8 Great Reasons to Start Strength Training Today

Working on muscular strength and endurance can help you to..

Start Strength Training

8 Great Reasons to Start Strength Training Today

Working on muscular strength and endurance can help you to achieve many goals related to health, fitness and weight loss.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight or maintain your current body composition, strength training can help you to achieve your body-focused goals while improving the way you feel.

You’ll be better at, well, everything

No, we’re not overexaggerating the benefits.

The physical act of lifting weights (or other forms of resistance) helps your body to increase its muscle mass, which makes lifting anything—not just dumbbells—easier.

So carrying those groceries in?

Picking your kids up?

Cleaning the house?

Walking up stairs?

All easier when you lift weights!

In addition, regularly lifting weights helps to improve your flexibility, balance and coordination.

In fact, strength training has been shown to reduce the risk of falling by 40%, so this type of exercise is good for people of all ages.

Increased lean body mass

Strength training, when supported by protein-rich foods, can help to prevent or minimize the loss of lean body mass that is typically a by-product of dieting.

Quite often when people cut their daily calories in order to lose weight, the weight lost is not always healthy or sustainable.

When people are dieting without exercise, they can lose body fat in addition to healthy muscle tissue.

That can play havoc with your body weight long-term.

Appearance

Strength training can favorably affect your overall body composition, resulting in a greater proportion of lean tissue relative to fat tissue.

This can greatly enhance your overall appearance and reduce your dress size.

Muscle takes up less space in the body per pound than fat, so having lean muscle mass can make you both look and feel great.

Prevent injury

Lifting weights is key to staying injury free.

In addition to muscles being stronger, studies show that resistance training can lead to stronger ligaments and tendons (those are the tough connective tissues that hold bone to bone or muscle to bone, respectively), meaning you’re less prone to tears or other injuries in everyday activities.

Jump-start power

Eager to sprint faster or jump higher?

An extra dose of dumbbells can work fast-twitch muscles, the speedy muscle fibers responsible for generating power.

The result: You’ll see gains the next time you play a game of tennis or basketball, in addition to getting stronger in the gym.

You’ll burn more calories

You probably already know that the physical act of lifting weights burns calories (especially if you do circuit training, which gives you some cardio benefits, too!), but did you know that strength training can help you to burn more calories even when you’re not working out?

It all goes back to building muscle. It takes more energy (calories) for your body to use and maintain muscle cells than it does fat cells.

So by simply lifting weights to add more muscle mass, you’re boosting your metabolism and turning your body into a more efficient calorie-burning machine.

You’ll help your heart

Strength training is so good for the heart that the American Heart Association recommends it as a top way to keep your heart healthy.

Studies show that strength training can help prevent heart disease and can even help reduce risks and problems in individuals who already have heart disease. 

Furthermore, several studies have found that lifting weights at a moderate intensity can lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels, boosting heart health.

Additionally, research conducted in the College of Health Sciences’ Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science at Appalachian State University has shown that resistance training can lower blood pressure by as much as 20%.

Researchers say that the healthy heart benefits come from the increased blood flow to the muscles, heart and body.

You’ll sleep better

Sometimes, exercising too close to bedtime can make it hard for you to fall asleep.

But performing strength training (at least two hours before bedtime) has been shown to help prevent sleep apnea and help with insomnia.

Not to mention that after a good weight-lifting session, it just feels good to hit the hay!

How Does It Work?

The letter “x” represents a rest day. 

The letters “A” and “B” are workouts described below. 

So, for example, the first week of workouts shown directly below is “AxBxAxx”, which means do workout A on Monday, rest on Tuesday, do workout B on Wednesday, rest on Thursday, Do workout A on Friday, and rest on the weekend.

For the first 2-3 weeks:

AxBxAxx BxAxBxx AxBxAxx

  • A=3×5 squat, 3×5 press, 1×5 deadlift
  • B= 3×5 squat, 3×5 bench press, 3×5 Power Clean
  • x= rest day

 

Then, for 2-3 weeks do this:

AxBxAxx BxAxBxx AxBxAxx

  • A= squat, press, deadlift
  • B= squat bench press, power clean
  • x= rest day

 

For the remainder of the 6-9 months, do this:

AxBxAxx BxAxBxx AxBxAxx

  • A= squat, press, deadlift or power clean
  • B= squat, bench press, back extensions, chinups or pullups
  • x= rest day

 

4 Things You Really Need For Strength Training At Home

Kettlebells

We recommend investing in a set of 5-, 10-, and 15-pound cast iron kettlebells.

These compact weights will last a lifetime and are a great way to build strength and turbocharge your cardiovascular routine. 

Resistance bands

You could invest in a set of dumbbells—or you could buy a few resistance bands, which are cheaper and more portable.

Resistance bands are great, because they can be used to perform multiple strength training and isometric moves.

Plus, they’re easy to pack, which may inspire you to stick to your routine when you travel, she adds. 

Stability ball

Using a stability or fitness ball instead of a bench to perform core and strength-training exercises can help to boost your calorie burn by challenging your balance. 

Additional muscles are recruited when the body tries to stay steady, which means you’re getting more out of every rep.

Foam roller

A foam roller is a crucial tool for recovery—an important, and often overlooked, component of weight lifting routines.

Foam rollers work out the knots in your muscles, helping you move past soreness quickly so you can stick to your routine.


Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT
Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT

We eat clean, are always motivated and helpout beginners in need. We sell guides on Cutting, Bulking and Muscle Building. Checkout our website!

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