You might think strength training is better suited for those big guys on TV lifting cars and pulling planes (you know those Strongman competitions?).
But what if I told you everyone should do strength training?
And that the benefits stretch far and beyond the ability to lift heavy barrels and drag automobiles down the runway?
If you’re like me, you like efficiency. And that’s what strength training is all about.
Anything that gives you the highest amount of return in the least amount of time is a plus in my books.
And if you’re wondering just how beneficial strength training can be for you, keep reading. You might be pleasantly surprised.
1. FAT LOSS
You won’t lose fat unless you’re in a calorie deficit. Period.
Regardless of whatever you’re doing in the gym.
The real benefits of strength training in terms of fat loss, is your body’s ability to keep fat off long-term.
Strength training builds muscle. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be (i.e. your metabolism improves).
The higher your metabolic rate is, the more efficient your body is at burning calories throughout the day (even when you’re not at the gym).
While cardio helps you burn calories while you work out, strength training helps you burn calories during and after your workouts.
You’re not just getting stronger, you’re building a machine (aka your body) that keeps fat off.
This is just a given. The stronger you are, the more confident you will be.
Imagine walking down the street knowing you can pick someone up over your head and toss em at will? Ok…maybe that’s a little aggressive. But still…it’s better than feeling weak and helpless!
That’s why I love when my clients (particularly the women I train) fall in love with strength training.
Instead of feeling intimidated in the gym they look forward to their workouts and can’t wait to attack the weight room!
3. ATHLETIC POTENTIAL
If you think of the athletic pyramid, strength is at the bottom.
Strength training maximizes your athletic potential because it benefits everything else from an athletic standpoint.
Let’s use running as an example. How can strength training benefit a runner or an athlete who runs in their sport?
- Force application. The stronger you are, the stronger your stride will be. If you can apply more force per stride, you’ll cover more distance per stride. Stronger = greater potential for speed.
- Joint/ligament health. Running is high-impact and can put a lot of wear and tear on your joints (specifically your knees and ankles). Strength training builds tolerance and strength in the supportive joints/ligaments.
- Aerobic capacity. Strength training leads to greater potential for aerobic endurance (in addition to anaerobic endurance).
4. FORCE PRODUCTION
Force = Mass x Acceleration
It’s how quickly you’re able to apply your strength.
From an athletic perspective, it’s the difference between defending a double leg take-down and getting tossed on your head.
From a muscle building perspective, it allows you to lift bigger weights, leading to increased muscle fiber recruitment and breakdown.
5. BONE DENSITY
As we age (meaning right now), our bones lose density. Strength training delays the onset of this immensely.
Weakness leads to dependency. Strength leads to independence.
Feel better, live longer, and stand taller.
A properly designed strength program that is practiced consistently will yield ongoing postural benefits.
You’ll have a stronger support system for the spine, and combat the negative effects of sitting. Your glutes, lower back, core, and upper back muscles deserve some attention.
Strength training (including deadlifts, squats, planks, and a whole bunch of other stuff) provides this and then some.
A strong grip is one of the best determinants for longevity of health. It usually means you’re carrying more lean muscle, which is you know…obviously a good thing.
One of my favourite exercises for grip and core strength.
What’s more, a strong grip also leads to:
- Strength increases in the main lifts.
- Muscular endurance.
- You looking jacked while sipping your morning coffee.
- Injury prevention (protect those small wrists).
- Increased punching power (just don’t test it on someone at the gym…unless you’re training for a fight. Or if you see someone doing burpees in the power rack.)
- A solid handshake.
Balance, coordination, cognitive awareness…it all improves with strength training.
This might seem a little redundant, but you’’ll understand the importance of it when you’re walking down the street and need to stop yourself from falling after slipping on a banana peel.
This is what it really boils down to. This blog post lists 10 reasons you should actively work towards getting stronger, but the reality of the matter is that this list is never-ending.
Strength training will change your life and make every aspect of it better. Fact.
Your relationships, confidence, self-esteem…everything in your life improves as a result of strength training.
Strength training maximizes your potential. In and out of the gym. Period.