Exercising on a regular basis has many benefits: improved heart health, stronger muscles, more energy, and a general feeling of better health. There are all kinds of different ways to work out your body including cardio training, bodyweight workouts, and resistance training (lifting weights).
Many people are nervous about the idea of training with weights because of the danger of injury. However, weight lifting provides many advantages that other types of exercise can’t, and there are precautions that can be taken to avoid injury during weight lifting.
Here are 3 big reasons you should incorporate resistance training into your exercise routine.
Resistance Training Super-Charges Your Metabolism
Compound weight lifting exercises such as bench presses, deadlifts, power cleans, and barbell squats use a massive amount of muscles to accomplish. Compound exercises are also referred to as full-body workouts because they require assistance from your core, back, legs, and sometimes even your chest and shoulders.
Naturally, when you use more muscles, you will expend more energy and burn more calories. Compound workouts also help boost your metabolism and burn fat for several hours after your workout is over.
Resistance Increases Your Overall Strength
While cardio workouts are definitely beneficial and bodyweight exercise is great for toning your muscles, no workout is better for building strength than heavy weight training. Have you ever been in the gym performing a workout, and while the weight doesn’t feel overly heavy, you feel pain in your joints? This is caused because your muscles may be able to handle the weight you’re lifting, but your tendons aren’t quite at the same level of strength as your muscles are. It is important to take a holistic view of your body’s strength and not focus only on muscle growth.
Strength is influenced by 3 things: muscle mass, tendon strength, and bone density. If you want to be strong you need to have all 3 of these working in conjunction. If you have big muscles but haven’t been focusing on tendon strength, you are far more likely to experience an injury.
The same thing goes for your bone density. To improve bone density, it is important to maintain proper nutrition—taking extra care to make sure you’re getting enough calcium.
In order to build muscle and tendon strength, you should focus on compound lifting with heavy weights. When you use multiple joints and muscles to perform an exercise, you distribute the weight more evenly and avoid putting too much stress on your tendons or any one muscle. This helps you grow both your muscles and tendons at the same time so that your body can sustain the heavy weight and improve your overall strength. Your muscles will also be able to grow much faster when your body is able to handle the heavier weight.
Resistance Training Burns More Fat Than Any Other Exercise
This might sound crazy—especially if you’ve heard all your life that in order to burn fat you need to do cardio—but researchers at Penn State University compared the results of individuals who exclusively did cardio to those who exclusively lifted weights.
The researchers found that the weight loss was almost identical across the board, however, the people who only did cardio lost a combination of fat AND muscle while the individuals who lifted weight lost almost exclusively fat.
The research from Penn State shows that incorporating weight lifting into your exercise routine significantly improves the amount of fat that you’re able to burn and is the fastest way to both lose fat and increase muscle mass, and that adding weights to your exercise routine is extremely beneficial and will allow you to see the results you want faster.
If you’re concerned about injury during weight training then you should consider getting a personal trainer to help you get acclimated to weight training.
At Balance Fitness we provide the best weight lifting equipment to help you reach your workout goals safely and effectively. Come visit one of our showrooms and talk to one of our experts about the equipment that will serve your needs best. You can also give us a call at (650) 348-1259 for our San Mateo location, (408) 244-3010 for our Santa Clara location, or contact us online.