It is one of the most common misconceptions in the health & fitness world that weight training is ONLY for those people who want to get massive! While weight training is needed to increase muscle mass and size, this is not the only benefit to the body.
... then what other benefits are there?
Weight training is essential when it comes to fat loss! A person with a higher percentage of lean muscle will burn energy when at rest compared to those with a high body fat percentage!
So why is this?
The body will naturally burn more energy in order to maintain a kilogram of muscle than it does to maintain a kilogram of fat. Your metabolism (think of it like your 'fat-burning' potential!) is higher in individuals with a high percentage of lean muscle mass and when paired with cardio, the fat-burning effect is magnified!
As previously mentioned, weight training increases strength, which then leads to further health benefits such as:
- improved mobility
- improved balance
- improved endurance (won't become as exhausted as easily)
- improved posture
- decreased risk of injury
For one's mental wellbeing also, weight training provides a number of benefits:
- releasing endorphins (think 'happy hormones'!)
- decreasing cortisol (stress hormone) levels
Feeling happier with your body as a results of weight training will do more wonders for your mental wellbeing. Your mood will be lifted, confidence higher, and overall an increase in self-esteem, self-worth, and happiness ensues! Weight training has also been associated with better sleep, which once again leads to huge mental benefits.
Lastly, I'm here to tell you muscle DOES NOT weigh more than fat! If you have one kilogram of muscle and one kilogram of fat, how much does each one weigh?
... ONE KILOGRAM!
However, the confusion comes in because muscle is denser than fat, meaning it takes up less room. For example, you fill a shoe box with lean muscle (ewww!) and exactly one kilogram of muscle fits in the shoe box. If you then get one kilogram of fat and attempt to put it in a shoe box the same size, it would not all fit and you would have to get two, maybe even three more shoe boxes to fit it all (really ewww!). This theory also applies to the body. The more lean muscle one has, the less room in the body it will take up, meaning a person will look much slimmer, and everyone's desire, more toned.
These are only a few basic benefits of weight training; however, they show just how important it is to include in your exercise program.
Got it. What should I do from here?
Maybe for today, give that treadmill (or the couch!) a rest and go lift!
Yours in health & fitness,
Personal Trainer at Vision Personal Training Neutral Bay
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.