Weight training uses muscular resistance contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. It is the carrying out of physical exercises to improve strength and endurance. It is mainly associated with the use of lightweights to heavyweights. However, it can also incorporate other training techniques like calisthenics, isometrics, and plyometrics. The basic principle is to pressure and overload the muscle, so it adapts and gets stronger.
Weight training is an integral part of overall fitness training and benefits people of all ages, particularly those fighting obesity, arthritis, or a heart condition. Regular strength training will also help prevent the natural loss of lean muscle mass with aging.
If you vary your resistance training program through the number of repetitions and sets performed, exercises undertaken, and weights used, you will maintain any strength gains you make.
You can check out our post on the best dumbbells for weight training.
Weight Training for Beginners
Pre-exercise screening helps identify people with health conditions that may put them at risk of experiencing a health problem during physical activity. Therefore, it is safer for beginners to decide if the potential benefits of the chosen resistance training outweigh the risk.
Warming Up Before Training
Warming up your body before starting weight or resistance training exercises is an excellent way to start. You can start with light aerobic exercises like walking or cycling for five minutes in addition to a few dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches involve slow controlled movements through the full range of motion.
How It Helps Your Health
Besides the well-known and frequently Instagrammed benefits of adding tone and definition to your muscles, how does strength training help?
The sections below list the health benefits of weight or resistance training.
Weight training makes you stronger and fitter
This benefit is an obvious one, but you shouldn’t overlook it. Muscle strength is crucial for making easier the things you need to do daily, especially as you get older and start to lose muscle. Also, weight training helps maintain flexibility and balance, which can help you remain independent as you age.
Increases bone density
Weight training can increase your bone density, strengthening your bone. Strong bones can help prevent fractures and osteoporosis, a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue. In addition, evidence shows that combining a proper diet with some resistance training helps improve bone, joint, and muscle health. It may also help reverse bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
Weight training helps boost your metabolism. Metabolism rate at which your resting body burns calories throughout the day. You burn calories during weight training, and your body continues to burn calories after weight training. Research estimates that for every one pound of increase in muscle mass, your resting metabolism increases by 30 to 50 calories, and that’s good news if you’re trying to lose weight.
It improves endurance
It seems contrary to what one would intuitively expect, but weight training has shown to improve endurance, speed, and running economy. By running economy, we mean the amount of energy and effort it takes to do something.
Keeping your muscles toned and strong can help prevent injuries and many conditions like pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain. In addition, when you work to improve your muscle strength, you’re ensuring that your body is prepared to work a bit harder for the unexpected or when you’re in an awkward situation.
Develops better body mechanics
Weight training also benefits your balance, coordination, posture, and composition. Strength training has benefits beyond the appearance of nicely toned muscles. With effective resistance training, your balance and coordination will improve as well as your posture. In addition, it can also minimize poor flexibility and balance.
It helps boost your mood
Weight training elevates the level of endorphins. Endorphins are natural opiates produced by the brain, which lift energy levels and improves mood. Furthermore, both human and animal support studies show that resistance exercise training may also disprove anxiety and depression by acting on those same neurobiological systems.
Builds your brain
Heavyweight develops more than muscles. Lifting heavy weight increases the production of many hormones, including the hormone IGF-1, which helps to stimulate connections in the brain and enhance cognitive function. Recent studies have proven this to be true.