In the world of fitness, there are endless debates about the best way to achieve your goals. Should you focus on cardio or strength training? What’s more important, diet or exercise?

It’s no secret that strength training is good for you. It provides several health benefits, including improved heart health, better joint function and mobility, and reduced risk of injuries. 

In addition, strength training can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, and it can even help reduce symptoms of depression. So, if you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of strength training, keep reading for a look at 15 science-backed reasons why you should start today. 

Benefits of strength training

1. Burns Calories Efficiently 

The first point in our list of the benefits of strength training is it’s a great way to burn calories. One of the main reasons people exercise is to burn calories and shed unwanted body fat. And while any exercise will help with this, research has shown that strength training is very effective at aiding with weight loss. One study [1] found that participants who performed resistance training burned more calories in the hours after their workout than those at rest. 

Also, because strength training increases your muscle mass, it helps your body burn more calories at rest. So even if you can’t make it to the gym or don’t have time for a longer workout, adding in some resistance exercises can be an easy way to increase your overall calorie burn throughout the day. 

2. Decreases Abdominal Fat 

In addition to helping you burn calories, strength training has also been shown to help reduce abdominal fat. One study [2] found that obese individuals who performed strength exercises twice a week had less visceral fat than those who did not. It’s even possible to lose fat while maintaining your muscle mass.

In another study, participants who combined aerobic exercise with strength training saw more significant reductions in abdominal fat than those who did cardio exercise alone. The participants who did strength training also gained muscle mass, which can help give your metabolism a boost and further increase fat loss. 

3. Can Help You Appear Leaner 

A lean and toned physique is often associated with fitness and health, making you feel more confident about your appearance. And while a regular cardio routine can help you achieve this goal, strength training is just as important for looking good as it is for feeling good. 

Also, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to focus on losing body fat rather than simply dropping pounds. This is because losing lean muscle mass can make you appear softer and less toned, even if you’re at a healthy weight. Strength training helps prevent this by preserving and even increasing your muscle mass as you lose body fat. 

So, if you’re looking to get that lean and toned appearance, strength training is a great option. It will help you lose weight and look more defined. 

4. Lowers Your Risk Of Injury 

In addition to helping you achieve your fitness goals, strength training also helps reduce your risk of injury. This is because stronger muscles are better able to support and protect your joints, which can prevent pain and injuries. 

For example, if you have weak hip muscles, they may not be able to support your hips and knees properly, which could lead to joint pain or injuries. But by strengthening these muscles with exercises like squats and lunges, you can help take the pressure off of your joints and reduce your risk of pain or injury. 

5. Makes You Stronger 

Women dumbell press

Of course, one of the main perks of weight training is that it makes you stronger. This can help you perform better in other activities like running, sports, and even everyday tasks like carrying groceries or moving furniture. 

Plus, as you get stronger and build more muscle, you’ll be able to lift heavier weights and do more challenging exercises, which can help keep your workouts interesting and prevent you from hitting a fitness plateau. 

Also, by building strength and muscle, your body will be better able to fend off illness and fight off common age-related ailments like osteoporosis or sarcopenia. So if you want to stay healthy and strong as you get older, make it a regular part of your fitness routine. 

If you are having trouble gaining weight, you should strongly consider strength training.

6. You Get More Flexible 

When most people think of strength training, they envision bulging muscles and steroid-laden men hoisting massive weights in a gym. However, strength training can benefit people of all ages, sizes, and genders. 

It helps keep your joints flexible and supple, allowing you to move with ease and fluidity. Additionally, strength training can help improve your range of motion and mobility, making it easier to perform daily activities like getting out of a chair or lifting heavy objects. Also, regular strength training has been shown to help reduce the risk of injuries, especially in older adults. 

7. Your Bones Get Stronger 

Strength training is also crucial for building and maintaining healthy bones. Unlike your body fat or muscles, bones are constantly undergoing a turnover process known as remodelling, where old bone cells are broken down and new ones formed. Strength training can stimulate this process, helping build strong, dense bones that are less prone to fractures. This is particularly beneficial for seniors.

Also, it helps to increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. By regularly engaging in weight-bearing exercises like lifting weights or performing bodyweight exercises like squats, you can maintain strong, healthy bones less prone to injury or disease. 

