The Physical Benefits of Strength Training

The physical benefits of strength training are endless. There are multiple ways in which lifting weights will assist you in feeling better than you have ever felt and looked better than you have ever looked. I have narrowed this article down into the benefits that I have personally noticed the most, and the ones which my clients have noticed.

Looking good! – The aesthetic benefits of strength training

Perhaps the most common benefit which draws most people into the gym in the first place is the fact that strength training changes your appearance. With social media being so prominent in today’s society, the pressure to look good is higher than ever. Strength training is a fantastic way to build your self-esteem, boost your confidence and ultimately, transform your body. With the correct training programmes, you can build a body which you are proud of and fulfil by. Your body’s potential is far greater than you realise and getting into weight lifting is the perfect way to transform yourself into the best version of yourself! Although I appreciate there are many more benefits arguably more important than this one, having aesthetic goals are the most common goals when it comes to strength training, especially at the beginning. I certainly still work towards aesthetic goals myself. In fact, a huge part of my motivation came from when people around me such as my friends and family started noticing subtle changes in my body. You may not notice the changes yourself straight away because you look at yourself all the time. However, what is unnoticeable to you is obvious to others who perhaps have not seen you in a while. I had many of my friends comment on my glute growth and my more ‘toned’ appearance for example. This reinstated to me that my hard work was paying off, which in turn only motivates me to train harder and keep achieving my goals. Nothing beats the feeling when you set out appearance and aesthetic goals for yourself, and then people notice those exact goals translating in your body.

The physical health benefits of strength training

While strengthening your body will in turn be aesthetically pleasing, it will also serve physical health benefits which are even more important than how you look. Did you know that you begin to lose your natural muscle density and strength from 25 years old onwards! Therefore, it is important to train your muscles, maintain or even build strength so your body is in an optimum state. Having a strong body will impact you positively in countless ways: Better posture Many of my clients I work within PureGym have noticed this, as most of them have sedentary lifestyles and do not get much movement day today. A lot of us will spend many hours of the day hunched over at a desk or even stood up for long periods of time. Strength training will not only give you a great opportunity to incorporate some movement into your routine but will also help you even sit better at your desk. A strong back and core for example will mean better posture overall, meaning you will find sitting more comfortable as there is less chance of backaches and twinges whilst you are sitting or standing. Reduced risk of injury Training increases the density of the muscles, so improves the body’s ability to withstand the impact that might otherwise cause injuries. Having clients who also play other sports find strength training really helps their body’s overall durability, to make them more efficient in their sport. This is also very important in everyday life. If your muscles are strong, you are less likely to injure yourself for example when you bend over to pick something up, tie your shoes, or even when you are dancing on a night out! Strength training complements every else you do and will put you in a better position to execute normal daily activities. Reduces the effect of gravity (anti-ageing) Training rescues the effect of ageing. Ageing muscles mean they are slowly deteriorating and weakening over time as we get older. As we age, typically our posture will start to dwindle and our body mobility becomes limited. However, with strength training, you are essentially forcing your muscles to constantly grow and repair themselves. Therefore, we are fighting the ageing process, and keeping our body mobile and healthier for longer. Helps the brain There is even evidence of strength training having a huge positive impact on the brain. There are long term cognitive benefits from strength training and lifting weights can help prevent degeneration of the brain, preventing things such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Professor Valenzuela even states “the message is clear, resistance exercise needs to become a standard part of dementia risk reduction strategies.” Improves flexibility A common misconception is that lifting weights will make your muscles tighter rather than looser when in fact, weight training will most likely improve your flexibility. I’ve always struggled a bit with my own flexibility. I wasn’t a very bendy kid growing up, and I began to notice I was getting stiffer and even less flexible after I left university. Since beginning my weight lifting journey, my flexibility has improved massively. When your muscles are weak when stretched or lengthened, they put a guard up to avoid injury, thus limiting how far you can stretch. However, by strengthening the muscles, they are better equipped to defend against injury and therefore will loosen out, making you more lexible! I am now more flexible than I was at a university. I am 2 years older than I was when I was beginning to notice my flexibility really dwindle, but due to weight lifting, my body feels younger and in far better condition than before.