What are the Benefits of Weightlifting?

Top 4 Benefits of Weightlifting

What are the Benefits of Weightlifting?It’s not all about v shaped abs and bulging biceps when it comes to the benefits of weightlifting!  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the images of the glossy fitness magazine cover models.  I have lots of friends who don’t go to the gym or have no interest in weightlifting.  While they may consider it purely an activity in vanity, the health benefits can’t be ignored.

Benefits of Weightlifting

1. Physical Capacity – In the most simplistic terms, weight training increases the strength of the body’s muscles and connective tissues.  This allows you to perform more work or work harder, and expend energy.  This is what Physical Capacity means when referring to exercise and it can be further broken down by muscular strength and endurance.

Muscular Strength Definition – When it comes to weightlifting muscular strength is defined as the ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert maximum force against resistance for a single contraction or rep.¹

Muscular Endurance Definition – The ability of a muscle or group of muscle to exert sub-maximal force for extended periods of time.¹

2. Body Composition and Aestethics –  In the fitness industry your body composition refers to the percentage of  bone, muscle, organs, skin, water, connective tissue, and fat.  When people refer to “getting leaner” Benefits of Weightliftingthey mean losing body fat and / or putting on muscle.  Body composition isn’t solely determined by weight.  Two people that have the same weight and height can look vastly different.  When people say “muscle weighs more than fat” they’re just wrong.  A pound of muscle and a pound of fat… both weight a pound!  Muscle takes up less space versus body fat.

3.  Metabolism – This is your body’s fuel burning furnace.  Because weightlifting increases the strength (and sometimes size) it increases it’s need for energy.  Your body not only requires more calories, but it becomes more efficient at burning them and utilizing other nutrients.

4.  Injury and Disease Prevention – When you’re busting out reps in the weight room or during your workout, you’re not just strengthening your muscles.  You’re also building the strength and endurance of connective tissues like ligaments and tendons.  This helps to stabilize joints and can thus may help you prevent injuries.  There’s a plethora of studies that show that weight lifting / resistance training is an important tool for disease prevention.  The leaner your body composition is the lower you risk may be for obesity related diseases such as diabetes and blood pressure issues.

The benefits of weightlifting aren’t just noticed when you’re trying on those new pair of jeans or checking yourself out in the mirror.  Training isn’t just for gymrats or vanity reasons.  Get in the gym and get your sweat on and I could almost guarantee you’ll feel better!

¹Hall, Eric, “Are you fit?” http://facstaff.elon.edu/ehall/Assets/CD/files/strength.htm, Retrieved 07/11/2014