Weight training, weight lifting, strength training, and resistance training are all forms of exercise that workout the muscles by adding force which causes them to contract in order to strengthen and tone. Many people think that weight training is all about body building to gain muscle mass and bulk up. This is a common misconception. The truth is there are many ways that weight training benefits individuals in various age groups. We’re going to highlight some of the key benefits that weight lifting has to offer as well as some of the cons that may be keeping people from trying it.
Benefits of Training with Weights
Adding weights to your workout will undoubtedly help to improve your strength, but it can also work to improve other key areas as well.
Performance – did you know that strength training could improve your daily activity performance? A wide variety of exercises can help to enhance your ability to carry out certain tasks you may do on a regular basis by improving stamina and reducing fatigue.
Overall Health – we all know that exercise is important to our health. Weight training in particular can benefit your overall health by assisting with:
– pain management
– controlling chronic conditions
– improving certain ailments such as poor posture and mobility
– better quality of sleep
Preventative – certain disorders can be prevented simply by doing some strength training exercises. Exercising with weights can help to ward off conditions of bone loss such as osteoporosis. This, in turn, reduces the chances of injury to the connective tissues. It can also prevent or greatly reduce conditions such as:
Getting a 20-30 minute workout that works the arms, shoulders, back, chest, abs, and legs a couple times a week is ideal for the average person and will yield sufficient results. It’s important to use the right amount of weight in order to achieve the results you desire without adding too much stress on the muscles and joints.
Who Can Benefit from Weight Training
Strength training with weights and resistance can have substantial benefits for anyone at any age. Some people in specific fields can benefit greatly and add weight training as part of their daily routine to improve their abilities such as athletes and senior citizens.
You should always consult with your physician before starting an exercise program to ensure it is safe, especially if you already have a medical condition. A physician may order a pre-exercise screening to address concerns of any pre-existing conditions that may put you at risk with strength training.
Weight Training Options
You can achieve the same weight training benefits anywhere: at the gym, at home, or in the great outdoors. It’s all a matter of personal preference and what suits your needs best. Some options include:
- Body weight – if you don’t have free weights or special equipment, no problem. Some resistance exercises can be easily achieved using your own body weight.
- Free weights – These include dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls added to your exercise routine.
- Resistance bands – an economical choice that uses bands or tubes which stretch at various resistance levels
- Weight machines – these are commonly found in commercial gyms and are also available for purchase to create a home gym custom to your needs.
Cons of Weight Training
While strength training benefits are great for many, it is not recommended for everyone. People who suffer from certain medical conditions may be advised against strenuous activities including weightlifting.
If you choose to join a gym or build your own home gym, weight training can get expensive in membership fees and the cost of fitness equipment. However, there are affordable alternatives to joining a gym and still achieve noticeable results.
Training with weights can pose a risk of injury either from overexertion or simply dropping a weight by mistake. Warming up prior to a workout is vital to reduce the risk of injury and helps to prepare your body for exercise. Always handle weights properly to minimize the chances of dropping one by mistake.
Strength training can offer many advantages to an individual’s overall health in addition to diet and regular exercise. Remember to ask your physician prior to starting any type of workout. Check out some of our articles for various work out tips and more weight training benefits to help you achieve your fitness goals.