Why Should I Strength Train?
Why should I strength train and add weights to my weekly fitness schedule? There are major benefits to lifting heavy weights on a regular basis besides aesthetics. This includes improving bone density, lowering body fat composition, reducing biological age, as well as increasing resting metabolism. We will address all of these points below. Lifting heavy weights will not cause you to look like a meathead (unless you are going for that look in which you can use additional dietary supplementation). Every time I focus on strength and clean up my nutrition, I tend to lean out and feel incredibly confident.
Improve Your Bone Density
“We lose so much muscle as we age that by the time we’re 70, we only have about 50 to 55 percent of our muscle mass left,” says Beatrice Edwards, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine and director of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Avoid the feelings of tiredness and weakness by adding two to four strength training sessions per week. This is an important suggestion for all women, but especially for women who are post-menopausal. This demographic of women can lose up to 20% of their bone density, seven years after menopause. Studies show that women can lose up to 50-55% of their muscle mass by the age of 70. To continue to have mobility, protect ourselves from injury, and move comfortably, we need to lift weights.
Lower Your Body Fat Composition
About 25% of weight lost during calorie-restricted diets is actually the loss of muscle tissue. NO, THANK YOU! That’s NOT ever my goal with our wellness programming. Yes, we want you to lose weight, but we do not want you to lose muscle mass. How does a dieter avoid losing muscle in a more restrictive diet? They must incorporate exercise and in particular, they should lift weights. Pairing the proper nutrition pre and post-workout will help to build muscle and turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
Reduce Your Biological Age
Over the age of 35? You should definitely be using resistance training two to four times a week for periods of four to eight weeks at a time. This is another great answer to why I strength train. When adult males hit their mid-30s, they will naturally produce less testosterone unless there is a stimulus that causes the body to produce it. Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone responsible for repairing damaged muscle fibers, which can increase the size and strength of a muscle. Strength or resistance training is a natural stimulus that can cause males to produce testosterone and help increase bone density. Both are important markers of biological age. Strength training can also help women over the age of 35 increase their levels of growth hormone, which is important for developing lean muscle and burning fat.
Increase Your Resting Metabolism
What is a resting metabolic rate (RMR)? RMR refers to the number of calories your body burns while at rest. Resting metabolism is the energy required by your body to perform the most basic functions when your body is at rest. These essential functions include things like breathing, circulating blood or basic brain functions.
Why Does This Matter?
Your body uses chemicals to convert nutrients in food to energy (calories) for basic human functions like breathing or moving, in a process called metabolism. Once your body uses your needed calories for your function, the remaining units of energy (calories) are stored as fat for later use. Incorporating strength training into your weekly fitness plan will build muscle. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, and building muscle can help increase your metabolism. This means you will burn more calories each day, even at rest. Lift more weights, burn more fat. Determine your resting metabolic rate here.
Strong Body Strong Mind
Have you been inspired to pick up some heavier weights and challenge yourself? Awesome! If you just don’t know where to start, we have your back (and front). Strong Body Strong Mind is a four-week program created by Wellthy Soul to empower you to lift weights with confidence and skill. Each week’s fitness schedule is planned for you, each meal and snack is chosen for you to build muscle and cut fat, and a bonus book club offered for some additional inspiration. Click here to join the program.