Weight training is one of the healthiest and most effective forms of exercise, and it produces benefits that are extremely difficult to replicate. Weight training is truly a simple and effective way to improve your health, change how you look and feel better about yourself each day.
There are many ways to improve your health without weight training, but there are certain ways that weight training can improve your health that are completely unique.
Let’s take a deeper look at a few benefits of weight training:
Weight Training Improves Your Body Composition
According to Become a Personal Trainer, doing cardio workouts and maintaining a healthy diet are important for losing weight and improving your body composition, but without a consistent approach to weight training, your overall “shape” will probably not improve as much as you had previously hoped.
In fact, the best results for improving your body composition can be received from combining a healthy diet with weight training (Miller et al, 2018).
Weight training is optimal for improving your body composition because it promotes lean muscle mass gains and calorie burning.
Gaining lean muscle mass is key to developing an aesthetic body, and it is also key for anyone looking to lose even a small amount of weight because it can increase your resting metabolic rate.
Although focusing on aerobic cardio workouts and dietary changes can help you lose weight fast, weight training is necessary to reduce metabolic adaptations to weight loss, which can help prevent weight regain in the future. Metabolic adaptations to weight loss occur when you lose weight quickly without subsequently increasing your lean muscle mass.
Therefore, adding weight training to your weight loss program will reduce the risk of regaining weight after losing it.
If you are looking only to gain weight and muscle mass, weight training is the ideal form of exercise because it provides the most direct stimulus to promote muscle mass gains.
Regardless of the body composition changes you are looking to make, weight training is an excellent form of exercise for you.
Weightlifting Improves Your Sleep Quality
Weight training improves all aspects of sleep, with the greatest benefit being on sleep quality (Kovacevic et al., 2018). Additionally, the benefits of weight training for sleep are increased when combined with aerobic exercise, and they are more than aerobic exercise alone.
Whether you are dealing with insomnia or you only have a bit of trouble sleeping each night, weight training is an outstanding way to improve your sleep quality.
Weight training in the morning is particularly beneficial for improving your nighttime sleep quality (Montaruli et al., 2011).
Weight Training Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Moderate to intense exercise is the key to a healthy heart. Therefore, weight training is an excellent option for people who would like to keep a healthy heart for their entire life.
If you are new to exercise, you should consult a doctor or physician before beginning any intense workout program.
However, people who take part in weight training are less prone to heart disease risk factors such as:
- High Blood-Glucose Levels
- High Blood Pressure
- High Triglycerides
- Large Waist Circumference
Lifting weights is a great way to get your necessary physical activity time in per week and ensure your heart’s health.
Lifting Weights Improves Your Bone Health
One of the common health issues that come with age is the loss of bone and muscle mass. Post-menopausal women stand at the highest risk of developing osteoporosis due to the body’s inability to secrete estrogen.
Although other forms of exercise are beneficial for your body in numerous ways, weight training is the best form of exercise for improving or maintaining your bone density (Hong & Kim, 2018).
Supplements for bone health are effective for providing the necessary nutrients to maintain your bones as you age, but the mechanical load necessary to stimulate proper bone mass maintenance can only be achieved through mechanical stress, like weight training.
Weight Training Relieves Stress
Generally, any exercise will help you relieve stress.
Weight training relieves stress because it stimulates the release of endorphins such as dopamine and serotonin and promotes self-confidence (Gordon et al., 2017).
For multiple reasons, weightlifting is an excellent natural remedy for stress!
Are Free Weights or Machines Better When Weight Training?
In general, free weights are superior to machines for weight training. However, this is a common, yet complex question.
Free weights are better than machines because they allow for more natural movements of your joints and require more effort to use.
However, machines do have their place for many people.
Weight lifting equipment comes in many shapes and sizes, and it is unwise to neglect weightlifting machines without understanding their value. Machines are excellent for targeting specific muscle groups, and they are very useful for people who are new to weight training.
Whether you choose free weights or machines depends on your goals and ability level.
How to Design a Weight Training Workout Plan
While you don’t necessarily need a degree in exercise physiology or years of experience as a fitness coach to write up a workout plan, you should have an understanding of how the body works.
Creating a training plan without any prior knowledge can cause injuries, muscular imbalances, and slow progress towards goals.
At the very least, you should understand how to build lean muscle mass, improve physical strength and work capacity, and why the most popular workout programs are structured the way they are.
Although you can still receive tons of health benefits without any targeted weight training plan, if you have specific goals for your body, the way you structure your weight training program is very important.
Not only do you need to ensure that the workout program has enough workload to induce muscle growth, strength increases, and fitness improvements, but you must also structure it to allow for adequate recovery and adherence.
Regardless of whether you choose to plan your workouts as specific muscle groups or any other way, you should follow a few consistent rules.
First, you should always begin with a dynamic warm-up. Doing a dynamic warm-up will prepare your body to work as hard as possible, and it will also help you avoid injuries.
Next, you should always begin with heavy compound exercises.
Examples of these exercises include:
- Back Squats
- Bench Press
- Overhead Press
- Pull-ups (weighted)
- Bent-Over Row
Performing heavy compound exercises first will elicit the greatest hormonal response from your body, producing the best overall results from your training.
Next, you should perform your secondary exercises. These types of exercises include:
These exercises are effective and important, but they should come after your heavy compound exercises.
Lastly, you should perform specific assistance exercises. Many people like to do their core exercises last because they are usually viewed as an assistance exercise, which isn’t necessarily wrong.
However, you can also do core exercises earlier in your workout program if you would like.
Concluding Thoughts – Health Benefits of Weight Training
Whether your goal is to become a better athlete, improve your overall health, or get an aesthetic body, there are numerous reasons you should be weight training regularly.
Before you begin any weightlifting program, it is important to understand that you need to train safely and within your ability level, as you cannot build anything if you are injured.
Overall, there are many benefits of weight training, and I encourage you to give weight training a try!
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