Benefits Of Resistance Training
Contrary to popular belief, resistance training does not always mean bulking up. While Olympic lifters and bodybuilders work out to increase size, basic resistance training is a completely different style that's available to everyone. Strength training with machines, free weights, or resistance bands can increase strength and muscle tone without increasing overall mass, provided you're careful about the number of repetitions and sets. While it may seem intimidating at first, working with a personal trainer is a great way to be sure you're lifting safely and effectively. No matter what your fitness goal, here are CoachUp's favorite reasons to include strength training as part of a well-rounded workout program.
Look + Feel Better
A successful strength training program will have a positive effect on your appearance and attitude. You will have more muscle definition, a lower percentage of body fat, and an increase in serotonin levels. Of course, these directly affect your self-esteem and body image. Additionally, women have reported that strength training improves their personal confidence, even after just a few workouts. So, not only are you working hard and looking good, you'll also feel better as well -- and that sounds like a win-win-win to us!
Decreased Risk of Injury
As you know by now, most injuries can be traced back to weaknesses in a muscle, bone, ligament or tendon. Certainly, there can be truly unavoidable injuries, but resistance training will help minimize that chance. Resistance training in particular helps strengthen many areas of your body at once, so you can't really go wrong with those exercises. Lifting weights with proper technique helps strengthen each of these vulnerable areas, greatly reducing your risk of injury.
Starting at age 25, the average person will lose one-half pound of muscle with each additional year of life. Every ten years, you will lose three-to-five percent of your muscle mass and strength if you don’t do anything to prevent it. A well-designed weight-lifting program can help you reverse this process, continue to build strength, and stay healthier longer. Listen, CoachUp would like to point out that there's a huge difference between lifting for training and lifting for bodybuilding. Even more so, there's an even bigger difference between lifting for training and lifting to stay fit and healthy. So, no matter what level you're at, you can always improve based on your goals, desires, and dreams.
Increased Bone Density
Strength training is the best way to increase bone density, especially for older adults. Subjecting your bones to weight-bearing exercises improves bone density and decreases the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Although you should start lifting before you’re at risk for osteoporosis, strength training at any age will help make bones stronger, guaranteed. Again, this doesn't mean working out as if you're training for the gold, but even simple, daily exercises are enough to make a huge difference.
Bodies naturally find the path of least resistance to complete any movement, which sounds great initially but can create some pretty unfortunate obstacles. For instance, this can create complications and imbalances in the way your muscles function. Simply put, a muscle imbalance means that some stronger body parts are overcompensating for the weaker areas, that can ultimately result in injury. A good resistance training program will address these muscle imbalances and weaknesses, working to create a more fully evolved and developed system. By focusing on correcting imbalances and strengthening areas such as the core and neck, you can improve posture and muscle function no matter what you're striving for. When your muscles are strong and working correctly, you’ll be more comfortable.
(Related: Read more about potential muscle imbalances here.)
At the end of the day, only you can bring positive change to your body, so get out there and make it happen! In particular, resistance training can be very beneficial for humans and athletes of any size, level, or ability, so don't just overlook it because you're just trying to stay healthy! If you can take anything from this article, remember that. In fact, think of it in terms of boxing -- to many, it seems like a very elite-level sport with grueling training sessions as well. However, boxing lessons can be a great way to workout and stay healthy for anybody as it constantly works many areas of you body at once. In this way, resistance training is very similar -- so don't bypass it!
If you're unsure how to continue from here, or might feel more comfortable with a partner or ally with you at the gym, consider booking one of CoachUp's private trainers to help you out. Our talented, knowledgeable team will have you getting healthier, stronger, and more prepared no matter your goals through a unique, personalized routine! It's never been easier to get in shape, so what are you waiting for?