Updated: Oct 14, 2019
'I don't want to look bulky' or 'I don't want to become big' or something along those lines I hear a lot from some of my female clients, when I suggest to add weight training to their exercise routine.
Here are just some benefits about weight training:
It helps you lose weight
When you lift weights, you build lean muscle tissue, which is more metabolically active than fat. When you increase your muscle, you also increase metabolism which means you're burning more calories throughout the day. Regular strength training is just as important as cardio exercise for losing fat and getting fit.
It makes you stronger
It may seem obvious that lifting weights can make you stronger...but what some people forget is that it doesn't just make you strong for your workouts, it makes you stronger in other areas of your life as well.
When you lift weights on a regular basis, everything else becomes a little easier too - carrying groceries, housework, gardening, carrying the kids, etc. And, don't forget, it doesn't just make your muscles stronger, it makes your bones stronger too which can help reduce or even manage osteoporosis.
It reduces your risk of injury
The nice thing about strength training is that it strengthens everything, not just your muscles and bones. When you lift weights, you also strengthen connective tissue - the ligaments and tendons that keep your body moving well on a regular basis. Strengthening your connective tissue will help you continue to operate in peak condition and protect your body from injuries.
It increases balance, stability and flexibility
When we don't preserve muscle mass with strength training, what happens when we grow older? We lose muscle mass and that's often what leads to weight gain and loss of balance and flexibility. Lifting weights can help you work your joints through a full range of motion, keeping them strong and flexible and keeping you steady on your feet.
It makes you feel better about yourself
According to some studies, both men and women feel better about themselves when they lift weights. By getting stronger and noticing changes over time like being able to lift more weight and do more exercises, both men and women build confidence and, especially for women, improve body image. Lifting weights, along with other types of exercise, also helps build confidence and can even help manage symptoms of depression and anxiety...a great way to deal with stress in a healthy way.
It adds challenge and interest to your routine
If you've been doing the same cardio workouts for a long time, that can get a little boring. Strength training is a great way to spice things up and add a completely different challenge to your body. The nice thing about strength training is that it offers so many ways to set up your workouts...there's always something new to try and you never run out of new exercises, different types of resistance, new routines and a variety of ways to work your body.
It makes your life better
One thing that often surprises people after they start lifting weights is how it trickles into other areas of their lives. I often get phone calls and emails from clients telling me how they were able to work in the garden without back pain or walk up the stairs without aching knees. It's those little improvements that offer the greatest rewards and it doesn't take much time with weights to see and feel those kinds of improvements.
Always remember, the first step is the hardest, the next step will get easier.