Do you want to have a stronger, healthier, and more aesthetically pleasing body?
It is worth mentioning at this point that before doing any weight training it is advisable to consult first with your doctor especially if you have a serious medical condition or are significantly overweight. It is also common sense to get some specialist training from a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer before you embark on this kind of exercise as you could easily injure yourself instead of becoming fitter and stronger!
Here is a list of just a few of the benefits of weight training:
- Increase in Bone Mineral Density
Our bones are made up of minerals which are constantly being broken down and remade especially during puberty. This process naturally slows down as we age, which can cause problems as our bones become more prone to breakages and also become less able to support our physical structure generally. This is a common problem especially with post-menopausal women as the hormones necessary to support bone mineral density tend to decrease during this phase of life. The best way to address this problem is now known to be as simple as increasing physical activity and in particular, weight training. This is because the pulling and strain on the joints that occurs when we train and consequently the tension this produces on the bones promotes the breaking down and rebuilding process.
2. Increase in strength
3. Increase in the Range of Activities you can do
When your body is strong enough to carry considerable weight you will be capable of doing more strenuous activities. You will also find that you have more energy and as a result can live a more active lifestyle.
4. Reduction in body fat
As muscle burns more calories than fat it makes sense that, if we want to lose weight, the composition of our bodies needs to be made up of as much muscle as possible. It is also a fact that muscle takes up less room and is firmer in texture than fat so our bodies will look and feel better the more lean tissue we have.
5. Improve the quality of our lives as we grow older
Undergoing a weight training program as we age will help improve our health and decrease the risks that can come with age. The stronger we are physically, the more independent we can be without needing to rely on other people to do simple things for us
6. Improve heart condition
Regular resistance training can result in a lower heart rate and blood pressure. The risk of heart diseases is known to be reduced considerably.
7. Improve the way you look and feel
As you strengthen your postural muscles you will find yourself being able to stand taller. This will contribute to your sense of self-confidence. You will also find that when your posture is correct your internal organs will function properly – for example, you may find you can breathe more deeply. You may also find that your digestive system will work better.
What Is Weight Training?
Weight training involves activities that use weights, machines and even body weight to work the muscles. It is also known as strength training or resistance training. As mentioned, weight training can be very helpful in achieving a healthier, stronger and more aesthetically pleasing body.
This kind of training is usually associated with athletes who build their bodies to be stronger and as a result, bigger. Most people would think that weight training will cause the body to grow bigger. This is not necessarily the case. Weight training is simply about increasing the strength of the body, not its size. Women especially will find it very difficult to increase in size through weight training as we do not have the hormonal support that men do to achieve this. Female weight lifters can train up to 6 hours a day, 6 days a week if they want to see significant increases in their bulk! In other words, it is not easy to build big muscles. It is, however, possible for anyone to build stronger and healthier muscles through regular weight training.
Who can do Weight Training?
Weight training can be practised by anyone. Weight training is advisable for all adults although care should be taken with special groups of people such as those who are pregnant, have just had a baby, those recovering from illness or the very elderly and frail. For such people using free-weights to strengthen their limbs and body weight to strengthen and tone their abdominals, back and postural muscles will be of great benefit.
How Does Weight Training Work?
Weight training builds and tones the muscular structure of the body to give it a more lean and toned look. A weight training Programme can include the use of various pieces of exercise equipment that you might see in a gym, such as the bench press, dumbbells or barbells. These days we also use more versatile equipment such as Kettle bells and TRX bands. Weight training can also be effective by simply using the body weight for resistance and various items of equipment that can easily be found and used wherever you are – plus, of course, a bit of imagination!
Basically as long as the muscles are challenged sufficiently and consistently over time, the cells in the muscle fibres will adapt to accommodate the new challenge presented to the body. The training will cause the fibres in the muscles to break down. As the body repairs itself, the fibres in the muscles will be rebuilt in a stronger formation and the result will be a stronger muscle. To help with this process it is important to eat a diet that is protein-rich as it is the protein in our food that is used to help repair the muscle fibres.
It is worth mentioning again that this kind of training can be dangerous unless done properly. You may like to consider hiring a Personal Trainer for a session or two or go to a series of classes led by a qualified teacher until you are confident that you can execute these exercises correctly.
If you are to achieve the above benefits you will also need to make a decision to commit to doing regular weight training sessions. In consistency lies the key! As you commit to regular training sessions you will find your body will quickly adapt. You will then need to progress either the weight you are using, the number of times you do a particular exercise or the rest you take between sets if you are to continue to see improvements.