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Resistance training for optimal fitness

This is an excerpt from Strength Band Training-3rd Edition by Phillip Page & Todd S. Ellenbecker.

Optimal Fitness

Resistance training is a key part of the success of any fitness training program. One key variable that must be addressed in a resistance training program is the ability for users to alter or advance the program. This type of flexibility allows users to stay with the program despite temporary or permanent changes in location, schedule, and circumstances. For many people today, including athletes, travel occurs frequently, and working out at a set time and place is not always possible. Additionally, having a portable exercise device like ERT that can follow people while traveling and when away from their favorite gym is critically important. For many individuals, adhering to a resistance training program allows them to maintain fitness levels; it is not about training for a particular sport or activity but rather to improve overall strength and endurance of their musculature and develop optimal fitness. The purpose of this particular chapter is to provide a comprehensive and performable resistance training program that will allow individuals to maintain and improve whole-body strength and muscular endurance for fitness. The inherent benefits of ERT make these exercise modules or circuits constantly challenging simply by elongating the elastic resistance or by progressing from one band density to the next. Therefore, having a program that is both portable and progressive allows individuals to continually challenge themselves and elevate their level of optimal fitness.

Almost all of the exercises presented in this book can be performed in just about any location—a gym, a posh resort hotel, a tennis club, or at home—and at any time. Additionally, the ability of the elastic resistance to provide a consistently reliable resistance for so many types of movements allows for the training and development of the entire body. This chapter offers a series of circuit resistance training programs for optimal fitness. The sections are broken into segments that target the upper and lower body as well as the core. One important advantage of an elastic resistance and circuit-based program is the ability to shift the focus from session to session. The circuits can be varied to emphasize different parts of the body on different days by, for instance, alternating days for upper and lower body circuits or creating a whole-body circuit that encompasses all three main areas—upper body, lower body, and trunk—by selecting key exercises from the lists below and combining them into one repeatable circuit. Finally, these exercises can be performed independently using safe, solid attachment points for the elastic bands or tubing or with a partner who can stabilize the elastic material. Individuals can change the focus of their program throughout the year based on identified needs (see assessment chapter 3). Many individuals need extensive core work to improve their overall fitness; by applying the circuit method, you can increase the number of core-based workouts being done to improve that section of the body.