Weight training has an almost infinite list of benefits and can serve a purpose to pretty much everyone. It is an underappreciated life skill. Yet most people, for whatever reason fail to ever learn the basics of lifting.
Lifting weights is generally used to encourage adaptations in strength and muscle, but lift consistently and you’ll start to recognise the many other benefits that could positively impact your everyday life.
Here is a brief summary of the 5 core reasons why lifting weights could be good for you.
NUMBER 1. PHYSICAL HEALTH
Lifting weights will improve your physical health by strengthening your immune system, for both recovery from Illness as well as illness prevention and more potential for life longevity
Improving physical health can have a positive impact on your libido (sex drive) and quality of sleep.
Lifting weights improves general fitness and enhances quality of life for simple daily tasks such as; carrying heavy items, climbing stairs or being active with your kids. It can also improve your posture, which in turn benefits your breathing.
NUMBER 2. MENTAL HEALTH
Lifting weights reduces levels of your stress hormones (adrenaline & cortisol) and stimulates ‘feel good’ hormones (endorphins) which can assist in alleviating chronic feelings and symptoms of OCD, depression, sadness, stress & anxiety.
It’s important to prioritise mental health sometimes, lifting weights creates time and space in your mind to clarify thoughts and momentarily be distracted from the stresses of work, life and relationships.
Lifting weights requires consistency and effort. This process can enhance one’s self esteem, build character, resilience and confidence.
It enhances cognitive function, and increases mindfulness & focus throughout your working day.
NUMBER 3. AESTHETICS
The main reason people begin working out is to improve the way they look by either;
Now, your nutrition will ultimately determine the outcome for each of these scenarios but here’s how lifting weights can play an important role;
Building muscle - weightlifting places stress on the muscles, which causes them to adapt and grow. This process, known as hypertrophy, leads to an increase in muscle size and strength.
Weight Gain - Muscle tissue is denser and heavier than fat, so an increase in muscle through weight lifting can result in an increase in overall weight. Additionally, weightlifting can increase appetite, allowing for more calorie intake.
Burning fat- Lifting weights burns calories for sure, but more importantly, combining weight lifting with the right diet will support the long term management of weight loss by improving your muscle to fat ratio and increasing your resting metabolic rate.
So, the more muscle you have the faster your body can burn calories at rest.
Outside of those 3 goals maintenance is another option, this means to simply stay as you are which of course isn’t always easy and can require constant work.
‘Tone up’ is another common term used to describe someone's goals. This however, is just another way to phrase the process of building muscle and burning fat.
NUMBER 4. PERFORMANCE IN SPORT
Lifting weights can improve general fitness or athletic performance by increasing muscle mass, strength, power and endurance. Typically done through various compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts and olympic lifts usually with resistance from weights, bands, or in some cases, bodyweight.
Improving performance in sport, such as running longer, jumping higher, sprinting faster or punching harder generally requires sophisticated programming and varying exercises and intensity otherwise known as periodization.
NUMBER 5. SOCIAL NETWORKING
Lifting weights can create social benefits by providing an opportunity to interact and connect with others who have similar fitness goals and interests. Joining a gym, a fitness class or participating in sport can open doors to a support network, new communities, and connection with others.
Working out with a partner or a group of friends can increase accountability and motivation whilst helping push each other to reach your goals. Training with others can also provide opportunities for friendly competition and the chance to learn from one another.