Benefits of strength training
A type of training that reduces body fat, increases lean muscle mass, burns calories more efficiently and reduces your risk of injury – sounds too good to be true.
Thankfully it is, with resistance training providing all of these benefits and more. Of course, cardio is an important part of fitness too, but the benefits of strength training are major. For this reason, strength training should be seen as an important part of overall fitness and should be included in training programs for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds.
So, what exactly is resistance training?
Broadly defined, resistance training (also known as strength training or weight training) is any activity that requires muscular actions of the body to overcome or attempt to overcome an opposing force.
In the gym we have a huge variety of ways to create that opposing force for us to work against. Load can be added in the form of barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, elastic resistance bands and by using pin and plate loaded machines. We can also position our body to create tension by working against gravity, working isometrically (holding muscles still but under tension like in a plank or hover) and work at high and low tempos to add a degree of difficulty to a movement.
Benefits of resistance training
1. Increased strength and muscular endurance
The most obvious benefit of weight training is that it will make you stronger. Not only will this help you train harder and for longer, but it will also make a difference to day-to-day activities you had never questioned before. Walking up stairs will start to feel easier and getting all of the shopping from the car to the kitchen in one trip will start to feel like less of a struggle!
2. Effective weight management
Strength training can help to both manage and lose weight, as it increases your metabolism to help you burn more calories. When performed at a high intensity, a strength workout can stimulate your metabolism for hours afterwards, so your body continues to burn calories long after you’ve left the gym!
3. Maintain flexibility and balance
Working your joints through a full range of motion ensures all of the joint’s surrounding muscles grow strong and flexible and contributes to better balance as you age. Keeping those joints moving plays a massive part in their longevity. A well-used door’s hinges don’t creak!
4. Boosts energy levels and mood
Exercise will elevate your level of endorphins, helping to lift energy levels and improve your mood. Noticing those weights feel lighter while you hit goals in the gym is a sure way to put a smile on your face after a session. By getting stronger, being able to lift more weight and noticing changes to their body over time, both men and women can start to see confidence pouring over into other aspects of their life.
5. Adds variety and provides a challenge
Strength training doesn’t just have to be bicep curls in front of the mirror. There are so many possibilities for variety when strength training that each session can provide something different to challenge you. Setting smart goals gives you something to work towards and learning new skills in the gym is great exercise for the brain too!
6. Reduces risk of injury:
Resistance training not only makes your muscles stronger, but also strengthens your connective tissues. Working on weaknesses might not always be fun at first but it will build the foundations to a well-balanced body. The less weaknesses you have, the less likely you are to develop injuries.
7. Increases bone density:
Our bones like it when we make them work hard! When load is applied consistently to our bones they adapt and become stronger. Strength training ensures that those bones, and the muscles and tissues that support them, keep working to stay strong as we age.
There are too many physical, mental and overall health benefits to leave resistance training out of your workout schedule.
Get started with a personal trainer, who can guide you through a safe an effective program using our gym floor
Find out more about personal training.
Or jump into a group fitness environment and include BODYPUMP, GRIT, HIIT or NU Train.
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