Weight Training: Benefits of Weight Training
Cardio or aerobic activities are for weight loss. Lifting weights is for hypertrophy (bulging muscles). Weight training is an inherent part of both physical and mental fitness; it brings a lot to the table. People looking to lose weight often practice various cardiovascular activities such as running, swimming, etc, which by no means is the wrong approach but the thing is that it should definitely be accompanied by weight bearing exercises.
What are the Benefits of Weight Training?
Weight management - resistance (weight) training builds muscles. Muscle burn more calories than fat so you effectively increase Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) by up to 15%. In other words, you burn more calories 24/7 than if you had less muscle. Example: a person that burns 2000 calories a day decides to take on regular weight training, after some time, his caloric expense can rise to around 2300.
Strong Bones Help to Prevent Osteoporosis
When bones are under weight pressure, they adapt by forming more bone cells which in turn strengthens the bones. As we age, there’s a decline in bone mass, which can lead to fractures. You can reverse the process by doing weight training and eating right. Weight training prevents muscle mass loss. Remember after the age of 30, we lose 3-5% of muscle mass.
As a result, daily activities that once were a breeze become tiresome, and because muscle mass is linked to metabolism, it slows down and you’ll gain weight if your lifestyle remains the same. Weight lifting will drastically lower the amount of muscle mass lost due to age. It may prevent and treat diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, depression, increases balance and flexibility. The stronger the muscles, the better they work with joints, the lower the likelihood of injury and the better the overall performance.
Gives you Finest Look
General well being, exercise in general, be it aerobic or anaerobic, releases endorphins, which are responsible for feeling good. It is a well known fact that being strong and having a toned body gives you an increased self-esteem.
Some more on weight training - Because muscle, by volume, weighs more than fat, you may notice you’ve actually gained weight if you use the weighing scale often. Don’t panic! Your ultimate goal is to replace most fat (body needs some to function) with muscle. Since muscle is much denser than fat, therefore if you were to replace, let’s say, 5 kg of fat with muscle, you would look slimmer in the same weight. Scales aren’t the ideal indicator of your progress, instead use the mirror and wear tight clothes to see if they look baggy.
Ladies, Concerned about Growing Massive Muscles?
Don’t be, because you won’t. Women have a very low amount of testosterone, which is largely responsible for muscle development. Your muscles won’t develop as much as a man’s even with certain amount of weight lifting. So how often and for how long should you work out? 2-3 sessions a week, with each session lasting for 15-30 minutes. Remember to keep your back straight while working out.
Think Big, Start Small
Don’t jump straight to 10 kg weights; instead start with 1 or 2 kg, with 6-12 repetitions. Gradually increase weight to continually increase muscle. You must lift more weight and shuffle between various exercises (on the same muscle group). Unless you do it, your muscles will hit a plateau and won’t grow because they’ll be used to the daily routine.
Are you too Old to Pump Iron?
Not at all! It’s never too late. Simply consult a professional and start accordingly. You can harvest the many benefits of weight training at practically any age.