Resistance training, often called strength training or weight training, involves using muscles to push against a force. Weight lifting is the most common type of resistance training.
It can improve muscle strength, power, and overall endurance. Even elderly, sedentary individuals can dramatically increase muscle strength through weight training.
The body adapts to perform the task demanded, whether that task is to lift a heavier weight, stretch a millimeter farther, or continue lifting for a few minutes longer.
When a muscle is exercised, the stress or overload causes the muscle to adapt by increasing in size and strength - a process referred to as hypertrophy. By progressively increasing the amount or intensity of exercise at each session, the muscle slowly hypertrophies.
The greater the amount and intensity of exercise, the larger the effect of the training. By increasing the strength of muscles, resistance training also can improve the power of muscles.
Gains in muscle endurance occur when muscle strength is increased, when cardiovascular performance is improved by aerobic training, and when diet is optimized.
When a muscle is not used, it becomes smaller and weaker. This process is called atrophy. If a person is bedridden and cannot move around, his or her muscles will atrophy. Once the person is up and active again, the muscles regain their strength and size.
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