But things are changing and strength training is having a real renaissance moment right now.
One of the most obvious effects of a strength training program is the increase in physical strength. And being physically strong has a number of awesome side effects.
Yeah, you’ll notice the obvious things – like you’re not intimidated by the weight room anymore. You’re totally comfortable with a barbell in your hands and you’ve graduated from the vinyl coated dumbbells stored in the group exercise room to the ones on the weight rack.
But you’ll also realize that your life is easier. Never having to think twice about carrying your kids, groceries, or the inevitable snow shoveling this winter. Things that used to be a real chore aren’t such a hassle and don’t leave you out of breath, sore and hurting for days. All of your ADL’s (activities of daily living) become much easier and less of a strain when you’ve changed your body through strength training.
Increase Muscle Mass
Let’s face it, most of us start working out to look better naked and strength training is one of the best ways to achieve that goal.
Decrease Body Fat
When combined with the increase in metabolism that results from adding more muscle to your frame over time, it’s obvious that strength training can be a powerful tool in the battle against body fat.
Build a Better Skeleton
Building and maintaining bone density is important for everyone as we age. Strong bones mean a lesser risk of the debilitating injuries that can result from bone breaks and fractures that can occur to anyone but become especially dangerous and prevalent as we age. Women are especially susceptible to bone loss as a result of age related hormonal and lifestyle changes. Strength training produces strong bones that cardiovascular exercise just can’t match.
Bones are thought to increase density primarily in response to compressive forces. This is what makes strength training exercises like squats, shoulder presses, pushups, lunges and deadliftts so effective at creating bone mass. They place a compressive stress on the larger bones and lead to an increase in bone density and a stronger, more resilient skeleton.
Improve Brain Function
While most of this research is new, it’s promising and is the first to show that strength training, as little as twice a week, may also result in a physical change to the brain.
But, keep in mind, strength training is about so much more than just lifting weights, building your muscles and looking great. It’s about vitality, energy, confidence and independence. Once you’ve experienced the benefits of strength training you’ll understand how strength training can completely transform your body, inside and out.