10 REASONS TO TRY WEIGHT TRAINING
There’s a club in the fitness world called the weight training club and once you join it you’ll never leave. Some were inspired to become a member by watching those epic atlas stones being hefted into place on World’s Strongest Man, some were recruited by the new wave of weights classes to a funky soundtrack, and yet others wandered over from their usual cardio stations in the gym to the weights section and found a whole new lifestyle. But if you’re yet to join us in the weight training club, here are 10 reasons to give it to try.
- It makes you stronger. One of the very best reasons to lift weights has to be the fact that it’ll make you stronger. Sure you might not be the next Eddie Hall, but by lifting weights you’ll be more able to do pretty much everything, from grabbing those heavy bags of shopping to pushing your car to the side of the road if it ever breaks down (those World’s Strongest Man contestants have nothing on you!).
- It’s a great fat burner. There was a time when we all believed that cardio was the most effective way of shifting fat, we now know that weight training can be up to three times more effective. Something to think about.
- Prevents osteoporosis. Brittle bones and osteoporosis are two words that you’ve probably shelved along with ‘bus pass’ and ‘retirement’, but putting in the hours with the weight training now can mean that they never have to become part of your reality. When you weight train, you can improve your bone mineral density by around 13 percent, which can massively cut your risk of osteoporosis in the future.
- Builds lean muscle. No-one wants body parts that flap around like washing in the breeze and with weight training you’re working on developing lean muscle. Goodbye bingo wings and flabby butt and hello defined, shapely arms and rear end!
- It keeps your heart healthy. Stealing cardio’s crown once more, a 2018 study by Iowa State University found that just one hour of lifting weights reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke by 40-70%- and that’s without any cardio at all!
- It increases your metabolism. It’s a sad fact that metabolism slows with age, and you can either accept it (and kiss your Friday night takeaway goodbye) or do something about it. Weight training can actually increase your metabolism, counteracting the natural ageing process and helping you to burn more calories.
- Wards off depression. The links around exercise and happiness have been around for ages, but now research from the University of Limerick is pointing to results showing that weight training can reduce depressive symptoms.
- Can lower blood pressure. Watch Eddie Hall and his pals pull an entire truck across the finishing line and you can worry for their blood pressure, and yes, with heavy weights there can be an increase in blood pressure. But for us regular folk (who don’t habitually pull trucks or in fact very heavy weights at all), weight lifting can help to lower blood pressure due to the increase in blood vessels.
- There’s so much variety. Fact is, there’s only so much you can do on a running machine or cross trainer, but get into weight training and open up a whole world of variety. There are literally thousands of different weight training exercises to try, limitless variations and the opportunity to train every muscle in your body.
- It’s social. You don’t often see people chatting on the rowing machine (probably because they’ve got no breath in them!) but over in the weights section, people will be chatting between reps, maybe even spotting each other. That’s what makes weight training a club that everyone wants to join and no-one wants to leave, and this is your invitation to get stuck in!