Health Benefits of Weight Training and Conditioning
Here at ReRun Fitness it is our sole mission to help others stay on track with there fitness and athletic goals. Here in this post we wanted share some of the key health benefits to weight training and conditioning. So next time you're in the midst of giving on up on that last set or last rep, you'll remember these benefits!
No disrespect to cardio, but if you want to blast fat, get in shape, and rock everything that comes your way—both in and out of the gym—strength training is where it's at. And experts agree: Heavy lifting is in! You can't swing a kettlebell these days without hitting some workout guru, exercise program, or book advising women to not just light weight but lift heavier weights.
But why? And should you try it if you're already happy with your current workout routine? Here, eight benefits of lifting weights that'll convince you to pick up the heavy dumbbells.
1.You'll Torch More Body Fat
Build more muscle and you'll keep your body burning fat all day long.
"Lifting weights can increase your lean body mass, which increases the number of overall calories you burn during the day," says Jacque Crockford, CSCS and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. Burning extra calories post-workout plus building muscle? That's the surefire way to get the body you want.
You may burn more calories during your 1-hour cardio class than you would lifting weights for an hour, but a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that people who lifted burned an average of 100 more calories during the 24 hours after their training session ended. Another study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Metabolism found that, following a 100-minute strength training session, young men and women's basal metabolic rate spiked by 4.2 percent for 16 hours after the workout—burning about 60 more calories.
And the effect is magnified when you increase the weight, as explained in a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Men and Women who lifted more weight for fewer reps (85 percent of their max load for 8 reps) burned nearly twice as many calories during the two hours after their workout than when they did more reps with a lighter weight (45 percent of their max load for 15 reps).
Why? Your muscle mass largely determines your resting metabolic rate—how many calories you burn by just living and breathing. "The more muscle you have, the more energy your body expends," says Perkins. "Everything you do, from brushing your teeth, to sleeping, to checking Instagram, you'll be burning more calories," Perkins says.You'll Strengthen Your Bones
Weight lifting doesn't only train your muscles; it trains your bones. When you perform a curl, for example, your muscles tug on your arm's bones. The cells within those bones react by creating new bone cells, says Perkins. Over time, your bones become stronger and denser.
The key to this one is consistency, as research has shown that lifting heavy weights over time not only maintains bone mass but can even build new bone, especially in the high-risk group of post-menopausal women.
Your bones need to stay challenged, just like your brain needs exercise to stay sharp. After about age 30, you start to lose bone density at a small percentage each year. Keep in mind, women make up 80 per cent of osteoporosis cases as they lose bone mass.
“I’ve seen countless transformations from regimented resistance training. Not only from a body standpoint, but emotionally and mentally as well,” said Dr. Brad Schoenfeld, director of the Human Performance Lab at New York City’s Lehman College. “Resistance training creates force on the bone and helps it stay strong. Your body cares about survival, not looking cute in a bikini – it has to adapt to survive so it’ll get stronger and bones will get stronger to endure these forces,” Schoenfeld said.
You'll Get Stronger
Lifting lighter weights for more reps is great for building muscle endurance, but if you want to increase your strength, increasing your weight load is key. Add compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and rows to your heavy weights and you'll be amazed at how fast you'll build strength.
You'll Prevent Injury
Achy hips and sore knees don't have to be a staple of your morning run. Strengthening the muscles surrounding and supporting your joints can help prevent injuries by helping you maintain good form, as well as strengthening joint integrity.
Proper strength training is actually the solution to joint issues. Stronger muscles better hold your joints in position, so you won't need to worry about your knee flaring up during your next run.
It staves off disease
Every year the research community is recognizing that cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and “all the classic chronic diseases” including cancer aren’t as likely with any form of activity, from strength training to cardio.
They say running is good for your heart, your brain, your waistline and your mental health. That applies to weight training too.
A lot of the relationships with aerobic fitness are strongly tied to and mirrored in people’s strength. The stronger you are, the more resilient you are against disease and overall risk for mortality,”
You'll Boost Heart HealthCardiovascular exercise isn't the only exercise that's, well, cardiovascular. In fact, strength training can up your heart health, too. In one Appalachian State University study, people who performed 45 minutes of moderate-intensity resistance exercise lowered their blood pressure by 20 percent. That's as good as—if not better than—the benefits associated with most blood pressure pills.
It regulates insulin and lowers inflammation
Along with keeping away chronic disease, strength training has you burning through glucose, which is good news for those grappling with Type 2 diabetes who consistently need to manage blood sugar levels.
Lifting weights even aids in fighting off inflammation, a marker tied to many diseases. Studies have suggested that regular resistance training sessions, about twice a week, resulted in drops in inflammation in overweight women.
It improves posture, sleep, mood and energy levels
Weight training comes with other bonuses, too, according to Brody Thorne, vice president of personal training at GoodLife Fitness.