Do you strength train? Why or why not?
People fear getting bulky when it comes to strength training. They think that just picking up a weight will have them walking out of the gym looking like the hulk and all I have to say to that is HA! Do you know how many hours those “bulky meatheads” spend in the gym to get that way? (okay and pair it with a LOT of food and likely some illegal substances)
Those bulky meatheads are not the only ones who should be lifting weights. In fact, there are some key groups of people who benefit more from strength training than anyone else: women and the aging population
Strength training IS for everyone and no you won’t get bulky
Strength training simply means challenging your muscles, picking up weights, or using your bodyweight to progressively overload those muscles. It is a key principle of exercise, it should be included in every programmed fitness routine, and it definitely should not be ignored as you age.
Top 10 Benefits of Strength Training
- Increases muscle strength and endurance.
- Improves bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
- Boosts metabolism and helps with weight management.
- Enhances flexibility and range of motion.
- Reduces the risk of injury and improves balance.
- Improves cardiovascular health.
- Enhances athletic performance.
- Reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
- Boosts mental health by reducing stress and anxiety.
- Improves overall quality of life and increases longevity.
In my opinion, the top 3 benefits of strength training from that list are: improves bone density (important for the aging population), boosts metabolism and helps with weight management (i’ll expand on this below), and reduces the risk of injury and improves balance (this speaks for itself)
How strength training can benefit your weight management
Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does. It’s just a proven fact. So when you have more muscle on your body, you are burning more calories while at rest. Our bodies are always burning calories, that is not just reserved for workouts. In fact, your body burns the MOST of it’s calories per day just by REE (resting energy expenditure)
Your metabolism gets a boost by having more muscle on your body because, like I said, muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does. Not only that, but when you go through a rigorous workout, your body is working hard to repair those muscles and recover, and this is all happening… you guess it, while resting.
Even a 30-minute strength workout, 3 times per week has huge benefits
Often times, people choose just one avenue: cardio focused workouts, or strength focused workouts, but combining the two can reap HUGE benefits. Add in short, 30-minute strength workouts a few days a week and watch your goals become easier to reach.
I’m not saying that you have to strength train every single day to reap the benefits listed above. If you’re a runner and you love it, then keep it! But you should also consider adding in strength training as a supplement to that (it will also improve your running ability, but that’s a different post for a different time)
If strength training isn’t what you love…. yet, you don’t have to go ALL in. Start small, add in small bite-sized workouts and learn as you go
here’s a sample bodyweight workout for you to try!
Check out my YouTube channel where I periodically upload free workouts for you to try
looking for more? check out these other ways I can help!
Carly is a fearless mom, a full-time working employee at a local boutique group fitness facility, an extrovert, and a social butterfly. She’s been in the fitness industry for over 10 years and has a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Northern Iowa.
Her specialties are women’s strength, pre/postnatal fitness, and the deep core and pelvic floor.