8. You Keep Your Balance 

Maintaining balance becomes more challenging as we get older, making us more vulnerable to falls and other accidents. Strength training is an excellent way to keep your balance sharp and steady, reducing your risk of falls and other injuries. 

It improves coordination by activating small muscle groups that you may not use as frequently in your everyday life. This helps keep your body agile and reduces your risk of falls, especially as you get older. 

9. Muscles Get Healthier 

A huge benefit of strength training is your muscles will get healthier. Strength training exercises help improve blood flow, increase oxygen uptake, and remove waste products from your tissues by activating muscles throughout your body. This benefits the muscles being worked during the exercise session and increases overall metabolic function for improved overall health. 

Also, the training can help increase muscle mass, which helps burn more calories at rest, leading to improved body composition and weight loss. 

10. Improves Heart Health 

Women Squatting

Regular strength training has improved heart health by reducing risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. Additionally, strength training can help improve cardiovascular function and increase heart rate variability (a measure of heart health). 

This is especially important for older adults at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular problems. So, strength training is good for your muscles, but it’s also good for your heart. 

11. Helps Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels 

By engaging in regular strength training, you can improve your body’s ability to manage and control blood sugar levels. This is crucial for anyone who struggles with diabetes or pre-diabetes, as it can help prevent dangerous spikes and crashes in blood sugar.

The link between skeletal muscles and blood sugar levels is insulin sensitivity. Strength training increases the number and responsiveness of insulin receptors on muscles, helping your body more effectively remove excess blood sugar.

12. Boosts Your Self-Esteem 

When you engage in regular strength training, you will likely see a number of positive changes in your body and mind. Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of strength training is improving your self-esteem and confidence.

This is especially true for women, who often experience negative feelings about their bodies or view strength training as “masculine” or unfeminine. By starting a regular strength training routine, you can challenge these stereotypes and feel great about yourself and your body.

Whether you are trying to lose your own body weight, build muscle strength, or simply get healthier overall, committing yourself to a regular strength training routine can help boost your self-confidence and feel more empowered both physically and mentally.

13. Boosts Your Mood 

Another key benefit of strength training is that it can help improve your mood by reducing feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Strength training releases endorphins that act as powerful mood boosters, helping to reduce feelings of negativity and increase feelings of positivity and well-being.

In addition, strength training can help you sleep better at night, further improving your mood and overall sense of well-being.

14. Promotes A Better Quality Of Life 

Quality of life is a broad term that encompasses physical, emotional, and mental health. Strength training can play a role in all three by improving physical health, boosting mood and self-esteem, and promoting better sleep.

For instance, regular strength training can help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, muscle-strengthening activities can help keep your bones strong and prevent age-related bone loss. And finally, regular strength training can increase your balance and coordination, making everyday activities such as walking and climbing stairs easier and safer.

15. Improves Brain Health 

The final benefit in our list of the benefits of strength training is improved brain health. In addition to the numerous physical benefits of strength training, this type of exercise has also improved brain health.

Studies have shown that those who engage in regular strength training are less likely to experience age-related decline than those who don’t. Strength training can also improve memory and executive function.

Furthermore, strength training can help improve cognitive function [3] and reduce the risk of developing dementia later in life.

How To Get Most Out Of Your Strength Training? 

Man dumbbell row

The key to getting the most out of your strength training is to focus on quality over quantity. That means doing fewer reps with heavier free weights than more reps with lighter weights. 

This may seem like it goes against everything you’ve been told about working out, but trust us, it’s the best way to build muscle and get strong. 

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your strength training: 

1. Focus On Compound Exercises 

Compound exercises, like squats and deadlifts, involve multiple muscle groups working together. This makes them much more effective for building strength than isolation exercises, which only work a single muscle group at a time. 

2. Keep Your Rep Range Low 

Reps in the range of 3-5 are usually best for weight training. These lower reps allow you to lift heavier weights, which will stress your muscles and force your body to adapt by strengthening your muscle tissue. 

3. Add Some Variety To Your Workouts 

While focusing on compound exercises is essential for getting the most out of your strength training, it’s also important to keep things interesting by adding in some variety from time to time. For example, you could try incorporating drop sets into your workouts or doing different cardio types, like sprints or HIIT. 

