Strength training, also referred to as resistance training, is an effective form of exercise that builds muscle mass, tones muscles and strengthens bones.
Although strength training may take some time to see results, it’s worth persevering and building your strength and stamina over time.
Strength training has been linked to numerous health advantages, from preventing obesity and heart disease to increasing energy levels and relieving stress. Here are some of the top reasons why adding strength training into your workout routine is a wise decision:
Increased Muscle Mass
Strength training has numerous advantages for fitness. Not only does it build muscle mass and increase bone density, it reduces the risk of fractures and helps you stay at a healthy weight level as well.
Strong muscles also prevent sarcopenia, or the loss of lean muscle mass as we age. Furthermore, they improve bone health, enhance joint flexibility and alleviate arthritis symptoms.
To promote muscle hypertrophy, your workouts should be intense by applying a heavy load and repeatedly stretching the muscles. For best results, train each muscle group twice a week with short rest intervals in between sets.
Strength training is a form of resistance exercise in which your muscles are challenged against heavier-than-normal loads (like free weights, kettlebells or barbells). As you increase the weight or resistance on an exercise, it builds stronger muscles.
Experts agree that including strength training into your daily regimen can significantly improve the physical capacity of your body to handle everyday tasks like lifting groceries and climbing stairs or carrying heavy objects. Furthermore, it helps prevent muscle mass loss associated with aging.
Experts recommend strength training at least twice a week, performing one set of each exercise (usually 8-12 reps) for each muscle group. Research suggests two to three sets may be more beneficial but only after your muscles have recovered from the previous session.
Competent athletes or those simply seeking to lead a healthier lifestyle should recognize that stamina is an integral component of fitness. Stamina refers to the energy and strength that allows you to exert yourself physically and mentally for extended periods of time.
Strength training is one of the best ways to increase your stamina through regular exercise. Not only does it build muscle, but it also boosts cardiovascular endurance levels.
Gabi Garbarino, CPT and founder of Gabi’s Fitness Studio recommends adding short cardio bursts to your strength workouts for added endurance. These movements may include jump squats, jump lunges, mountain climbers and other movements that cause your heart rate to spike in order to keep you moving.
Enhanced Body Composition
Strength training has several advantages for your fitness regime, one of which being improved body composition. Lean muscle mass increases your resting metabolic rate and burns more calories even when you’re not actively working out.
However, you must remain consistent with your workout routine if you want to see the best results. Otherwise, your muscles may get used to the same pattern and you won’t be able to maximize your gains.
You can achieve this by altering your workout every four to eight weeks. Do the same exercises with different weights or alter the tempo at which each move is completed.
Reduced Risk of Injury
Strength or resistance training on a regular basis can help combat sarcopenia (the natural decline of lean muscle mass). It also aids weight management, bone health and chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity or arthritis.
A 2013 study of high quality revealed that including resistance exercises into athletic or fitness training significantly reduces acute sports injuries and overuse injuries – by 68 percent! This reduction far surpasses the 37 percent reduction experienced with general physical exercise and 4 percent with stretching2.
To reduce the risk of injury, it’s essential to use proper technique when strength training and maintain correct posture and body positioning at all times. Additionally, wearing appropriate and comfortable clothing and safety equipment that does not restrict movement or cause overstretching during workouts can help ensure success.