The Benefits of Weight Training: Why Pumping Iron is for Everyone
Resistance training is often ignored by individuals interested in losing weight and “toning up.” They have an unhealthy sense of self worth, and view these areas as eyesores.
Resistance training involves performing ordinary movements against some form of weight or resistance. What if I told you that by avoiding resistance training could actually hinder your results? What if resistance training had just as many health benefits as cardiovascular exercise…and then some?
The truth is that regular resistance training combined with sound nutrition and cardiovascular exercise produces optimal health and physique sculpting benefits.
Calories In, Calories Out
Let’s start with calories. After all, calories in versus calories out yields weight gain, loss, or maintenance. Adding a form of resistance to a movement increases the energy expenditure of performing the movement (ACSM, 2015). In other words, adding resistance to an exercise (increasing the incline, using weights, or increasing the level of resistance) yields significantly higher energy expenditure than doing an exercise without any form of resistance.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) found that by increasing the treadmill grade while walking, increasing the level while on a bike, or adding a step riser during step increases the number of calories burned during exercise (ACSM, 2015). In addition to increasing the number of calories burned during exercise, resistance training boosts the metabolic rate so you burn more calories throughout the day.
One additional pound of muscle burns an additional 50 calories while at rest. This means that if you gained 5 pounds of muscle that your body would burn an additional 1,750 calories a week. In two weeks, that’s 3,500 calories (one pound of body fat is 3,500 calories).
Combine this metabolic effect with the right calorie intake, proper supplementation, and healthy lifestyle choices and there is no way that you won’t reach your ultimate goals. It’s not all about the calories, though. Resistance training can help you get healthier and stronger, too.
Resistance Training for Specific Goals
Different modes of resistance training yield different gains in strength or endurance. Are you trying to get stronger and increase your one-rep max in a particular exercise? There is a right way to resistance train just for that goal.
Are you a high school athlete with aspirations of playing college ball? Going pro one day? The right resistance training program can, and potentially will, get you there.
Do you want to be in the best shape of your life and look as if you could be on the next cover of Muscle and Fitness? There is a way to train for that, too.
What if you are 50 to 60 years old and just want to live like you are in your 30s again? Resistance training with the right modes and specifications can make this a reality.
No matter what forms you choose, resistance training improves and promotes the following:
- Physical performance
- Walking speed
- Movement control
- Functional independence
- Motivation to be active on a regular basis (Therapy and Rehabilitation, 2015).
Resistance training also improves cardiovascular health by reducing resting blood pressure, improving lipoprotein-lipid profiles and/or dyslipidemia, decreasing triglycerides and body fat, increasing HDL cholesterol, and increasing the efficiency of the heart during exercise (Therapy and Rehabilitation, 2015).
No matter what your health and fitness goals are, incorporating the correct form of resistance training will substantially increase the quality of and accelerate your results.
If you do not know where to start, see a personal trainer. Personal trainers are fitness experts that can help you achieve the results you truly desire. They are trained to work with anyone and everyone no matter what health issues or setbacks an individual may face.
Working with someone who is trained to get you results is not recommended, it’s essential. Get out of the mindset that you know too much to work with a trainer. The best athletes on the planet have worked with trainers.
Playing the guessing game and trusting in the workouts that your high school football coach made you do in 10th grade will only result in wasted time, effort, and money…it will run you into a dead end. Putting your investment instead in a proven professional guarantees a positive experience and results. After all, isn’t that why you are reading this article, going to the gym, buying supplements, and spending your time, effort, and money in the first place?
The fact is that you want results. Personal trainers give results! Get in touch with your personal training staff for a complimentary assessment and information about signing up for a customized program!
Kravitz, L., & Vella, C. A. (2015). Energy expenditure in different modes of exercise. American College of Sports Medicine.
Shaw, B. S., Shaw, I., & Brown, G. A. (2015, August). Resistance exercise is medicine: Strength training in health promotion and rehabilitation. Therapy & Rehabilitation, 22(8), 385-389.