Resistance training (strength training, lifting weights – whatever you want to call it) is something I recommend to everyone.
But the benefits go far beyond building muscle and losing fat. In fact, most of the big wins aren’t visible at all.
If you still think strength training is just for physique transformations – read this and let me change your mind.
Muscle Gain And Fat Loss
Before we get into it, let’s talk about resistance training for the physique.
Because yes, strength training will certainly improve the way you look.
You’ll build muscle tissue, which is the metabolically active, toned stuff that doesn’t wobble!
You’ll lose body fat. And you will radically alter your body composition, resulting in a leaner, firmer, neater physique.
Strength Training For Bone Density
Did you know that the average person loses 1% bone mass per year after age 40?
That’s a pretty terrifying statistic. And osteoporosis is not just a concern for women.
This loss of bone mass plays a big part in serious breaks and fractures for older people.
It’s often not the break itself that causes long-term damage, but the inability to fully recover.
Resistance training will boost bone density and offset osteoporosis, putting you in a much stronger position for later life. (1)
Training with weights or even bodyweight slows bone loss and can even build bone tissue.
It works by putting gentle stress on your skeletal tissue, which encourages bone-forming cells to do their work.
Strength training is more beneficial than load-bearing cardio because it targets the bones of your spine, wrists, shoulders, and hips (not just your lower body).
Offsetting Age-Related Muscle Loss
We also lose muscle mass with age. This is known as sarcopenia, and results in less muscle mass, strength, and function.
We can lose up to 8% muscle per decade after the age of 30! (2)
By far the best way to offset this is to do resistance training, and eat a healthy diet with sufficient protein.
Regular strength training will not just help you stave off muscle loss, but could actually keep you ahead of the curve by having more muscle mass to begin with.
Improved Health Outcomes
We don’t often think about muscle mass in relation to health and disease, but a growing body of evidence shows a clear link between muscle and health. (3)
Muscle tissue has a number of metabolic and homeostatic roles in the body.
Low muscle mass has been shown to have a negative impact on health outcomes for heart disease, cancer, and various metabolic diseases. (4)
Muscle mass helps your cardiovascular system function properly, carrying blood and oxygen to your heart, brain, and all organs.
Think of muscle as the healthiest and most supportive material in your body’s structure.
Why wouldn’t you want to build more of it?
Faster Recovery From Illness And Injury
If you’re ever in a position of recovering from an accident, or enduring treatment for illness, your muscle mass will stand you in good stead.
Muscle tissue is like a whole-body reservoir for the amino acids your body needs to repair and rebuild.
Further to this, muscle tissue actively helps carry blood, oxygen, and even medication around the body faster and more effectively.
Science tells us that higher muscle mass can even help outcomes in cancer patients. (5)
Maintaining A Higher Metabolism
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is responsible for how much energy your body expends all the time – even at rest.
A lean, healthy body demands more energy than a weak, fat, or frail one.
Build a little more muscle, and your body will run like a high-powered performance car, going from 0-60 whenever you need to put your foot down.
The more muscle you have, the more food you can eat to maintain your weight, and the easier you will find it to drop body fat when you flip that switch.
Resistance training doesn’t have to mean barbells and dumbbells.
My clients enjoy a real variety of strength training methods, from kettlebells and sandbags to slam balls and body weight.
If you know you need to build a bit more muscle, drop me a line. I’d love to help.
The number one rated Personal Trainer In Henley and Oxfordshire’
References for today’s blog: