Workout Tips

Strength Profiles and Resistance Profiles

Become an expert on exercise equipment and differentiating their uses.


Exercise equipment might fall under three broad categories:

  • Constant resistance
  • Accommodating resistance
  • Variable resistance

Most professionals consider free weight training as constant resistance, however, if you know anything about biomechanics, there is nothing constant about it, unless of course we don’t move the weight. As we push or pull, the muscles are changing length, the relationship of the resistance to the axis of motion is changing and of course acceleration, inertia, momentum and all of those other words of physics we love (or hate) come into play.

Accommodating resistance is designed to exert force through a speed-controlled range of motion. Iso-kinetic resistance equipment is accommodating. Some professionals might argue that aquatics, hydraulics and pneumatics are undefined because they fall into both accommodating and variable resistance categories. I personally consider aquatics accommodating because the person defines the resistance based on the amount of water and speed of movement.

Variable resistance is designed to change the external load throughout an exercise’s range of motion. Most of the equipment we use in the gym falls under this category.