Font Size
A
A
A
2
...

Strength Training (cont.)

How Does Resistance Exercise Work?

Patient Comments

Resistance training works by causing microscopic damage or tears to the muscle cells, which in turn are quickly repaired by the body to help the muscles regenerate and grow stronger. The breakdown of the muscle fiber is called "catabolism," and the repair and re-growth of the muscle tissue is called "anabolism." You're probably familiar with the term anabolic when used with steroids. Anabolic means to grow, and that's exactly what happens after you break down the muscle fibers with resistance exercise. In fact, many biological processes of growth in the body require some breakdown, or catabolism, prior to re-growth. For instance, bones must be broken down first before calcium and other growth factors repair the bone and make it stronger. With muscles, testosterone, insulin-like growth factor, growth hormone, protein, and other nutrients rush to the muscle after a resistance-exercise session to help repair the muscles to make them stronger. Importantly, your muscles heal and grow when you aren't working out, and so that's why it's necessary to leave time between workouts for recovery.

Must Read Articles Related to Strength Training

Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic Exercise Aerobic exercise is moderate physical activity that's sustained for a few minutes with the goal of improving health. Walking, biking, swimming, dancing, and jog...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Resistance Training:

Strength Training - Exercise

What are your favorite strength training exercises?





Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Therapeutic Exercise »

DeLateur defined therapeutic exercise as the prescription of bodily movement to correct an impairment, improve musculoskeletal function, or maintain a state of well-being

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Find Your Best Self: Discover new ways to live an inspiring life through beauty, diet, and fitness ideas.

Medical Dictionary