4. Practice Good Form 

One of the most important things to remember regarding strength training is that proper form is crucial. Practicing good form will help you avoid injuries and get the most out of your workouts. 

5. Eat A Healthy Diet 

To maximize the benefits of your strength training, be sure to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. This will help you build muscle faster while also providing the energy you need to power through your workouts. 

6. Get Plenty of Rest 

In order to maximize the benefits of strength training, rest is crucial. Rest is an essential part of any workout routine, but it’s essential for strength training. Get plenty of rest between sets and workouts to help your muscles recover and grow stronger. 

7. Stay Motivated 

The best way to get the most out of your strength training is to stay motivated. Set goals for yourself and keep track of your progress to help you stay on track. You can also try working out with a friend or hiring a personal trainer to keep you motivated and accountable. 

If you follow these tips, you can be sure that you’ll get the most out of your strength training and see great results in no time. 

Dumbbells

FAQs 

1. How Can Strength Training Help With Type-2 Diabetes? 

Strength training can help improve insulin sensitivity and blood insulin control in people with type-2 diabetes, helping them manage their condition more effectively. This is because strength training increases muscle mass, which helps increase the body’s metabolic rate.  

Regular strength training can also help reduce central obesity, a key risk factor for many chronic health conditions, including type-2 diabetes, by increasing the body’s fat-burning capacity. 

2. Does It Help Boosting Energy Levels? 

Yes, strength training can help increase energy levels. When you build muscle, your body becomes more efficient at using energy. Additionally, strength training can also help to improve your overall cardiovascular fitness, which can further contribute to increased energy levels.

3. Is It Safe for Older Adults? 

Yes, strength training is generally safe for older adults, as long as it is done under the supervision of a qualified health professional. However, it is essential to note that older adults may be more at risk of injuries, so taking appropriate precautions and starting slowly if you are new to strength training is essential.

4. What Are the Risks? 

As with any exercise program, there are some risks associated with strength training. These include the risk of injury, especially if you are new to strength training and do not take appropriate precautions or if you try to progress too quickly.

Additionally, there is also a small risk of increased strain on your heart in some people, particularly those with existing cardiovascular conditions. However, these risks can be minimized through careful supervision and attention to appropriate form when exercising. Overall, though, the benefits of strength training far outweigh the risks for most people.

5. How Often Should I Train? 

The frequency of your strength-training sessions will depend on your goals and level of experience. Generally, beginners should start with two to three sessions per week, while more experienced lifters can increase their frequency to four or five times per week. It is also important to allow for adequate rest between workouts to allow your muscle cells time to recover and grow.

6. How Can You Develop Better Body Mechanics With Strength Training? 

There are many different strength-training techniques that you can use to develop better body mechanics. These include focusing on proper form and technique, using appropriate weights and resistance levels, incorporating a range of different exercises into your routine, and engaging in regular flexibility training to help improve mobility and range of motion.

With consistent practice and attention to detail, you can develop better body mechanics through strength training and see great overall health and fitness results.​

7. Should Women Do Strength Training?

Absolutely! Weight lifting or strength training can be intimidating to get into, especially for women due to stereotypes and the fear that women will look ‘bulky’ if they start weight lifting. This is simply not the case. You won’t look like a bodybuilder after picking up dumbells for the first time, so no need to fear! Take a look at our article about weight lifting for Women to see the full list of reasons we think women should start strength training.

Conclusion 

Strength training has been shown to have a myriad of benefits, from improving your mood and reducing stress levels to helping you live longer. It’s an important part of any fitness routine, and it’s never too late to start. If you don’t currently include strength training in your workouts, we hope this article has convinced you to give it a try. What are you waiting for?

References

[1] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25293431/

[2] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3544497/

[3] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30272098/

About the Author: Jason Chapman

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Jason Chapman has a degree in Exercise Science and is a personal trainer with 10+ years of experience in fitness and strength coaching. Jason spends his time with BodyCapable researching the latest strength training trends and writing science-backed, informative content. Jason likes to spend his spare time hiking, traveling, and of course training!