Filled with bro science, folklore, and bulging biceps. Loaded barbells clang as they smash the gym floor. The hardcore gym rats pound their chests and growl at the weights in a primal display of dominance. The selfie-obsessed crowd line up in front of mirrors pulling out their best Blue Steel pose. The gym floor can be a strange place. But if you’re stuck in cardio territory where rows of endless treadmills are mobile vantage points for afternoon TV, you’re missing out. Weight training is for EVERYONE. The health benefits are huge! Below are 10 reasons to get your pump on.
Before we get into the 10 reasons to lift, here's a must-see video on gym wildlife. Maybe this is why so many people stick to the cardio area . . .
1. Build an Impressive Body
You don’t need to care about massive biceps or want to look like Schwarzenegger to get benefits from strength training. Strength training is the fastest way to build lean muscle mass. And as you’ll see from this post, more muscle mass = healthier humans. It allows you to perform better in everyday life, and build a body that looks amazing. It doesn’t matter if your goal is weight loss or bulking up, there’s a plan that’ll work for you.
2. Burn More Calories
We all want to have our cake and eat it too. Well, weight training can help with that. It only takes a couple of weeks of training for metabolism to ramp up in both men and women. After a workout, it can be increased for up to 48 hours. This means that it will be much easier to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight.
3. Increase Flexibility
Most of us are strapped into a desk for 8+ hours a day. This wreaks havoc on our bodies. When we think about reversing the damage, stretching usually comes to mind. But research has shown that weight training can increase flexibility significantly. One study reported increases between 3-30%. A relationship was found between load and flexibility improvements. The group that lifted heavier (80% of 1 rep max) saw the biggest improvements. So skip the stretching. Load up the back squats. Go deep!
4. Lose Weight
If your goal is weight loss, you might want to rethink countless hours of cardio. Research has found that 20 minutes of daily weight training had more of an impact on fat loss than the equivalent cardio workout. In another study comparing weight loss strategies, they found that cardio combined with weight training was between 35-45% more effective than cardio only. So, lift weights. Throw in some cardio. Watch the fat melt away!
5. Quick Workouts
You get a lot of bang for your buck with weight training. You can complete a full-body workout in under an hour. Training as little as 3 times a week will get you significant results. You also continue to burn calories for over an hour post exercise as your body works to return to a resting state.
Looking for the fountain of youth? Weightlifting might be your best bet. As we get older, our bodies break down. Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle tissue as we age. We can slow this down by lifting weights. But more importantly, you're less likely to die prematurely if you maintain more muscle mass. That’s a pretty good reason to start lifting!
7. Get Fast Results
You’ll start to see noticeable improvements in strength and muscle size in around 30 days if you train consistently (3-4 weekly sessions). It’s the best way to make dramatic changes to your body composition with limited time for exercise.
8. Increases Bone Density
Your bones are the scaffolding that support your entire body. Our bodies are in a constant state of breaking down and building back up. But as we age, the building process slows down. We enter a catabolic state and our bones become more brittle and susceptible to breaks. Women are particularly at risk of developing osteoporosis (weakened bones and increased fracture risk). Lifting weights slows this process and builds stronger bones. This reduces the fracture risk as we age.
9. Makes You Happier
10. Lowers Risk of Disease
Men who lift weights for 60-149 minutes a week are 25% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. When weight training is combined with cardio, the effect is even greater. Weight training has also been found to reduce blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors.
How to Start Lifting Weights
I write to share my experiences and knowledge with you. But my ultimate goal is to give you information that’ll help you eat, move, and live optimally. Get these right, and you’ll transform your body and change your life. So, I like to end each post with some actionable steps you can take immediately.
To get the most out of this post, complete the steps below before the opportunity passes. If you really can’t drop everything right now, write a reminder on a post-it note and stick it to your forehead for later. Decision creates action. Action creates results.
- Sign up for a free trial to a local gym if you don’t have access to one.
- Set a date and time to trial strength training for 2 weeks.
- If you’re new to strength training, you can use this program.
Add a comment below and let me know if strength training has helped you with any health issues in the past.
Finally, if you want help putting together a customised program to transform your body, book a free consultation with me.
P.S. If you liked this blog post, I’d owe you one if you could get it out there by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on social media (it really helps!). You might also be interested in my free e-book: The Battle Tested Body Transformation Guide.