Strength training is any form of physical exercise that uses resistance to prompt muscular contraction, with the goal of building muscular strength, endurance or size. In addition to muscular benefits, strength training can also improve bone health, joint integrity and function, reduce bad cholesterol, and improve overall cardio functioning. Another fantastic benefit that strength training has on the body is fat loss through various biological and lifestyle areas:
Strength training helps us to manage our body weight and strive for that healthy range. By performing various types of strength training programs, we can burn off calories, shed extra pounds and build lean muscle. Maintaining a healthy weight also requires a balanced nutrition plan. Eating poor diets can destroy all the work done in the gym.
Become More Active
When we are stronger, we’re able to do more things, feel more energetic and healthy, be more active, and dominate our daily lives. Improved muscular strength and conditioning makes it easier to get up and down throughout the day, pick up or play with young children, carry more than one grocery bag from the car, vacuum the living room and other daily activities.
We also become more active the rest of the days that we’re not in the gym. For example, prior to participating in a strength training program, you might have spent the weekends on the couch binge watching Netflix. But, now, you are going for walks, riding the bike, or maybe even something more adventurous like rock climbing and hiking. A more active lifestyle directly leads to burning more calories and more fat.
Strength training has been linked to increased metabolism[i], which results in burning more calories and shedding unwanted body fat. When we have more lean muscle mass, it increases our BMR (basil metabolic rate) which is the rate of which our bodies burn calories at a resting state. So, an increased BMR would lead to burning more calories even when we are just resting. Additionally, strength straining can lead to an increase in EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption), which boosts our metabolism for a longer period of time after working out. In simple terms, it means that we will burn calories longer after a good strength training workout.
Builds Lean Muscle
As we get older in life, lean muscle mass decreases with age and, ultimately, turns into fat[ii]. Adding a strength training program to our lives can help to offset the natural decline in lean muscle mass and prevent an accumulation of body fat.
When we lose body fat from strength training, it can be very motivating in a few different ways:
- As we mentioned, it can make us feel better and increase our desire to be more active.
- Losing body fat, adding extra lean muscle and creating a more physically attractive version of ourselves, can inspire us to keep pushing hard and exercising more consistently.
- Strength training elevates our levels of endorphins, which are natural opiates released by our brains that make us feel good[iii]. This can be a natural antidepressant for some people and a way to manage stress.