Who wouldn’t want to start exercising if they knew it would be good for their heart, balance, bones, and muscles, and help them lose or maintain weight? Strength training, however, has been shown to offer all of these advantages and lots more.
This post highlights 7 key strength training benefits.
What Exactly Is Strength Training?
Weight training, resistance training, and muscular training are all names for the same thing – strength training.
Bodyweight exercises or those performed with resistance tools (such as dumbbells or resistance bands) are considered strength training.
The most common forms of strength training include:
#1. Muscular Hypertrophy Strength Training: This is also known as a muscle building exercise, and it involves the use of moderate to heavy weights to promote muscle growth.
#2. Muscular Endurance Strength Training: This strength training involves working your muscles for an extended time without tiring in an attempt to build your endurance and stamina. Muscular endurance training typically entails performing many repetitions using relatively light weights or using only the body as resistance.
#3. Circuit Strength Training: This is a great way to condition your whole body with minimal rest in between workouts.
#4. Maximum Muscular Strength Training: This strength training exercise is characterized by the use of heavy weights and a small number of repetitions, typically between 2 and 6 reps. Only those who are very fit and have perfected their form should attempt this.
#5. Explosive Power Strength Training: You can enhance your power output through explosive power strength training, which combines both strength and speed. Most commonly, it is used by trained athletes to increase their speed and power in explosive movements.
The terms “strength training” and “power training” are typically reserved for highly trained athletes, while “muscular endurance,” “circuit training,” and “muscular hypertrophy” are the most common forms of “strength training” practiced by the general public.
You can use a wide variety of tools (or nothing at all) to achieve your strength training goals.
- Body Weights: Utilizing only your own body mass and the pull of gravity to accomplish a variety of physical feats is what we mean when we talk about “body weight” exercises (e.g., pushups, squats, planks, pullups, and lunges)
- Free Weights: Dumbbells, bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and other household items can be used as “free weights,” or weight training equipment that is not fixed to the ground or a piece of exercise machinery.
- Resistance Bands: Bands that resist stretching, also known as resistance bands or loop bands, are made of rubber.
- Weight Machines: Resistance training with hydraulic or weight attachments is the goal of weight machines.
- Suspension Equipment: Exercises are performed using only one’s own body weight and the force of gravity on a piece of suspension equipment, which consists of straps or ropes anchored to a solid point.
The whole point of any strength training is to subject your muscles to tension in order to promote neuromuscular adaptations and muscle growth. Muscles can be trained to become stronger through repeated exercise.
How Strength Training Benefits You
There are many interesting strength training benefits, but 7 key health benefits of strength training for men and women include:
#1. Increases Bone Density
Developing strong muscles is essential for healthy bones. Inducing short-term stress on bones through weight-bearing exercise prompts bone-building cells to respond by repairing and strengthening brittle bone tissue. Having strong bones, particularly as you get older, can help protect you from osteoporosis, fractures, and falls. It’s great news that strength training’s bone-strengthening benefits can be enjoyed at any age.
#2. Lowers Blood Pressure
Regular strength-training exercise has been shown to strengthen the heart and blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase blood flow.
Working on your strength can help you control your weight and blood sugar levels, as having a high blood sugar level increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
#3. Improves Metabolism
Your metabolism which is the rate at which your resting body is able to burn calories all through the day is boosted by exercises.
Calories are burned even after strength training is over, as your body returns to a more resting state, just as they are with aerobic activity. According to the American Council on Exercise, this is a phenomenon known as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.”
On the other hand, weight, resistance or strength training causes an increase in energy expenditure proportional to the intensity of your workout. In other words, the intensity with which you exercise will determine the degree to which this effect is amplified. That means you’ll burn more calories not only during your workout, but also as your body returns to rest-mode afterward.
#4. Cuts Diabetes Risk
Those who already have diabetes may be able to better control their condition through regular strength training.
Enhancing insulin sensitivity is a crucial function of your skeletal muscles. Glucose is removed from the blood and delivered to the muscle cells, which results in a decrease in blood sugar levels. That’s why adding muscle is a great way to control your blood sugar.
There is some evidence that lifting weights can lower diabetes risk as well. Strength training participants in a study that followed 35,754 women for an average of 10 years had a 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who did not participate in strength training.
#5. Reduces Depression
According to a meta-analysis of 33 clinical trials published in JAMA Psychiatry in June 2018, strength training is an effective treatment option (or adjunct treatment) for reducing depressive symptoms.
Mood can be improved through any form of exercise because of the endorphins released. There is even significantly more evidence that strength training has a beneficial effect on the brain thanks to studies that have examined the neurochemical and neuromuscular responses to workouts. The January/February 2019 issue of the Brazilian Journal of Psychology features a study suggesting strength training can improve your sleep quality. And as we all know, getting a good night’s sleep can do wonders for maintaining a positive disposition.
#6. Retains Muscle Mass During Weight Loss
You will look leaner as you gain muscle and decrease body fat. Muscle is more dense than fat, so it occupies less volume in the body for a given weight. In this way, you may notice a reduction in the circumference of your waist even if the number on your scale remains unchanged.
Muscle definition is enhanced and a leaner, stronger physique is achieved through fat loss and weight training.
#7. Enhances Quality Of Life
As you get older, you might find that strength training improves your quality of life. Several studies have found that strength training improves health-related quality of life, which is a measure of how healthy a person feels overall.
In fact, improved mental health, physical functioning, pain management, general health, and vitality were all linked to resistance training as seen in the results of 16 studies involving adults aged 50 and over.
Additionally, strength training may enhance the quality of life for those who suffer from arthritis. According to a meta-analysis of 32 studies, strength training reduces pain while increasing physical mobility, flexibility and functioning.
To put it simply, if you haven’t tried building muscle yet, now is the time to start.
Strength training has many positive effects on your health, including lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease, strengthening bones, enhancing mental and emotional well-being, and boosting your confidence.
Thankfully, there is more to strength training than just going to the gym and pumping iron. Using your own body weight, resistance bands, free weights, or even objects you find around the house, you can get a fantastic strength-training workout.
Weight lifting is beneficial for everyone. Also, when it comes to strength training for men or women, it does not matter if you are a complete novice or a seasoned athlete.