As we head into fall, people in some parts of the country will be returning to their indoor workout routines whereas others, blessed with warmer weather, will continue enjoying their outdoor environment. Although cardiovascular exercise has historically dominated the workout routine for many individuals, the importance of resistance training is rapidly being appreciated across generations. Thus it is a pleasure to welcome you to ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal’s® themed issue on resistance training. We have a stellar lineup of feature articles supported by additional resources and video content on the Journal’s Web site. The issue begins with an overview and brief history of resistance training written by William J. Kraemer, Ph.D., FACSM. Dr. Kraemer is one of the foremost authorities on resistance training and presented the exceptional Wolffe Lecture at the 2015 ACSM Annual Meeting.
Formulating a long-term plan that maximizes strength development during childhood and adolescence is an important component of a physical activity plan that promotes a lifelong physically active lifestyle. Our initial feature article, “Resistance Training for Kids: Right From the Start,” written by Avery D. Faigenbaum, Ed.D., CSCS, FACSM, and James E.McFarland, Ed.M., CSCS, provides some insightful information for working with children and adolescents. The article is supported by additional information on the Journal’s Web site and will be followed by a future article that dives deeper into a number of key practical applications for working with children and adolescents.
Our second feature article, penned by Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., highlights the importance of resistance exercise as a lifestyle intervention for most overweight and perhaps undermuscled American adults. Titled, “Strength Training for Those Who Need It Most,” the article presents important research-based guidelines that fitness professionals should consider when designing resistance training programs for previously sedentary and poorly conditioned adults.
Speaking of adults, injuries resulting from preventable falls are one of the most devastating and costly events that impact an older adult’s ability to maintain independence. “Targeted Resistance Training to Improve Independence and Reduce Fall Risk in Older Clients,” authored by Joseph F. Signorile, Ph.D., provides some practical insights into working with older adults and adapting protocols to meet the specific challenges associated with the aging adult.
Following Dr. Signorile’s outstanding article, Christian J. Thompson, Ph.D., shares some practical exercise activities that can be used to develop power in older adults. Titled, “Medicine Ball Power Training Exercises for Older Adults,” the article is supported by video demonstrations as well as photos.
The benefits of resistance training as part of a comprehensive therapy program for many chronic disease conditions is becoming more widely recognized by medical providers and health and exercise professionals. Joseph Ciccolo, Ph.D., CSCS, and Sanaz Nosrat, M.A., in their article, “Resistance Training and Chronic Disease: A Summary of the Current Evidence,” provide an excellent summary of these effects followed with some practical examples highlighted in a couple of specific conditions.
It should be noted that topics covered in this themed issue will be presented in a preconference workshop in conjunction with ACSM’s Health & Fitness Summit & Expo next March and taught by some of our featured authors. It will be a great workshop to attend.
I also would like to encourage you to read through each of the exceptional columns penned by our associate editors. They have provided a wealth of practical information built around our resistance training theme that I am sure you will find useful and informative. Finally, while on the journal site, don’t forget to look for additional content, resources, and video presentations.
Brad A. Roy, Ph.D., FACSM
Kalispell Regional Medical Center