Resistance training is the practice of doing exercise with weights, bands, or some sort of resistance to your movements. This type of exercise is excellent for many reasons, but many individuals are apprehensive when considering resistance training as a part of their exercise regimen.
People give many reasons for not wanting to do resistance training, such as not knowing where to start or thinking that it won’t help them with their goals. Many people who are trying to lose weight tend to stick with cardiovascular exercise only, which may not be in their best interest. While cardio is a great tool for weight loss, it doesn’t tend to help with changes in body composition.
Furthermore, many women insist that they do not want to develop big bulky muscles. It makes sense that someone would think that lifting weights would make them bulky, as it is the exercise of choice for bodybuilders. However, getting big bulky muscles requires eating a large surplus of calories, so the casual recreational exerciser who is trying to lose weight or get in shape is not going to get bulky.
Here are 5 reasons why everyone should lift weights.
Improving body composition
Cardio is a great tool for weight loss. However, a well structured program that includes weight training can be far more effective for lasting results. Resistance training helps to maintain or even build lean muscle while burning fat, resulting in loss of body fat rather than general weight loss. This loss of body fat rather than general body weight helps to sustain weight loss efforts.
As mentioned above, weight training can help to maintain or increase lean muscle mass. This plays a pivotal role in metabolic rate. When muscle mass is not maintained during a weight loss program, then your metabolism can actually slow down for a period of time. This could potentially set you up for weight regain. On the other hand, resistance training can produce positive changes in metabolic rate. This in turn can help keep weight loss results for much longer.
Strengthening muscles and bones
Most people know that weight training can help with strengthening muscles. This is especially important if there are certain muscle imbalances or posture problems needing corrected. These problems might lead to injury down the road. It can also help to reduce the risk of overuse injuries from long bouts of cardio. Did you know that resistance training can also help strengthen bones? The stimulus from the weights is very beneficial to the entire musculo-skeletal system!
While “Spot reduction” is technically not possible, many people start an exercise program with the goal of simply toning up. Generally, this actually means to lose body fat and reveal muscle tone underneath. This is best accomplished with resistance training, as a well designed program can shape the body the way you want. Doing just cardio may cause body fat and muscle loss (i.e. weight loss) from everywhere on the body.
Improving functional fitness
When it comes to improving your ease of daily tasks, resistance training is the best option. With weights, you can train basic tasks from getting in and out of a chair to carrying heavy loads in the house. This can be best done through functional training. Functional training can improve quite a few movement patterns that may be in need of some help.
The last reason that a lot of people give for not training with weights is that they don’t know where to start. If this is you, consider seeking the help of a professional like the fitness specialists here at RAPS.
Our consultations are free! We can help you get a better idea of what kind of exercises would be best suited for your goals. Click here for more information.