Weight Training – The benefits
Weight training, also known as resistance training, has many benefits for overall health and fitness.
Whether you are in the gym using dumbells, barbells, or pin loaded machines, kettles bells etc, there are many ways to carry out resistance training. For many people, depending on their current strength levels, often body weight exercises are more than enough resistance.
The classics like push ups, chin ups, dips, squats, lunges and so on, can be done with little of no equipment, indoors or outdoors.
Here are some of the benefits of weight training:
- Increases muscular strength: Resistance training helps to build and strengthen muscles, leading to increased overall strength.
- Boosts metabolism: Weight training can increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories throughout the day, even when you’re not working out.
- Improves bone density: Weight training can help to increase bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
- Reduces risk of chronic disease: Resistance training may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
- Enhances functional strength: Weight training can improve functional strength, which translates to better performance in everyday activities such as carrying groceries or playing with your children or grandchildren.
- Reduces risk of injury: Building strength through resistance training can help to reduce the risk of injury during physical activity, as well as help to prevent falls and other accidents.
Overall, weight training is an effective way to improve muscular strength, boost metabolism, build stronger bones, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and enhance functional strength.
What is Strength ?
Muscular strength refers to the maximum amount of force that a muscle or a group of muscles can exert against an external resistance. It is the ability of your muscles to produce or generate strength against a heavy load or resistance. Muscular strength is an important component of physical fitness and is essential for performing daily activities, sports, and other physical pursuits.
Muscles can be strengthened by performing resistance or weight-bearing exercises, such as lifting weights, push-ups, pull-ups and squats. Over time, resistance training causes the muscle fibers to adapt and become stronger, resulting in increased muscular strength. With improved muscular strength comes improved endurance, power, and physical performance.
Muscular strength is generally measured by determining the maximum amount of weight that an individual can lift for one repetition on a particular exercise, such as a bench press or squat. However, strength can also be assessed based on functional movements, such as the ability to carry heavy objects or perform activities of daily living.
Weight training can speed up metabolism in several ways:
- Increasing Muscle Mass: When you lift weights, you are essentially breaking down muscle fibers, which then repair and grow stronger during rest and recovery periods. This process of building muscle requires energy (calories) to occur, which means that the more muscle you have, the more energy your body needs to maintain it. This leads to an increase in basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of energy your body needs to function at rest. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR will be, and the more calories you will burn even when you’re not exercising.
- EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption): Weight training also increases EPOC, which is the amount of oxygen your body needs to recover after exercise. This process requires energy, which means that you continue to burn calories even after you’ve finished your workout. The more intense your workout, the higher your EPOC will be, and the more calories you will burn after your workout is over.
- Hormonal Changes: Weight training can also lead to hormonal changes in your body that can speed up metabolism. For example, lifting heavy weights can increase levels of growth hormone and testosterone, which are both associated with increased muscle mass and fat loss. These hormones can also increase the rate at which your body burns calories.
Overall, weight training is an effective way to speed up metabolism because it increases muscle mass, EPOC, and hormonal changes in the body. By incorporating weight training into your fitness routine, you can burn more calories, even when you’re not exercising, which can help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
For some tips on what methods to use to increase strength, check out our Article:
‘Building Muscle – The Basics’
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