Unexpected Benefits of Adding Weights to Your Workout.
Today was weight day at BNFIT Bootcamp. It was hard. But reading the attached status update on Facebook today inspired a new post. It’s been more than a month since I’ve blogged, but this is the day. BNFIT Bootcamp is more than a family atmosphere where you can workout with no judgement and celebrate others victories. It’s also more than the great fun we have on a daily basis. It is where REAL work is going down. The women and the men do the same workout. Even on weight day.
Anyone who wants to develop their body and get healthier should consider adding weights — which includes weights, resistance bands, body weight exercises, and/or suspension training — to their workout. For many reasons.
Despite the misconceptions, lifting weights is not only for men, or all about eating whey protein, lifting heavy weights, and being oiled-up posing in a thong on a stage. That’s bodybuilding. Two different things.
Some of my female clients share their concern that they don’t want a masculine look, so “can we avoid the weights?” I wrote a post speaking to this very issue. But to summarize, lifting weights is actually necessary to keep the body from holding on to too much soft tissue and flab. You can do all the cardio and Zumba you want, but weights are necessary in the fight against flabby arms, cellulite and belly fat.
These are just some of the many unexpected benefits of lifting weights:
Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Lifting wiehgts combines a number of different factors that reduce the risk of heart disease. For one, it reduces the cholesterol levels in the blood, lowers blood pressure and reduces fat in the body. Fat is one of the main places where bacteria and toxins like to hide. By reducing the amount of fat in your body, you reduce the amount of bacterial you’ll be exposed to. That in turn reduces the risk of disease.
Reduced Risk of Arthritis
LIfting weights puts strain on bones, joints and ligaments. This is actually a good thing. Bones are just like muscles — they must be developed and MILK is not the answer. Bones that are never worked out are much more likely to become frail and brittle with time. People who lift weights are constantly putting strain on their bones and develop stronger bones.
In his revolutionary book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, John Ratey revealed case study after case study showing one incredible conclusion: Exercise, especially anaerobic exercise combined with aerobic exercise, actually makes you smarter.
When you exercise, your brain produces a number of neurochemicals that improve memory and mental functioning. In literally hundreds of studies researchers found undeniable evidence that consistent exercise can drastically alter brain chemistry.
Helps Alleviate Stress
There’s nothing quite like exerting yourself with an 8-lb weight — or a bench press — to relieve stress. Most people walk through life with no way of alleviating the stress in their lives. People who add weights have a way to do so.
Research and repeatedly linked stress reduction to increased happiness, as well as increased health and longevity. In other words, lifting weights helps you reduce stress and makes you healthier and live longer as a result.
Lifting weights can also dramatically increase self confidence. This works for a couple of reasons.
For one thing, there’s a lot of self confidence that’s built just from choosing a goal and following it through to completion. Seeing the actual results in the mirror help reinforce the fact that you managed to make a difficult goal come true. Another reason it builds self confidence is just by having a stronger, more powerful and more attractive body. A body that you worked hard for and can be proud of. It becomes both a source of pride and a source of inner strength.
These are just some of the many benefits of lifting weights. As you can tell, it’s not just a matter of building muscles; it is a lifestyle that can have dramatic positive effects on your brain, your mind, your immune system, your heart, your bones and just about everything else in your body.
A few decades ago the benefits of lifting weights were mostly anecdotal. Today, it’s a known scientific fact.
Lastly, REMEMBER: Lifting weights can include free weights, barbells, resistance bands, body weight exercises and suspension training. Weigh in with any comment, concern or question. Let’s talk.
Byron, Great Article. To get the more Tone muscle look, what is your recommendation on how much or frequent we should add weights to our work out? By doing so is there a good timeframe that we should begin to see our muscles transforming and the flab disappearing?