One of the most common complaints we hear as personal trainers is from people who are already exercising consistently and eating healthily, but still haven’t lost any weight.
We immediately ask about their weight training routine and rarely do we find someone asking what is lifting heavy? or what should I lift heavy? What we often hear are the same refrain from both men and women: “…lift weights? NO! I’m afraid of bulking up”
Without a doubt, the mass media’s portrayal of oiled-up bodybuilders has tarnished the image of weight training and greatly influenced people’s general perception on the subject.
While weight training can lead to significant muscle gain, it’s important to keep in mind that professional bodybuilders, those who spend up to 10 hours per day in the gym and subsist on a diet of pure protein and testosterone, do it for a livelihood.
We at Anabolic Coach aim to dispel the myths surrounding weight training by enlightening you on the many health benefits you may reap from including it in your pre-scheuled exercise routine.
To this end, we have comenup with our list of seven reasons why you should dedicate yourself to lifting heavier weights under the guidance of a qualified personal trainer or coach today.
Lifting Weight Helps In Burning Excessive Calories
Cardio is essential for reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass, but it is not enough on its own, but with weight training, you shuld be able to achieve much better outcomes and quicker too.
While it’s true that cardio can help you lose weight, the calorie burn stops almost immediately after you stop moving.
An intensive aerobic workout may cause your body to keep burning calories for up to an hour, but research shows that strength training workouts speed up your metabolism for more than 24 hours afterward.
As a result of the boost in metabolic rate, you can burn more calories even when you’re at rest, leading to more fat loss.
Some people may be under the impression that lifting weights will cause them to put on weight, yet the opposite is actually true.
The idea that fat can be lost simply by doing exercise is a frequent misconception.
In one study, it was observed that both the cardio-only and weight-plus-cardio groups dropped an average of 21 pounds during the course of the study.
Weight reduction occurred in both groups, but muscle and fat were shed by the cardio-only group while the weight-lifting group shed just body fat.
Weight Training will Strengthen your Bones
Regular weight lifting can help prevent bone loss associated with aging and diseases like osteoporosis.
It is a fact that when we reach the age 70, we would have already lost about 55 percent of our muscle mass. Evidence suggests that weight lifting can help prevent bone loss and even promote muscle growth.
Weight training has been shown to significantly increase bone density in postmenopausal women over the course of a year, especially in areas prone to osteoporosis like the pelvis and hips.
The risk of bone-related fractures leading to osteoporosis is also reduced if you engage in strength exercises on a regular basis, as these exercises have been shown to improve both balance and coordination.
Weight Training Tones your Skeletal Muscles
Does lifting heavy build muscle? This is a question that we often hear from beginners who are more attuned to engaging in cardio. The truth is, cardio workouts only can never give you a perfectly toned up physique like those of your favorite Hollywood movie star.
While training your heart and lungs is essential to building endurance and stamina, it’s not nearly enough workout on its own. Weight training
Although cardio can help in reducing fat from problem areas, without the weight training you will most likely be left with unsightly saggy skin and a lack of proper body definition and a well chiseled physique resembling those of the gods of Olympus as portrayed in movies.
You can get even better results from your aerobic workout by combining it with a routine of skeletal muscle toning weight training exercises.
Muscles are often concealed by stubborn fat, but weight training can coax them to the surface, resulting in a more toned and sculpted physique and body shape.
Resistance Training can Improve Intelligence
Weight training has been linked to benefits for both physical and mental health.
In a six month study in Brazil, it was observed that resistance weight training improved participants’ cognitive skills.
The sessions with the extra load aided short-term memory, boosted verbal thinking, and fostered increased focus and attention.
This could be because your brain receives a more varied and interesting set of stimuli during resistance training than during a standard aerobic session, preventing it from becoming stale and unmotivating.
Strength Training can Cut Your Gym Time by Half
Adding weights to your routine not only speeds up your progress, but also cuts down on the amount of time you need to spend at the gym expanding your cardio options.
If you’re short on time but still want to get in a decent full-body workout, circuit training is a great option because it combines weight lifting with cardiovascular exercise.
Circuit training is a method of exercising that alternates between intense bursts of cardio and focused strength-training.
Alternately, you might spend less time on the treadmill and more time lifting weights by devoting the final 10 minutes of your workout to the latter.
Weight Training Builds and Improves Brain Functions
Lifting heavy has several positive health benefits beyond merely building skeletal muscles.
Several hormones are produced in greater quantities during weight training; one of these is insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which has been shown to improve brain connectivity and cognition.
Strength Training can Improve Longevity And Quality Of Life In Old Age
After you leave your teenage years behind, the benefits of lifting heavy do not end. In fact, lifting heavy can boost your lifespan and quality of life even in old age..
Intense weight training has a multiplicative effect on bone and muscle density and you should be assured that your sturdy skeleton will be there for you when you’re older, especially if you develop a disease or suffer an injury that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get out of bed.
In addition to the physical benefits of weightlifting, the mental strength that comes with a regular lifting regimen is especially useful for older individuals who struggle with the isolation, loneliness, and despair that often accompany old age.
You may equip yourself with a defense mechanism against these unpleasant emotions by making regular trips to the gym as weight training today can help you live longer and better tomorrow.
So rather than sitting at home doing nothing in your old age, you will still be actively engaging in weight training because you had adopted this habit right from your youth and old habits die hard, as they say.
There are several positive outcomes from engaging in high resistance training. It’s not necessarily a terrible sign if you notice that your weight is creeping up rather than down from week to week.
These gains in weight should be occurring because your muscles are getting bigger and denser, requiring more energy to do the same work as before, provided you are eating well and training consistently.
In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes, resistance exercise can considerably boost your metabolic rate by strengthening muscle fibers and increasing insulin sensitivity. In the end, you’ll be healthier, stronger, more muscular, and less prone to injury in your day-to-day activities.