away from them.
  5. Sleep patterns: this has a lot to do with maximizing the benefit of proper recovery. Our bodies change while we are resting and recovering from workouts, not during a workout.

Most people will get all the benefit they desire from resistance training if the controllable factors are optimized. The uncontrollable ones can make it more challenging for some, but definitely not impossible. If you’re unsure about the effectiveness of your workouts, seek out the help of a qualified professional.

Much of this will depend on the individual.  Some people seem to be genetically gifted.  Everyone’s bodies respond different to exercise and some individual respond better than others.  Much of this will lead to the two different types of muscle fibers – fast twitch and slow twitch.

With fast twitch muscle fibers the body will be able to respond more quickly and rapidly.  Slow twitch muscle fibers have a slower response which will be better for endurance.  If you have more fast twitch then you may benefit more at a sport such as sprinting.  If you have more slow twitch then running a length such as a marathon may be easier to train for.

Regardless of your type of muscle fibers, focus on keeping strong goals and although you may not reach those goals as quickly as others, staying motivated will help you reach your goal.

Even with daily training, your muscles might not perform as well as another person's. Some athletes are made, but some are born. In part, the distribution of fiber types within an individual's muscles determines strength, power and endurance.

There are two basic types of fibers in muscle: fast twitch and slow twitch. Fast-twitch fibers can quickly develop greater force and contact and also have greater anaerobic capacity. But slow-twitch fibers develop force slowly, but they can maintain contractions longer and they have higher aerobic capacity. Whether you have more of one kind of muscle fiber or another is largely determined by your genes. For example, sprinters will have more fast twitch fibers, while marathon runners tend to have more slow twitch fibers. The rest of us usually have an equal distribution of both fiber types. Can training change the distribution of fiber types within an individual? This is not clear.

Resistance training is practiced to improve strength, power and endurance of muscle performance, including free weights, jump-training and isometric training, for example. Hypertrophy occurs when resistance training mostly increases the size of muscle fibers. Muscle fibers can get bigger when there is more muscle protein content. That's achieved when new protein is made, and the rate at which existing proteins are broken down is decreased. Such proteins include contractile proteins and also the enzymes involved in various metabolic reactions. When the strength of muscles is increased, resistance training also increases the power of muscles.

But whether training can result in hyperplasia, which is an increase the number of muscle fibers, is unclear.

Muscle endurance is increased through any increases in strength, but also through diet and improved cardiovascular performance.

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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.