Why we add resistance


Slightly different blog this week, answering what seems to be a pretty straightforward question –

Why do we want to keep increasing the resistance (weight) of certain exercises?


On the surface, it makes sense; we want to make the exercise harder, but why is it better than just doing more of them with a lighter weight? There are benefits to both, but here’s why we train how we train! It might even motivate you to try and pick up that next heaviest kettlebell…

1. It just makes it harder!

As I said, this is what you already know, adding more resistance to an exercise just makes it harder!

When you ask your body to move something heavier than it has done before, it needs to ‘recruit’ more muscle fibres to do it. If you recruit more muscle you need to spend more energy. And if you spend more energy, your heart rate goes up faster. This is why 10 reps of bodyweight squats would feel a tonne easier than 10 squats with 50kgs on your back!

This is what helps you get a higher work rate in the same amount of time during a session

Adding resistance doesn’t have to be a heavier bit of kit – Moving from a half to a full push up is still adding more resistance to the movement!

2. It helps stop Plateaus with fat loss

Carrying on from the above, if you are consistently getting stronger, then you will be consistently burning more energy in each session. So as long as you are looking after your nutrition you will continue to burn body fat at a steady rate, rather than the slowing down that most people experience. It can actually help to ACCELERATE fat loss because of the same fact.

3. It forces you to control the movement

The main concern when making an exercise tougher is continuing to do it RIGHT. But as long as you’ve got a watchful eye to make sure and you take the first few reps with a lot of focus, you should actually find it HELPS you to perform the movement BETTER.

We use goblet squats a bunch on sessions and they’re a great example of this. When you push yourself to the next weight up, you should find you naturally brace your core a lot harder and engage your glutes a lot more than before.

Your body likes to ‘cheat’ when it can get away with it, so wake it up with some heavy weights!

4. It makes ‘everyday’ things seem lighter! (aka feel like a badass!)

Hopefully you’ve felt this at some point; You go to pick up ‘XYZ’, something you lift quite often, and all of a sudden it feels 10x lighter than it ever has done before! You have that ‘fist pump’ feeling and maybe even check out your own guns next time you’re in the mirror – it’s totally OK don’t worry 😉

When you get used to lifting heavier and heavier things properly, guess what – everyday things start to feel lighter and lighter! Not only do you get to show off, but it shows that all of the work you’re putting in on sessions doesn’t just stay in the gym, it stays with you!


Always remember, just because it feels heavy now, doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way –

There you have it, hope that’s got you fired up to try out some mean weights on your next session! And if coach comes along with the mean weight, just remember we’re doing what’s best for you 😉