There are many misconceptions on weight training that, generally, do not correspond to the reality. This activity is not just for Schwarzeneggers and athletes who want to reach high levels of muscle mass. It’s a transversal activity to every age group and very popular, that helps to reach many different goals.
Take note of the benefits and the reasons why you should do weight training:
1. It helps to increase lean muscle mass. When you do weight training, you’ll be maximizing muscle gains. During your sleep, your body repairs the muscle fibers that have been damaged by the workout and generates new ones. Weight training is responsible for these changes.
2. Helps with fat loss and fights against sagging. Cardio is important in the weight loss process, but you shouldn’t forget about weight training, because it will allow you to keep your lean muscle mass, it will stimulate fat loss, fight against sagging, will tone up your muscles and stimulate the production of new muscle fibers. After an intense weight training workout, the body can take up to 72 hours to fully recover, so the muscles will have to consume more calories, even when they’re at rest. A few American specialists came up to the conclusion that, although cardio training is more efficient for those who want to lose fat, resistance (weight training) workouts can make you lose up to 1kg per week. It is apparently a low number, but don’t forget that resistance workouts provoke an increase in lean muscle mass, which weighs more than fat. That’s why the difference on the scale may seem insignificant.
3. Strengthens the bones and reduces the risk for osteoporosis (substantial decrease in the amount of bone mass, development of hollow, thin and extremely sensitive bones, more likely to get fractured). Weight training increases bone density and stimulates the production of calcium-absorbing cells.
4. Improves your posture. Lifting weights helps to strengthen every body structure; it improves your posture due to the strengthening of the spine muscles (abs and flexors); improves flexibility, balance and coordination. It is a good option for those who suffer from back problems. If that’s the case, you should ask a trainer for help, because if the exercises are poorly executed, it may worsen the situation.
5. Decreases the risk for diabetes. Lifting weights increases the action of insulin in the skeletal muscle, increasing glucose tolerance which, in high amounts, causes diabetes.
6. Decreases cholesterol. Lifting weights strengthens the arteries and makes blood “stronger”, which allows the development of blood particles. Studies show that lifting weights increases the HDL (good cholesterol) and decreases the LDL (bad cholesterol).
7. Decreases blood pressure. If your muscles are stronger, your heart will have to put less effort in you daily activities. Studies show that lifting weights every week contributes to the strengthening of cardiovascular health, because the exercise you perform during this physical activity reduces the systolic arterial pressure (highest indicator in blood pressure readings) in 2% and the diastolic pressure (the lowest indicator) in 4%.
N/d, Los beneficios de musculación, n/d, 23rd of September 2014, translation and adaptation of the original version
N/d, The Benefits of Regular Strength Training, n/d, translation and adaptation of the original version
N/d, Os benefícios da musculação, 2nd of April de 2010, translation and adaptation of the original version
Jose Alberto Benítez Andrades, Beneficios de la musculación en el organismo, 3rd of June 2013, translation and adaptation of the original version