You might think that the weightlifting section of your gym looks pretty daunting. Big, burly men making loud noises as they throw barbells and dumbbells around isn’t the most inviting of environments.
Though, lifting weights isn’t as bad as it seems. There are many benefits for both the body and mind which might persuade you into giving it a try.
For starters, we all know that weightlifting is a great way to build muscle and improve your strength. This isn’t just beneficial for your looks; it also helps reduce your risk of falling in old age, improve your bone density and reduce your risk of injury. Bone density is extremely important as when we age it declines. This creates brittle bones and the chance of osteoporosis. Strength training is a key way to combat this.
You may think that cardio is the only way to lose fat. However, you’d be sorely mistaken. One of the best ways to shed the pounds is through strength training. This is because the more muscle you have, then the faster your metabolism is. Weightlifting also creates something called the ‘after-burn’ effect. The reason cardio is touted for its weight loss influence is because it burns more calories while you’re doing it. Weightlifting, though, burns more calories after you’ve finished. So, you burn a similar amount of calories (if not more) through a tough weightlifting session than you would slogging it out on a treadmill.
Weightlifting doesn’t just work on the body, it helps the mind, too. Lifting heavy weights improves your CNS (central nervous system). This improves our mind and muscle connection and allows for us to make faster reactions and progress in your lifts. Lifting heavy weights can also improve your confidence by proving to yourself how capable your body is. By setting goals in different lifts you’ll have more than one thing to aim for. Whereas with other activities you may just have a time or distance goal, in weightlifting you can achieve a PR (personal record) each week. One week may be getting an extra rep on your deadlift, the next might be adding weight to the bar for your squat. The diversity of weightlifting means that it’s constantly challenging and never boring. It’s a truly dynamic and unique activity.
The best way to get started in weightlifting is by talking to a trainer at your local gym. They’ll be able to set you up with a plan specifically for your goal whether it be weight loss, muscle gain or performance based. Like we’ve discussed, weightlifting is extremely diverse so you can use it for whatever you want. Give it a try today and start noticing the differences.