There are plenty of reasons to start strength training as it has numerous benefits, from fat loss to injury prevention. There are two different methods of it: weight training and body weight training. Both ways are fantastic as they each challenge our bodies in different ways.
Strength training is primarily an anaerobic activity but can become aerobic when performed in circuit training.
So the question “Should you be strength training” can be answered with a giant yes!
Reasons to strength train:
1. It is a crucial component in fat loss
Strength training results in increased muscle mass, which in turn boosts your resting metabolism. It also continues to burn calories after your workout due to a process called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). Depending on the intensity of your strength training workout, you can continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours. And as we know, we have to burn more calories than we consume in order to lose weight.
Another thing to note about strength training is that it increases testosterone levels. If you’re a female, this does not mean that you are going to get big and bulky. There’s a lot more involved to bodybuilding than adding some weight training and body weight exercises to your routine. It would also involve higher levels of testosterone than you would get naturally.
Testosterone is simply a hormone we use to build muscle mass, so increasing these levels through a natural way like strength training will result in an increase in lean muscle.
So the bottom line is, the more lean muscle you have on your body, the more efficiently you’re going to burn fat and calories.
2. That little thing known as aging
Due to hormonal changes, we begin to lose muscle mass as early as our 30’s. By the time we are in our 70’s, we could lose up to 50% of our muscle mass which is going to result in feeling tired and weak, as well as increase our risk of injury.
When we lift weights or perform body weight training, we are increasing bone density and strength, and reducing our risk of developing osteoporosis – one of the reasons to incorporate strength exercises into your workout.
Flexibility is also important as we age, so a great way to get in a good body weight/flexibility workout is through yoga.
We have all probably participated in some form of dieting. Whether it’s a low carb/high protein or a low fat/high protein diet, about 25% of the weight lost during the diet is due to muscle loss if you aren’t performing resistance training as well. If you are going to diet, the two should be paired together for optimal results.
4. Controlling Type 2 Diabetes
Many people with type 2 diabetes are following an aerobic exercise plan, which certainly has its benefits, but strength training is arguably more important in controlling your diabetes.
During this type of training, the primary fuel that the body uses is glucose, which means you should see improvement in your blood sugar levels if you are a type 2 diabetic.
5. Improves Endurance
Many people who need to improve their endurance tend to focus on cardio and forget to spend time strengthening their muscles as well. While strength training doesn’t improve your endurance directly, it does work for you indirectly. Think about it this way: The stronger your legs are, the longer they are going to carry you for before tiring.