Strength training is exercise that uses resistance to strengthen and condition the musculoskeletal system, improving muscle tone and endurance. “Strength training” is used as a general term synonymous with other common terms: “weightlifting” and “resistance training.” Physiologically, the benefits of consistent strength training include an increase in muscle size and tone, increased muscular strength, and increases in tendon, bone, and ligament strength. Lifting weights has also been shown to improve psychological health as well, by increasing self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.
Strength Training Benefits
The benefits of strength training are powerful, and strength training needs to be a part of any fitness program.
Reduces health risks. Strength training helps prevent cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, low back pain, and certain types of cancer. Even if you already suffer from one of these ailments, strength training can help alleviate the ailment. Strength training also strengthens the immune system, making you less susceptible to colds and flus.
Keeps you strong. People who don’t exercise regularly can lose up to 80% of their strength by age 65. More than one-fourth of American men and two-thirds of American women over age 75 can’t lift an object heavier than 15 pounds. This loss of strength is not the normal result of aging, it’s primarily the result of a sedentary lifestyle. Strength training is the best way to prevent the loss of strength.
Losing fat. Muscle burns more calories than fat (from 10-20 calories per pound), so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn all day long.
Strengthening bones. Exercise can help preserve bone mass and even stimulate bone growth.
Burning calories. Not only do you burn calories during the workout, you also experience an after burn if you lift heavy weights or do circuit training. You can actually burn an extra 50 or so calories just from the after burn.
Strength training is not restricted to weight lifting on a daily basis in a gymnasium. There are several exercise classes or programs which you can follow and they will help you with your muscle building. Gyms have classes for total body fitness or group power lifting and as a rule such classes use many different types of weight training gear including barbells, hand weights and resistance bands. A class would normally last for around an hour or so and during that time every muscle group within the body from triceps to the leg muscles are worked into the program.
You should stop if you experience chest pains, hypertension and inflamed arthritis . Additionally, you should not perform this regimen if you recently had surgery, are pregnant or have led a sedentary or an active lifestyle for many years previously. In this case, you’d better benefit from starting an aerobic exercise program first.
If you are concerned that you may have certain risk factors that involve being injured while strength training, talk to your physician.
Just like anything, there are many benefits for strength training, and it is often misunderstood. That is why pays to educate yourself about the issues around strength training so you know what concerns to pay attention to, and also know what to expect from this type of workout.