A lot of people associate lifting weights with body building and guys with huge muscles, so they decide that they only want to do cardio because they think that is the best way to become slimmer. While cardio does burn more calories, a body that is composed of more muscle mass will use more calories on a day to day basis because muscles need energy for tissue maintenance. A body that is low in muscle can lead to reduced bone density and a gain in fat mass. Resistance training helps to promote long term health, prevents weight gain, and is the best form of training for improving body composition. We will discuss the 3 main benefits of resistance training below.
Do you look on the internet and see a body that you envy? Well most likely that person is doing resistance training. As body composition improves, a person will gain more muscle mass and lose fat but may not necessarily decrease their overall weight. Therefore, sticking to the scale is sometimes a bad idea. A person who is 50 kg with a low body fat and more lean muscle will look a lot more fit than someone who is 50 kg with very little muscle and higher body fat. As we age, physical inactivity and eating a poor diet can lead to chronic health conditions, losses of muscle mass, reduced bone density, and fat gain. Resistance training has been shown to slow down or reverse all of these changes in the body. Also, in terms of gaining “too much” muscle mass, this is not likely to happen unless an individual’s goal is strictly to build big muscles by shaping their diet, supplements, and training around this goal. It is exceedingly difficult for males and even more difficult for females to attain this type of muscle mass naturally, Instead what happens is that someone who does resistance training and eats a balanced diet will increase muscle, reduce fat, and improve their overall body composition without looking like a body builder. A body with more muscle burns more calories during the day and this increased muscle mass leads to a higher metabolism.
Did you know that your strength usually peaks at age 30 and starts to decline once a person hits age 50? When someone ages, the loss in strength and muscle can lead to a higher risk for falls, loss of independence, slower movements, and a lower quality of life. Consistent resistance training can lead to increased strength no matter your age. A moderate intensity can lead to modest gains, while if your goal is to become significantly stronger, you should perform more intense weightlifting. How much your strength increases is based solely on how hard you want to push yourself.
Improved Overall Health
Weight training does not only benefit your body composition and strength, but it also helps to have many beneficial facts on other health outcomes. Studies have shown that weight training can help to prevent and treat chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. In additional there are many mental health benefits such as higher self-esteem, lower anxiety, lower depression, less fatigue, and improved cognitive skills. In conclusion, resistance training should be part of everyone’s exercise program no matter your age or skill level. Who doesn’t want to look better, be stronger, and feel better? If you are a beginner at resistance training, start at a lower intensity and resistance and gradually progress over time as you feel more comfortable.