Last week we discussed how improving core muscles can have a great impact on our bodies. Similarly, weight training can be one of the best variations you can introduce into your workout for heaps of health and fitness benefits.
Put simply, weight training is a type of resistance workout that provides stress to the muscles causing them to repair stronger. For men, weight training can considerably increase muscle mass and result in a more muscular appearance. For women, contrary to popular belief, they won’t become ‘bulkier’ but rather more toned with greater definition.
Most gyms are equipped with free weights, such as dumbbells and barbells, as well as resistance machines. If you are a complete beginner, ask your fitness instructor at the gym to show you the correct form to weight training- not only will they be able to introduce you to a range of weight training workouts, they will also be able to advise you on ways to progress, avoid injury and offer nutritional information to complement your progress.
So why weight? Listed below are 10 great reasons to introduce weight training into your fitness routine.
- Toned muscles
Weight training can add great definition to your muscles, resulting in a toned and lean appearance. There’s no denying that improving physical appearance is one of the main motivational factors to adding a couple of weights sessions into a fitness routine- this is due to the fantastic results you could see after only a few weeks.
- Practical strength
Weight training builds muscles, and muscles are functional! You will be stronger and fitter which makes everyday tasks that require some strength a little easier to complete. After a few weeks, you might even find yourself bicep curling your shopping bags because carrying them normally is just too easy!
- Improved posture
We are sometimes guilty of slouching or not standing as tall as we should, but a stronger core will contribute to you improving your posture almost subconsciously. Posture is crucial to the perseverance of your spine and reduces lower back pain- another great reason to add resistance training to your workout.
- Protect your joints, ligaments and tendons
In reality, most of us don’t give our ligaments a second thought until we’ve injured one. When training, we can often forget that our ligaments and tendons are living tissue and require as much attention as the rest of our body parts. By incorporating weight training into your regime they become stronger and more resilient. Essentially, these elements keep our bodies together and anything that can help towards maintaining a strong and stable body is worth it in our book.
- Build muscle, burn fat
A toned, lean body is a glowing sign of good health. Weight lifting has been scientifically proven to boost our basal metabolic rates, which means while we are resting we are still burning calories for up to 24 hours after our workout. The more intense the workout, the better off you’ll be afterwards.
The more muscle you gain, the more fat you will burn. This is not a myth.
- Fight age related deterioration
You can begin weight training at any age and at any ability and it will benefit you. It can reverse the natural decline in your metabolism, increase bone strength and improve your balance and co-ordination.
- Improve performance
Believe it or not, weight training can actually complement your performance in other sports, including running. Even long distance runners, like Mo Farah, have commented on how strength training has improved their running ability. It goes without saying that resistance training, without a doubt, can improve performance in contact sports such as rugby too.
- Look good!
A major factor in our motivation to take part in any fitness activity is essentially we want to look strong, healthy and youthful! Thankfully, for all of the reasons listed above, this is much more achievable by incorporating weight training into our routines. Take advantage of the kit at the gym, and the knowledge of the instructors to get your weight training off to a great start.