Best Way to Build Muscles- The Power of Resistance Training

In addition to losing body fat or increasing fitness, discovering the best way to build muscle is something many people seek in fitness magazines, muscle magazines as well as online.
While many people believe building muscle is a very difficult thing to do, with the right training and a solid understanding of how the body works to build muscle you can start building not only muscle but also strength, creating a beautifully sculpted and ripped body.

What Is Resistance Training?

man kicking punching bags

The term ‘resistance training’ is thrown around a lot in the fitness and muscle building world and is often interchanged with terms such as weight training, strength training, hypertrophy training, and bodybuilding.
With so many terms it’s no wonder people new to getting ripped get so confused. Although these terms are interchanged, resistance training, weight training and strength training are very different from hypertrophy training, power training, powerlifting, weight lifting, and bodybuilding.
The simplest definition of resistance training refers to any form of exercise or training that causes the muscles to contract by using any form of resistance such as pushing, pulling, squeezing or stretching. The amount of resistance added to the muscles during exercise is gradually increased to help build strength and increase muscle size.
Resistance training is the fastest way to build muscle and get ripped fast and can be performed in several ways, using several exercises.
For example, resistance training can be performed on gym machines, using your body weight, with free weights or resistance bands and can be performed as isometric, isotonic or isokinetic exercises.
In some cases, a combination of all of these can be the best way to build muscle, depending on who you are and what your goals are.

How Does Resistance Training Build muscle?

Exercise physiologists spend years learning how the body works so they can help people learn and understand the best way to build muscles. Although the process of building muscle is quite complex, it can be broken down into simple steps and terms which are much easier for everyone to understand.
The process the body goes through to build muscle is extreme and is in essence pretty damaging. Whenever you add resistance to your body to perform an activity or exercise, the added force causes tiny tears in your muscle fibers.
When you finish working out and rest, your body begins repairing these tiny tears, increasing blood flow to the area and building more fibers to help the fibers that have been damaged. It is these new fibers that create new muscle and make your muscles bigger and stronger.
Many people mistakenly believe that it is the resistance training itself that creates muscle but it is actually when you’re resting that your body works hard to repair and build muscle.

The Different Types of Resistance Training 

Isotonic resistance training 

isotonic resistance training biceps curl

Isotonic resistance training is the most common form of resistance training. Isotonic exercises use free weights such as dumbbells, barbells and medicine balls to add the same tension or a constant resistance to your muscles throughout a range of motion (e.g. a bicep curl). Barbell bicep curls, dumbbell lateral raises and medicine ball twists are all examples of isotonic exercises that help to build muscle.

Isometric resistance training

isometric resistance training holding dumbbell up off the ground

Isometric resistance training is the second most common form of resistance training and is often the best way to build muscle for beginners. Isometric exercises use what is known as a static muscle conditioning, meaning that the body is forced to hold or resist the weight without the muscles changing length during contraction like they do with isotonic exercises. These types of exercises are referred to as static because they are performed in a static position (e.g. holding a dumbbell up off the ground) not requiring you to perform a range of motion (e.g. raising and lowering a dumbbell)
In resistance training, isometric exercises are often performed as bodyweight exercises such as static squats or stationary push up and situp holds. One of the advantages of isometric exercise is that it can be used for both resistance training and rehabilitation and is a great way to gradually build muscle while increasing strength.

Isokinetic resistance training 

isokinetic resistance training using resistance bands

Isokinetic resistance training requires your muscles to go through the same motion during exercise.  This type of training isn’t used much in gyms these days but examples include assisted weight machines and resistance bands. Isokinetic exercises tend to be very slow and controlled and are particularly good after injury and during rehabilitation when the muscles are not able to handle the normal amount of resistance.
Resistance training has proven over the past decades to be the most powerful and best way to build muscles regardless of the type of resistance exercises you choose. By starting slow, gradually increasing the resistance and giving your muscles plenty of rest and time to grow, you’ll soon notice an increase in the size and strength of your muscles.
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