Which is Best and What Should I be Doing?

So you are looking to build up a bit of lean muscle? This requires some form of resistance training (Yes ladies, this does include you too). The question is though, what is actually best for you to start doing? Especially if you are unfamiliar with the whole resistance training vibe? First things first, let’s understand what is resistance training and the difference between the types of resistance you can actually do.

Resistance training is simply a form of training in which you’re working against some type of force that “resists” your movement, this can be something as simple as walking through a pool of water. There are 3 general types of resistance training:

Free Weights

This incorporates the use of either dumbbells or barbells to carry out certain exercises and is a type of resistance that not only provides the least stability but also in doing so it activates the greatest percentage of our body’s overall muscle fiber activation.

Machine Weights

Utilizes specially created devices/machines that have either adjustable seats and/or handles which allow great means of stability and isolation for a particular muscle group with greater resistance to body weight, i.e. the seated chest press.

Body Weights

Lastly is good old fashioned body weight, this is definitely by far the simplest but by no means easiest forms of resistance training, Great for beginners looking to learn correct exercise form and technique, provides a versatile easy to use training base, and also a great means to raise heart rate with higher rep exercises.

So which should you be doing? If you are new to the gym I would recommend that you choose some core muscle group exercises that utilize just your body weight, that way you are able to build up the correct form, establish good mind muscle connection as well as allow for adequate reps synonymous with levels of growth (hypertrophy).

Once you start to build up your technique and overall strength then you can start moving over to higher resistance exercises that incorporate machine weights and/or free weights depending on your level of progress, by moving to machine weights you can still keep tabs on your technique and form but now just with slightly higher resistance to your own body weight.

Lastly, once you feel comfortable in the gym, you’ve got a good structure and you are executing good form across all muscle groups, then I recommend incorporating more stabilizing exercises through the use of free weights, so dead-lift, barbell bench press and dumbbell shoulder press, this will allow for activation of far more muscle fibers and it will also get your core stabilizers to fire as well.


PS. If you would like to ask me anything about your fitness journey, feel free to send me a message to Ask Attwell.