What type of weight training is best for you?
No matter what age you are, weight-bearing exercise is a great way to make your bones and muscles stronger. Jeffrey Guy, MD, explained the different types of weight training.
Weightlifting and powerlifting typically involve heavier weights with gradually increasing intensity. “Some people like to max the weight and see if they can get one more rep. This is not a great thing to do on your own,” said Dr. Guy.
Resistance/strength training is controlled and progressive. Resistance methods are used to increase one’s ability to exert force. This can be done a couple of ways:
- Submaximal weight involves low to medium weight with higher reps to build endurance. You can use your own bodyweight by doing pull ups or pushups, or use hydraulics, bands or small weights.
- Water therapy has become really popular, especially for people who are recovering from injuries. “Water therapy is a great resistance therapy because it allows you to exercise at a lower weight,” said Dr. Guy. “If the water level is at your waist, 50% of your bodyweight is off your legs. At chest level – 75%. So, if you’re coming off of a sprained ankle, this allows you to start progressing back to activity before you actually have to go back out and run on the grass.”
Dr. Guy recommends resistance training over heavy lifting. “I’d stay away from powerlifting. Powerlifting involves really heavy weights. You have to be prepared for the consequences of doing things that are really aggressive.”
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