People have a million crazy reasons why they think they shouldn’t do some form of resistance training: “I don’t want to get too bulky”, “My joints can’t handle it,” and “I don’t have time” tend to be some of the most common. The truth is everyone can benefit from strength training, no matter their age, strength or fitness level.
Resistance training is a form of exercise that improves muscular strength and endurance. During a resistance training workout you move your limbs against resistance provided by your body weight, gravity, bands, weighted bars or dumbbells
Key things you should know about resistance training so you don’t psych yourself out before you start:
- When it comes to the fear of looking too muscley (particularly for women) it’s not likely to happen. Women need to produce a hell of a lot testosterone to bulk up, and gaining that amount of muscle just isn’t an easy task!
- After you turn 30 you lose 3%- 5% of your muscle mass naturally, which can lead to Sarcopenia, which is a loss of your muscle function. Don’t freak out and it’s not all doom and gloom! Using strength training can dramatically reduce sarcopenia, no matter your age and strength levels.
Here are five reasons that resistance training will benefit anyone.
- It makes it easier to lose fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn each day. This makes losing fat so much easier. Along with interval training, strength training is your go-to for fat loss. Try to avoid the steady state cardio myth, and incorporate some weights into your workout.
- Improves bone strength and balance. Muscle strength is important for bone health, balance and building strength for daily activities, such as climbing stairs or carrying things from the car etc. This is handy at any age, but also useful for life!
- It manages your blood pressure. Regular strength training has also been shown to help you manage blood pressure, as well as blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels. This will help keep your sensitivity to insulin in check which also is a big help for fat loss.
- You will get better sleep. Strength training will help good sleepers as well as those with insomnia. It helps lower your cortisol levels (Stress Hormone) so your mind won’t be racing in the evening. Just be sure to not train too close to bedtime as it may keep you more awake.
- It makes you smarter. Research also shows strength training could be good for your brain, according to a study from the University of Sydney. This is due to intense exercise raising the adrenalin hormones that stimulate the brain. (Who doesn’t want to be a little bit smarter?)