Resistance training is one of the hottest things on the fitness market right now. Some would say it’s cooler than sliced bread (those “some” would probably be older than 40, because anybody under 40 wouldn’t get that saying).
A lot of the attention that weight training is getting nowadays has to do with its effects on the external body. In other words, how it makes you look sexy.
As superficial as that sounds, it’s likely one of the reasons you’ve decided (or thought about) to starting a weight training program. Understand, this DOES NOT make you a bad person. It is absolutely imperative that you feel strong and confident about your body. And weight training is one of the best (I would argue THE BEST) ways to improve your self-image.
However, there are so many underlying benefits that weight training has which are easily overlooked for the superficial. One of which has just recently been studied.
The Many Benefits of Lifting Heavy S#!t
Aside from the previously mentioned ability that weight lifting has on your sexification (I totally thought I was making a word up there, but Microsoft Word isn’t trying to auto-correct it!! Is that a word?!?), there are tons of benefits that come with picking up heavy things.
For instance, one of the long-understood side effects of lifting weights is its ability to fight off osteoporosis (check out THIS ARTICLE to learn more). While lifting weights won’t necessarily CURE osteoporosis, it has been proven to significantly slow down its progression as well as stave off the onset of the disease.
Another proven benefit that is of little surprise to many is weight lifting’s ability to help you lose weight. If you’ve ever watched the show Biggest Loser (and by no means am I condoning what they do on Biggest Loser), their main form of exercise is weight lifting.
A New Benefit That You Should Pay Attention To
Although many of these benefits have been studied a lot over the years, there has been one area in which very few researchers have put to the test when it comes to weight training. Until now…
Recently a professor out of Iowa State University, DC Lee, released a study on the correlation between weight lifting and cardiovascular health (how well your heart works). The study involved following 12,591 people (that’s a TON of people) for about 20 years (that’s a TON of time) to see if there was any benefit of weight training on the heart.
Low and behold, weight training also helps reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease as you age. The study showed that even doing just 60 minutes of weight training A WEEK reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 40-70%! That’s insane!
Ironically, the findings also showed that these results were independent of the individuals aerobic endurance level. In other words, it didn’t matter how much they walked on a treadmill or pedaled on a bike, they still received the benefits of lower risk of cardiovascular disease simply from 60 minutes of weight training a week. Crazy!
What Does This Mean to YOU?
Your local Globo Gym probably boasts about its rows and rows of cardio equipment. They probably talk about having 50 treadmills and 72 ellipticals and 85 recumbent bikes. All of this equipment is used primarily for steady-state cardio, which was the type of exercise you did to help improve your heart function.
And, while there should be room for steady-state cardio somewhere in your exercise regimen, now you can begin to set aside that 60 minutes of treadmill walking for a more bang-for-your-buck workout of weight training. Because, as you’ve seen, research shows that weight training supports your heart!
Now you can stop wasting inordinate amounts of time on a stair stepper or elliptical or recumbent bike and spend more time on squats and deadlifts and kettlebell swings. You are officially free.
No more boring treadmills
No more ellipticalling
No more pedaling away on the bike
Boring, boring, boring!
You don’t have to be glued to that boring equipment. You can start doing the exercises that look fun and ARE fun.
The side effects of weight training are endless. If you want to have an exercise routine that you can adapt to about any goal while still improving your heart health and decreasing your risk of osteoporosis and reducing sarcopenia and on and on…it’s time to start weight training!
If you want to learn a bit more about steady-state cardio, read
THIS ARTICLE about the Running Fallacy.
If you want to learn more about weight lifting, read
THIS ARTICLE about 3 kettlebell exercises you should be doing.
If you’re ready to get your weight training started today, schedule your
Fitness Audit to learn how we can get you on your fitness journey.