We all know cardio is good for the heart, but is it KING amongst all exercise?
Weight lifting isn’t just for the bodybuilders and powerlifters, it’s for ALL! So if it’s not in your current exercise routine, check out these benefits of strength training that’ll make your body stronger and healthier. Let’s pump some iron!
1. It Builds Muscle
It’s common knowledge that strength training builds muscle. But many people believe that strength training builds the kind of muscle that they are NOT looking for. One of the most common things I hear as a trainer is:
“I don’t want to get bulky, I want to build lean muscle.”
Guess what? There’s no difference between “bulky” muscle and “lean” muscle. If you have seen someone who has put on fat while building muscle, then chances are they have gained fat because of their diet rather than the training.
Focus on eating clean and train hard with heavier weights – you’ll see more muscle tone and less fat. Which brings us to our next benefit of strength training…
2. It Burns Fat
More muscle means less fat! As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs. For every pound of muscle you gain, your body can burn an extra 30-50 calories a day! This means that with just three more pounds of muscle, you can burn up to 150 calories per day without doing a thing!
A recent study showed that aerobics plus weights can have a much greater effect than just doing aerobics. Successful fitness author Alwyn Cosgrove revealed this in his article Hierarchy of Fat Loss:
Overweight subjects were assigned to three groups: diet-only, diet plus aerobics, diet plus aerobics plus weights. The diet group lost 14.6 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. The aerobic group lost only one more pound (15.6 pounds) than the diet group (training was three times a week starting at 30 minutes and progressing to 50 minutes over the 12 weeks).
The weight training group lost 21.1 pounds of fat (44% and 35% more than diet and aerobic only groups respectively). Basically, the addition of aerobic training didn’t result in any real world significant fat loss over dieting alone.
Thirty-six sessions of up to 50 minutes is a lot of work for one additional pound of fat loss. However, the addition of resistance training greatly accelerated fat loss results.
As the study reveals, building strength and weightlifting can have a DRAMATIC effect on weight loss!
3. It Can Prevent Injury
“What? Won’t it hurt me?”
Glad you asked. The answer is no.
Because of the concentration on core that strength training requires, you’re less prone to injury. So for those out there who say they don’t want to strength train because they’ll hurt themselves, they should be strength training so they DON’T hurt themselves.
4. It Can Increase Bone Density
It’s true. Weight-bearing exercises can work to prevent and even reverse bone deterioration in those who suffer from decreased bone density.
Building muscle can help prevent osteoporosis! For women, this is extremely important. A woman can lose up 30% of bone density after menopause and then around 1% each following year.
5. You’ll Be Proud of Yourself
Getting stronger makes you believe in yourself!
When I say “proud,” I don’t mean for you to think that you are better than anyone else. That kind of pride is dangerous. I mean the kind of pride that makes you believe that you can accomplish anything. No one ever accomplished a record-breaking physical feat without believing themselves!
We dare you! Adopt a strength training program and push yourself to the limit for two months. If you don’t feel stronger, more energetic, and better about your body, then go back to the light weights.
You must break borders to build new ones. Push yourself to the limit and discover your true strength!
Ready to begin your Strength Training?
Try one of these workouts: