The idea that weightlifting is merely a vanity workout is one of the most harmful myths in the fitness industry. But for both seasoned athletes and eager newcomers, internalizing the fact that looking good is really a byproduct of the effort is crucial.
However, the advantages of strength go well beyond that. You're probably already aware of some of these, such as self-assurance, lower body fat, and injury resistance. However, it would be unfair to leave out some extra benefits in addition to the well-known ones we frequently see on magazine covers. The eight distinct yet significant advantages of weightlifting are listed below.
What is weightlifting?
Olympic weightlifting, sometimes known as weightlifting, is an athletic competition that uses lifting weights to assess an athlete's strength and technique. Weightlifters compete against other competitors in their weight class after being divided into bodyweight groups. The snatch and the clean and jerk are the two events that are featured in weightlifting contests. Outside of the arena of competition, weightlifting is a popular activity that many individuals engage in on their own time to maintain their health and physical fitness.
How often should you lift weights?
Adults should perform strength training activities employing all the major muscle groups at least twice every week. Any activity with resistance can be incorporated into a strength training program, including weightlifting, resistance band workouts, and bodyweight exercises. Expert trainers recommend that people lift weights at least twice per week. If you must divide up the workouts, you may perform more frequent, shorter exercises throughout the week, such as weightlifting on Monday and Wednesday that targets your lower body and lifting weights on Tuesday and Thursday that concentrates on your upper body.
8 major benefits of lifting weights
The advantages of heavy lifting go beyond muscle gain and aesthetic appeal. Lean mass gains, lean mass preservation under calorie restriction, higher fat oxidation and lipolysis, decreased visceral and subcutaneous fat, and changes in the composition of the body are only a few of the many advantages of resistance training in general.
Regardless of the age, doubling up on a rigorous exercise regimen will pay off for you. In actuality, aging folks can greatly benefit from raising their exercise load. Lifting heavy weights, in particular, strengthens bones, avoids muscle loss, enhances the composition of the body, and can help avoid falls while enhancing functional performance—all of these are crucial for the elderly population.
Increases the strength of bones
Bones age in a similar way to how individuals do. They support you all day, each day, so if you don't maintain their health, you may have future bone issues.
Your bones may weaken and brittle over time, increasing your risk of bone fractures and falling. Even though it may appear to be unimportant, the deterioration of old people's bones and joints lowers their quality of life by producing pain, inflammation, and rigidity.
It makes sense that persons with weak bones might be reluctant to lift greater weights, but studies reveal that those individuals benefit from heavier lifting the most for their bones.
Your metabolism is boosted by weightlifting in two different ways. First off, weightlifting increases the amount of lean muscle tissue in your body, which increases calorie expenditure. Compared to fat tissue, muscle tissue consumes more calories. By boosting your metabolic rate, weightlifting boosts metabolism in a second method. Your metabolic rate is boosted for up to 72 hours after a weightlifting workout. This implies that your body will burn fat as a result of your workout even if you don't undertake any further exercise for the following few days.
Improved Sleep Quality
It definitely doesn't need to be said that obtaining a good night's sleep is important for a lot more than just dominating at the gym. Consistently getting enough sleep enhances not only your performance but also every other element of your life.
Fortunately, one of the most scientifically supported ways to enhance rest quality for almost everyone is to exercise weights. According to study, regular resistance training may be a suitable replacement for sleep medications for people who depend on them to fall asleep.
Prevents the aging-related loss of muscle
Researchers have found that beyond the age of 30, muscle mass declines by between 3 to 8 percent per decade, and this rate of reduction is significantly higher once you reach the age of 60. Losing muscle lowers your metabolism, increases your body's percentage of fat, and increases your risk of injury or impairment in daily activities like lifting groceries, etc. The good thing is that lifting weights will assist your body gain muscle and slow down the rate of muscle loss.
Achieves better body composition
Lifting big weights is an excellent alternative if you want to enhance your body composition. According to studies, increasing the volume and load of one's workouts promotes both fat loss and muscle growth.13
Check your body fat % to see if you've been gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time, which would change the makeup of your body. Additionally, to get a better understanding of your progress because muscle and fat don't alter overnight, track your body fat every 4-6 weeks.
May help older adults avoid falls
One in four older persons fall each year, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and after one fall, the risk of falling doubles.14 Falling is dangerous for elderly people. Broken bones, head injuries, and even fatalities can result from falling injuries, which are frequently much more serious than a few bumps and bruises.
For the sake of your loved ones' health, it's critical to take efforts to prevent falls. Strengthening your muscles and strengthening your bones with resistance training and larger weights will lower your chance of falling.
Enhances mental health
It has been demonstrated that strength training enhances cognitive performance and promotes brain health. Exercise regimens that emphasize strength training, according to researchers, benefit older persons' cognitive function. Reducing your risk of acquiring cognitive problems like dementia and Alzheimer's disease is one of the strongest reasons to lift weights. Weightlifting can increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is associated with memory and learning, and improve blood flow to the brain.
Most of us grew up hearing instructions to "stand up straight" or "quit slouching." At the time, we could have dismissed this as motherly nagging, but it turns out that these punches have a scientific basis that also supports resistance training.
The muscles in the core, spine, hips, and shoulders, all of which are crucial for maintaining good posture, are developed and strengthened by weightlifting. In addition to making you appear a little taller as you go into a room, better posture has frequently been connected to less back pain.
How to do weightlifting
The advantages of lifting weights can be experienced without spending hours in the gym. In actuality, you can reap many of the benefits with just two or three sessions of 20 to 30 minutes each per week of weightlifting.
These are the following recommendations:
Start off slowly and with a little, manageable weight that you can lift repeatedly without pausing.
Perform 12 repetitions in three sets of three at that weight, with at least a 60-second break in between sets.
How you choose to combine weightlifting with a cardio exercise is largely up to personal preference. Some folks perform it first, then their cardio, or even on a different training day. What matters is what your goals are.
It's crucial to be cautious while adding weight lifting if you're a beginner, no matter how you do it. Here are some pointers to bear in mind as you begin:
Use the right method. You can prevent injuries and create a strong basis for weightlifting by using the correct form.
As you gain strength, increase the weight you start with. To get acquainted with the motions and training, you can even want to start with bodyweight exercises or resistance bands.
Intersperse days of rest between weightlifting workouts. Your body will be able to rest for one or two days. To give your muscles more time to recuperate, you can alternate days when you lift with your upper and lower bodies.
Be sure to see your doctor before starting a weight lifting regimen if you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, are older than 40, or if you haven't been physically active recently.
Several ailments are thought to be side effects of aging. Lifting weights can actually make your body younger because it can prevent, counteract, and reverse some of their effects. However, if your disease is significant, you should always talk to your doctor about your treatment options.
It's simple to mistake resistance training for vanity and come across a workout that promises to give you boulder shoulders or boulder chests. It turns out that lifting benefits the interior of your body just as much as it benefits the outside, if not more.
Is it good to lift weights every day?
After exercise, your muscles require time to recuperate and rest in order to recover and grow stronger. Daily weightlifting can delay this repeating process, jeopardize your strength and size gains, and undoubtedly raise your chance of injury.
How heavy should you lift?
Your main fitness goal will determine how much weight you should lift. Your weights must be sufficiently hefty that you can only complete 4-6 repetitions per set if your goal is to increase strength. You should be able to do no more than 7–12 repetitions in a set if the objective is to increase your muscle size.
How long should I lift weights?
Lifting weights is a fantastic way to raise your resting heart rate, reduce body fat, boost joint stability, and enhance balance and motor skills regardless of your gender or age. Three days a week, exercising with weights for 20 to 30 minutes is advised for a full-body workout.