Weight lifting, also called resistance training or strength training, is the activity of lifting barbells and other heavy weights.
A lot of people are afraid to lift weights. In fact, we often hear women saying they are afraid to lift weights. The fear is that they don't want to get muscular. They associate weight lifting with bodybuilders, who they associate with free weight lifting and strength training.
Understand: Men will stack on muscle easier than women. The hormone that builds muscle (testosterone) is much higher in men. So ladies . . . If you are not supplementing with any artificial hormones, you probably won’t get big just by lifting weights. In fact strength training is a more efficient way to put on lean muscle mass and burn through more fat. Here are some of the benefits:
- It Increases Metabolic Efficiency and Your Body’s Ability To Burn Calories
The 1 ½ pound of muscle lost each year after the age of thirty produces 1 ½% reduction in Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) each year. Low BMR means that your body is less likely to convert the food you consume into energy. This food will be stored as body fat. Even when we are asleep our muscles use, on average, 25% of our body’s calories.
If you implement the principles of effective muscle training and stay consistent with the program, you can have an increased lean muscle mass in your body and increased BMR. This means that you can condition your metabolism to work efficiently, even when you are just resting.
An increase in muscle tissue leads to an increase in metabolic rate, while a decrease in muscle tissue leads to a decrease in your metabolic rates.
- It Improves Performance and Physical Appearance
One result of weight lifting is that it increases physical performance. Muscles use energy to move. Weight training increases the muscle’s strength, size, and endurance, hence improving your work, sports, or everyday activities.
Weight lifting also has a positive impact on your overall body composition and appearance. This can influence your level of confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. For instance, consider a person weighing 170 pounds, with a 20% body fat composition, 136 pounds of lean body weight (organs, bones, water, muscle, etc.) and 34 pounds of fat weight. Through weight lifting, they may replace 5 pounds of fat with 5 pounds of muscle. Even though they may still weigh 170 pounds, they will have 17% fat with 141 pounds lean body weight and 29 pounds fat weight. The body might remain the same, but their strength, muscle tone, and metabolism will be improved, and they will have a fitter appearance.
- It Reduces The Risk Of Injury
Our muscles act as shock absorbers, and they serve as balancing agents in our bodies. Well-conditioned muscles can help lessen the repetitive landing forces that you can get from weight-bearing activities such as playing basketball or jogging. Well-balanced muscles can reduce the risk of injury that occurs when a muscle is weaker than its opposing muscle group.
To minimize the risk of unbalanced muscle development, it is recommended that you train both the muscle and its opposing muscle group during your workout. For instance, when you are doing bench pressing exercises for your chest, you can do some rowing exercises for your back muscles.