We all know the fountain of youth is not real, but there are things you can do to slow the aging process. One of the most surprising ways to do this is by lifting weights. Most people do not lift weights because they think cardio is the best way to tone muscles and lose fat. This is simply not true. Weight lifting is actually one of the best forms of exercise you can do. Let’s look at how weight lifting benefits your body beyond just weight loss.
Weight Lifting Shapes Your Body
Cardio will help you lose weight, but it might not all be fat, in fact you can also lose a lot of muscle. Weight lifting however will help sculpt lean muscle which shapes your body, giving you a more athletic look. You can also target certain areas that you want to enhance - which you cannot do with cardio; such as your glutes or arms. Focusing on specific muscle groups will get you sculpted and toned (no flapping underarm skin!), a flat stomach and shapely legs.
Weight Lifting Increases Your Metabolism
As you get older your metabolism starts to slow down, this makes it much harder to lose weight. When lifting weights, you put a greater caloric demand on the body. The extra muscle and strength requires more energy (calories) to survive, which means you burn more calories. This, in turn, speeds up your metabolism. And if you do run for many hours, your body can stop burning fat and turn to muscles for fuel instead. This will slow down your metabolism. The opposite of what you want!
Weight Lifting Stops You from Getting Frail
As you get older, your body will become more fragile and easily injured. You may not be able to lift heavy objects or stay active, reducing your quality of your life. With a regular weight lifting program, you can ensure that you retain your muscle and strength for years to come. You will not only build muscle strength, but you will also help build and maintain bone density as well. Weight lifting properly will assist in maintaining a healthy posture and stop that notorious MR Burns hump back.
Weight Lifting Increases Your Testosterone
If you do not have enough testosterone in your body, you will not be able to develop lean muscle or burn fat. In fact, excess belly fat has been directly linked to low testosterone levels. Higher testosterone also increases confidence, assertiveness and your sex drive. This is another reason to avoid too much cardio. Too much cardio leads to a decrease in testosterone levels, causing fatigue, muscle loss and fat gain.
Weight Lifting is Easy to Track
In order to increase your lean muscle mass, you have to progressively lift heavier. This is why it is great to start with body weight exercises, but you will eventually need to add extra resistance to continue building strength and muscle. Adding resistance is easy to record. You can track your progress and volume each week and know when it is time to add in heavier weights. This will keep you from plateauing and also helps you see how far you have come.
Weight Lifting Improves your Sports Performance
As you get older, your strength and power output also start to degrade. Once this happens, it is very difficult to reverse. Weight lifting will keep this from happening, allowing you to maintain and even excel at hobbies like: skiing, snowboarding and cycling. If you can squat with 135 pounds on your back, then the next time you want to jump or run up a hill, it will not feel nearly as difficult!
Weight Lifting Can Be a Short Workout
Weight lifting does not have to take an hour and a half every day. You can shorten your workouts by doing compound exercises. These work multiple muscle groups at the same time, cutting your workout time in half. You can also do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which can be as short as 15 minutes. These intense bursts of activity are a great way to spike your testosterone levels and your metabolism, forcing your body to burn more calories and build muscle at an accelerated rate.
Let’s be clear, while cardio is necessary for maintaining good heart health, you should be doing it in combination with a good weight lifting routine. These two will produce great results for your body and your overall health. However, if you only have time for one type of exercise, choose weight lifting. Weight lifting is the most effective way to keep you feeling young, fit and healthy.
Yours in health,
Jack Murray - The Creekside Personal Trainer
If you are interested in how to improve your weight training why not join my New LIFT Course
4 Week Weight Training Course
Every Tuesday 7am
Includes Strength and Cardio Kettlebell training every Friday at 7am
Beginners Welcome - Starting 16th October
ONLY $160 +tax
LIFT is a class designed to equip you with all the tools to help you upgrade your weight lifting potential. Whether you are a total beginner and just want to learn proper form, or you have been lifting for years and want break through a plateau this class has a lot to offer.
The class will cover the best way to warm up and get your body in gear for a heavy workout.
How to recognize potential injuries and mobility problems and stop them hindering your training before they become a bigger problem.
Learn when stretching is helpful and when it could be damaging.
Learn what is the right volume of work for you, are you doing too much, or not enough?
Each class will focus on 4 main strength movements, Squat, Dead Lift, Bench press and Pull ups.
After each lift we cover and analyze each individual's personal weaknesses, then prescribe the best supplementary to suit you.
Leave each class with a plan of attack for improving your current training and how to be ready for next weeks class.
This class is the perfect way to get expert personal training in an affordable way and enjoy being part of a small group setting. You will be added to a private Facebook group where you can ask questions, share ideas and problems and get a constant support structure for your training.