Looking to build muscle and lose fat? If you answered yes, you’ll want to start incorporating strength training into your exercise routine. If you answered no, you’ll want to keep reading…The benefits are endless on why you should strength train. Not to mention the # 1– lifting weights is beneficial for your overall health. And who doesn’t want to be healthy?! As we’ve discussed in previous posts, your diet also plays a big role in building muscle. Although, that’s just half the battle! Today, we’re here to talk about the benefits of strength training as part of your workout regime.
First off, what is strength training? According to the definition from the American College of Sports Medicine, Strength training – also known as weight or resistance training – is physical activity designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a specific muscle or muscle group against external resistance, including free weights, weight machines, or your own body weight. In a recent article on Stack.com, The 8 Benefits of Strength Training For The Average Joe, they break it down for us like this. “Simply put, when we train for strength, we have to put our muscle in a position where it has to overcome resistance. When the resistance is high enough, the muscle will adapt. Your endurance increases, muscle grows and you burn fat. There are many ways to do this—dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, bars, balls, cables, sandbags, and yes, even your body weight.” Cue the part where you find yourself a personal trainer and get to putting in the work — we may know a great place in midtown manhattan 😉
Now let’s get down to business.
The physical benefits – You build muscle. The more muscle on the body, the more fat you will burn. As you continuously build up muscle, your body fat will decrease. These two things go hand in hand, hence why weight training is so important. “The most bang for your buck type of exercise” says Strength and Condition Coach at SportsLab in New York City, Jason Onserud. When prescribed correctly, you can achieve fat loss, body recomposition, athletic conditioning, muscle mass, strength, cardiovascular health, bone density – all through resistance training. Unlike aerobics, you can also increase postural deviations through weight training. “To say the least, you’ll achieve the most benefits in the least amount of time. Especially here in New York City, where time is of the essence, it’s important to maximize your time in the gym with an effective workout,” Onserud adds.
Not only will you be feeling strong physically, your mental state will thank you, too.
The psychological benefits – For starters, any type of exercise is proven to boost your mood and increase endorphins, but strength training in particular can get you feeling at your very best! In a recent article published by NBC News, titled The 7 Benefits of Strength Training that go Beyond Building Muscle, they hone in on the feeling behind the workout. “In fact, in one new study comparing the effects of aerobic exercise versus resistance training on the psychological health of obese adolescents, researchers found that people in the resistance group experienced significantly greater self-esteem and perceived strength over four weeks. But what’s most interesting is that the feeling of getting stronger — rather than any measurable gains — was all it took to give them a boost.
Feel good, look good, maximize your time – it’s a win-win. Now, let’s get our training on!