Weight training has been a large part of the fitness industry for decades, but recently it has become mainstream for men and women of various ages. With more studies and education being shared about the health improvements from weight training, more people are learning that they should head toward the bench press or the dumbbells more often while at the gym. Of course, weight training builds muscle mass but numerous other health benefits come from increasing body strength and regularly practicing a proper weight training regimen.
What is Weight Training?
Weight training describes exercises that increase strength by using weights for resistance. The exercises paired with a tolerable weight adds stress to the working muscles. This causes muscle fibers to adapt, grow and strengthen.
When weight training, a variety of equipment types can be used. Free weights, like barbells and dumbbells, provide a larger range of motion and rely on the muscles completely. Weight machines also provide stress, these provide a targeted use of the muscle and can allow you to perform with heavier weights safely. Resistance exercises and stress exercises can also be performed with bodyweight or resistance bands. Some people who are beginning their weight training journey may start with these or very light weights
When performed regularly and properly, weight training can result in immense health benefits for the short and long term.
Muscular and Bone Health Benefits of Weight Training
Increase Muscle Mass
The most obvious benefit of weight training may be increased muscle mass. This can provide essential support to your joint and bones, as well as help you to look and feel stronger and more confident. Building muscle mass also helps to reduce body fat. Adding just 2 weight training sessions a week can reduce body fat by 7%.
Increase Bone Density.
Having more bone density means your bones are stronger and less prone to fractures or bone diseases like osteoporosis.
Body Function Health Benefits of Weight Training
Your resting metabolism increases by 30 to 50 calories for every one pound of muscle mass. This helps support weight management and weight loss efforts.
As we age, lean muscle mass can decrease, leading to poor support of the body. Weight training in areas like the back, shoulders, and core help strengthen muscles to support the bones and keep the body upright.
Strong muscles mean strong limbs for improved balance. It’s also great for muscular imbalances if you have a leg or arm that is stronger than the other, you can isolate the weight exercises on that side.
Weight lifting increases “happy” chemicals and hormones like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These are natural antidepressants so you can look and feel better.
Best Ways to Start Weight Training Properly
Get the Right Weight Training Equipment
When you work out with proper weight training equipment not only do you get better results, you also feel more comfortable when performing exercises. This is going to further encourage you to continue your weight training practice. You may be interested in joining a gym that gives you access to equipment, but if you’re leaning toward developing your gym, make sure you find high-quality, professional equipment like Archon Fitness.
Start with Lighter Weights
Begin a weight training regimen with lighter weights to get your muscles accustomed to repetitive movement. You should feel slightly sore but not in pain.
Pay Attention to Form:
Another reason you want to start light is it helps you pay more attention to form. Make sure that you’re engaging the right muscles, keeping the rhythm of your breathing, and ensuring you have proper grips. This will ensure you maintain proper technique when you increase weight as well as prevent injury.
Stretch Before and After
Warm-ups and cool-downs aren’t just for cardio exercises. You should combine stretching and movement to maintain and increase range of motion through your weight training.
Don’t Overexert Your Body
Your body needs time to adjust to this mee regimen. It’s fairly easy to get over-ambitious at the beginning of your weight training because you may not feel the fatigue until days afterward. This can lead to injury and damage. Give yourself recovery days to allow your muscles to rest. Many times, people try to focus on different parts of their body, to have “active recovery days”. For example, one might do chest and back on day 1, legs and flutes on day 2, biceps and triceps on day 3, etc.
Hit All Muscle Groups
Incorporate all major muscle groups (arms, legs, back, chest, and core) into your regimen. You can also incorporate different exercises to also engage assister muscles.
Muscular health isn’t the only important part of your fitness regime, but it’s crucial to practice it regularly and properly to maintain overall health and wellness.