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Wednesday August 15, 2018
Resistance Training vs Weight Training by Mike Sztym

"By focusing on the body’s position throughout the exercise, by adhering to form over simply moving weight,,,, a higher quality of muscular development can be attained in a shorter time than through conventional means"

by Michael Sztym, "Old Dawg"

I throw around the term resistance training often and it occurred to me that to some that term may seem confusing or, at the very least, an uncommon choice.

The main difference between the two is that with "weightlifting" the main goal is to move weight, even at the expense of form. With resistance training the goal is to move “muscle” even at the expense of weight. It’s a subtle difference but it changes so much. When approaching an exercise from the resistance training standpoint it calls for a completely different technique. The focus should be placed solely on the body, on its position throughout the exercise and on the muscles being used. Very little concentration should be placed on the weight, the bar or even the machine that’s being used.

To help illustrate my point the dictionary defines resistance as: The exertion of opposite effort or effect. The dictionary further defines training as: 1 - The act, process, or art of imparting knowledge and skill, 2 - Repetition of an action so as to develop or maintain one's skill. Given those definitions we can define the term “resistance training” as: Training the body, through repetition, to overcome the load placed upon it through outside influences.

There are several ways to facilitate this type of training. They are all widely recognized and established training methods used in everyday weightlifting. The difference when engaging in resistance training is the manner in which these techniques are employed.

Exercise, the poor mans plastic surgery!Principally, the goal as mentioned above is to make muscles move, or in other words, to contract. Closely second to that however is the need to force muscles to operate under load until they reach the point of failure. This is the only way in which real muscular development can occur. For the sake of clarity the term failure will be defined here as: The inability to carry out any additional repetition of a given exercise without compromising form or technique.

Control and speed become paramount. Contrary to common philosophy, however, range of motion takes the back seat. We’ll discuss this in more detail shortly. Suffice it to say that in order to work a muscle to its true exhaustion point distance of travel under load must often be set aside.

To do this all the following techniques become essential:

Drop sets

Pre-exhaustion: With pre-exhaustion the thought is to level the playing field between larger muscle groups and the smaller ones, in a manner of speaking. As stated above the only way to truly unlock the potential for muscular development is to reach muscular failure. When using large muscles in combination with smaller ones the larger muscles will still have un-stimulated fibers at the point when the smaller muscles fail. By isolating and “exhausting” the larger muscles first, each group should reach failure at roughly the same time.


A great example is the bench press. When doing the bench press the pectorals, deltoids and triceps – in a large view, are used. With little argument the pectorals are the strongest muscle being used therefore its safe to say the triceps and front delts have a tendency to fail before the chest is thoroughly exhausted. To compensate for this a few light sets of rapid, controlled dumbell flys before bench pressing can provide enough fatigue in the pectorals to allow a more uniform failure. The reason for the rapid pace on the flys is the increased demand placed on the cardio pulmonary system as well as the enhanced “warm-up” benefit.

NOTE: Its easy to get caught up on numbers or on matters of pride. The goal is a fully developed chest, not simply a big bench press. By doing a few sets of dumbell flys before benching it can be expected to see decreases in bench weight. Don’t let this be a cause for alarm or concern. That decrease is offset by the greater development this approach will bring to the pectorals.

Partials: Partials are probably the single-most unsung training technique in modern resistance training. Simply because the muscles are not strong enough to move a given weight through its full range of motion does not mean its not strong enough to move it halfway. Muscular contraction is an all or nothing deal. Even if the given bodypart isn’t moved fully through its range of motion the contraction is still full. Intensity is all that varies. Given that, once the muscle finds moving the weight too difficult to do through a full range of motion, continue to do the exercise with as much a range of motion as can be safely and properly handled. Control is key.

As an example, lets look at the preacher curl. Initially the weight is moved through its full range of motion but as the muscles fatigue it becomes more difficult to pull the weight to its peak. Most people stop at this point cheating themselves out of a great deal of beneficial reps. By continuing to perform repetitions through as much of the movement as possible regardless of distance of travel can bring tremendous benefit.

Drop Sets: Drop sets or strip sets are a simple but incredibly effective method of reaching complete muscular failure. This method involves decreasing the weight that is used during each set until even the lightest weight proves too difficult to do properly. Old school lifters would often refer to this as “running the rack” because it was done with dumbbells. Typically the lifter would start at a weight close to his or her max. Work upward until the max is reached and then run the rack downward using lighter weight with each set until ultimate failure is attained.

Mike Stzym By focusing on the body’s position throughout the exercise, by adhering to form over simply moving weight, by checking pride at the door and by utilizing the three techniques discussed a higher quality of muscular development can be attained in a shorter time than through conventional means.

Good Luck and Good lifting!

Michael Sztym, "Old Dawg"



0 #1 scorpion 2012-01-15 13:59
its doesnt mateer poor or rich for do sport but its mater who are you a lazy dog or a perfect tiger

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