Resistance training is a form of physical activity that involves using external resistance to increase muscle strength, size, power, and endurance. Resistance training can be done with various types of equipment, such as free weights, machines, bands, or body weight¹. However, not all resistance exercises are the same. Depending on how the resistance is applied and manipulated, different exercise types can have different effects on the muscle adaptations and performance outcomes. In this article, we will explore some of the sub-variables that are related to exercise type in resistance training and how to choose the best one for your goals.
Dynamic Constant Training
Dynamic constant training (DCT) is the most common type of resistance exercise, where the resistance remains constant throughout the range of motion. For example, when you lift a dumbbell or use a machine that does not alter the resistance, you are performing DCT. The advantage of DCT is that it is simple and easy to perform, and it can target specific muscle groups effectively. However, the drawback of DCT is that it does not match the strength curve of the muscles, which means that some parts of the movement are easier or harder than others. For instance, when you do a bicep curl, you are stronger at the middle of the movement than at the beginning or the end. Therefore, DCT may not provide optimal stimulation for muscle growth or strength development².
Dynamic Progressive Training
Dynamic progressive training (DPT) is a type of resistance exercise where the resistance increases progressively as you continue to exercise. This can be achieved by using equipment that provides variable resistance, such as rubber bands, tubing, springs, or spring-loaded machines. The benefit of DPT is that it can provide more resistance when the muscles are stronger and less resistance when they are weaker, thus matching the strength curve of the muscles better than DCT. DPT can also enhance muscle activation and metabolic stress, which are important factors for muscle hypertrophy and endurance. However, the drawback of DPT is that it can be difficult to measure and control the exact amount of resistance and to adjust it according to your progress.
Dynamic Variable Training
Dynamic variable training (DVT) is a type of resistance exercise where the resistance can be adjusted or varied within a single set or repetition. For example, you can change the angle, speed, range of motion, or focus of attention during an exercise to alter the resistance. The advantage of DVT is that it can provide more variety and challenge for the muscles and stimulate different aspects of muscle function, such as power, speed, coordination, or stability. However, the drawback of DVT is that it can be complex and require more skill and concentration than other types of resistance exercises.
Exercise type is one of the sub-variables that can affect the outcomes of resistance training. Depending on your goals and preferences, you can choose different types of resistance exercises to optimize your training program. Dynamic constant training is simple and effective for targeting specific muscle groups; dynamic progressive training is suitable for matching the strength curve of the muscles and enhancing metabolic stress; dynamic variable training is ideal for adding variety and challenge and stimulating different muscle qualities. You can also combine different types of resistance exercises to create a balanced and comprehensive program that meets your needs.