The world of lifting weights can be a scary one. If you visit your local gym, you’ll see all manors of people grunting, gasping, throwing weights around, and generally looking a bit unruly. However, weightlifting doesn’t have to strike fear into your heart, it can actually be extremely beneficial no matter what your goal is.
One of the biggest benefits of lifting weights is that it helps you to become stronger. Your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones will all develop and adapt, reducing your risk of injury in the future and keeping your body healthy as you age. Not to mention, strengthening these areas helps to improve our posture, reducing pain around the spine and preventing it from occurring in the future.
A side effect of growing stronger is that it helps you to become more confident, too. Everyone gets down about themselves every now and again, especially about how they look. Yet, if you can look in the mirror and see someone capable of lifting some heavy weights, then you become more self-assured and positive. Not to mention, you’ll be more capable with every-day tasks which only bolsters this self-reliance.
A big part of lifting weights is that it helps you to lose fat. Many people think that cardio is the best and only way to drop pounds through exercise, but that’s actually not the case. Weightlifting firstly helps us to build muscle, and the more muscle we have on our frame, the more calories we burn at rest.
Muscle is metabolically active meaning that it needs calories in order to survive on our body, thus increasing our metabolism. On the other hand, fat isn’t, so even if two people are the same weight, the one with more muscle will need to eat more calories as their metabolism is faster.
As well as this, the act of lifting weights burns calories, especially when you combine it with something like HIIT or circuit training to both get a sweat on and keep your training interesting.
Lifting weights also gives you a target to work towards. Many people just turn up to the gym without a plan or idea of what they’re going to do. They then float from machine to machine without any real goal in mind. If you’re serious about getting stronger and want to progress, then you need a training plan to help you with this. Through that, you develop targets and checkpoints, giving your motivation a boost throughout the process and also providing something to aim for. Often we only have goals in our personal lives which we can’t always control, but in the gym, all you need to do is put in the effort and you’ll get there.
Lastly, weightlifting is a great way to improve your mood and reduce stress. There’s no better way to let out your anger and frustrations than through picking up and putting down heavy objects. All forms of exercise cause us to release endorphins; neurotransmitters that help to alleviate pain, boost our confidence, and fight off depression. All exercise is a great way to stimulate your brain to reduce stress and anxiety, but weight lifting has the added benefit of being an outlet for anger. It can even help to improve cognition, brain power, balance, and co-ordination, meaning that you can become smarter whilst also getting stronger!
From the outside looking in, weight lifting can definitely seem like a frightening activity, but in actuality, everyone is just focused and dedicated on improving themselves, just like you.