• Bryan Bacaoat

Resistance training; The what, why and how you should it!

Resistance Training

Resistance training, strength training, weightlifting, or simply weights; these are all words that can be used to describe the act of putting our bodies through external resistance to strengthen our muscles and bones. In this article, I will be using the term resistance training.

Most people simply use the term “weights,” but that implies that you need equipment to achieve the desired goal, which is to expose our bodies to an external force. I prefer the term resistance training. I can then distinguish between using equipment (barbell, dumbbells, machines, cable machines, etc.), and using your bodyweight. Plenty of individuals believe you need to have plenty of equipment to get results, which is entirely false, but that’s a conversation for another article.

What is resistance training?

What is resistance training? A good definition, given by Stojiljkovic and co states that resistance training is a term that implies the use of load, machinery, or own body weight. It is used to increase the ability to overcome load and increase muscle mass. With the definition out of the way, the next question is, why is it important to do?

But before moving on to why resistance training is essential, I want to touch on the subject of “are particular training equipment or exercise superior to others?”. To answer this, I’m going to quote Sebastian Oreb, a strength coach that has taught me a lot. Sebastian gets this question regularly and answers with something along the lines of; “there is no bad exercise. Just the wrong exercise given to a person at the wrong time”.

For example, let’s say Andrew has a messed-up shoulder when using a barbell to bench press. At that moment in his training career, the barbell bench press is the wrong exercise for him. However, let’s say Andrew goes to a Physiotherapist and gets the shoulder sorted and can now perform the barbell bench pain-free. The exercise becomes a good exercise for Andrew.

The exercise didn’t change; Andrew did. Andrew sorted his issues out. That’s one example of how an exercise might be bad for a person but given time and proper treatment, he can eventually perform the exercise safely and pain-free. That’s why I believe that knowing which exercise to use at the right time is a trademark of a good routine. You can spend hours researching this and putting it through trial and error, or you can hire a coach/trainer who knows their way around resistance training.

Why is resistance training essential?

One reason that resistance training is crucial is that without muscles, we won’t be able to move our joints. Using our muscles regularly, with and without resistance, and taking the movements through its full range of motion (if applicable), goes a long way in helping keep our bones and joints safe and pain-free.

A second reason, which is probably what a lot more of you care about, is that muscles help ‘shape’ our body. Meaning, with a proper nutrition and training regime, you can lose body fat and gain muscle mass. The concept of “shaping” our body applies to everyone if you’re a human being. I’m sure you have seen people who only performed cardio exercises without resistance training. Most of them will have loose skin (the amount will vary depending on how much weight you have lost). To help look better, we need to be performing regular resistance training.

Thirdly, resistance training will help us build strength. Strength will allow us to perform day to day tasks more manageable; for example, carrying objects, pushing a trolley and as simple as getting up and down of the couch or toilet. There is a countless number of examples of how strength can help improve our day to day life, but we’ll leave it at that.

Would I get too muscly if I perform resistance training regularly?

Believe it or not, it’s not only women that bring up the “Am I going to get bulky if I lift weights?” complaints, but men as well. A lot of women don’t want to look like a man. The typical response I give to this objection about lifting weights is that it is tough to build muscles. Frankly, building muscles is a lot harder than losing body fat, and a lot of people find losing body fat hard. If lifting weights were the only factor, you’d see almost everyone who goes to the gym big and muscular. However, that’s not the case.

There is a lot of factors that need to be considered to build muscles. You will see, both men and women, who have the 1% genetic and will look muscular and in good shape without putting much effort into training and nutrition if you are reading this article, big chance that isn’t you.

For the 99% of people out there, regular and consistent resistance training will help you feel stronger, move pain-free, and if your diet is right, you will build muscle. Of course, you can build muscle just by lifting weights and not putting a big emphasis on your eating. However, this only applies to beginners. The results of this are usually only for the first few weeks and after that, to continue building muscles, you need to monitor your diet.


Now you know what resistance training is, why it’s essential to perform, and a few common questions I hear about it in the gym, what next?

Next is to perform some resistance training! Before we go into my recommendations, a quick rant. My biggest pet peeve from gym-goers is that a lot of them think just because they watch a YouTube video, or had a 30-minute-long free session with a trainer, they’ll be able to perform the exercises correctly.

When I use to PT at a commercial gym, and I’d be talking to a gym member about non-training stuff, it used to be all good. We laugh, talk shit, it was great. However, when the conversation shifted to training, a lot of them will tell say they don’t need my help. These are the same guys with really poor techniques that will eventually fuck themselves up. Whether it was because they wanted to get hurt or their egos didn’t let them ask for help, this was a common issue.

I hope that by reading my article/s, you’ll understand how having a coach or trainer is beneficial for you and that you will hire one. Hire whoever you want, it doesn’t have to be me. As long as they know what they are talking about.

Okay, rant now over. Recommendations time:

- Start with basic movements, such as squats and push-ups, and spend some time mastering those movements. People think you need to do a hundred different exercises. You don’t. As the Australian Strength Coach says, have a handful of exercises you’ve mastered.

- Get a coach or trainer who knows what they are talking about!

- Patience and consistency. It takes time for strength to build up and an even longer time for fat to fall off (if your diet is good) and muscles to build.

Practical guidelines (I ain’t gonna leave you hanging)

- If you are brand new to resistance training, aim to work your entire body out 2-3 days a week, having at least one day off in-between. So, something like; Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

- For a more diverse workout split, you can try an upper/lower division. An upper/lower split is when you perform all upper body exercise one day, the other day all lower body. Generally, you will repeat that so in one week, you work your lower and upper body twice. In this split, I recommend typically 2-days training, one day off, 2-days training—something like this; Monday-Upper, Tuesday-Lower, Wednesday (off), Thursday- upper, Friday-lower.

For a more in-depth explanation of program design, check out my other article:

If you want a done for you program, feel free to email

That’s it for today, peace!


8 views0 comments