In the mid-70’s when I was getting started in this business, it was a challenge convincing people that strength training would benefit them. During those early years I worked with players from the Bears, Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls and other individual athletes from various sports. I often found myself butting heads with coaches who believed the myths surrounding strength training. There were many myths, which meant I spent a great deal of time defending my position, that being that strength training is safe, productive and very beneficial to athletes of all sports. In addition, women, and some men feared that they’d become big and bulky as a result of strength training, a fear that sadly still exists for some. This is of course untrue for most men and the vast majority of all women.
Today most of those fears are gone. Yes, there is still a great deal of misinformation concerning strength training, but there’s also a ton of evidence to show its value. Explaining the benefits of strength training to a new client sometimes makes me feel like the old time “snake oil” salesman who possesses the cure for everything. Truth is, strength training is the real deal.
The internet is full of strength training research, testimonials, and information of all sorts. I’ve listed a few of the many below. I’m in agreement with them all. I’ve had the opportunity to witness these strength training benefits in my clients over the past 35 years. If you’re willing to invest a relatively small amount of quality time, you can make what some might call miraculous changes.
When you think of transforming your life; body, mind and spirit, do you think of strength training? You should. The benefits of strength training extend into nearly every aspect of your health and well-being.
After 35 years in health and fitness I’ve have come to one conclusion: Strength training is the single most effective exercise to obtain and maintain a maximum level of health and wellness throughout your entire life.
Need more proof?
1. You’ll Lose More Fat.
This might be the biggest secret in fat loss. You may have been told over and over that aerobic exercise is the key to losing fat, but the truth is strength training is far more valuable. Penn State University researchers put overweight people on a reduced-calorie diet, and divided them into 3 groups, one group that didn’t exercise, one that performed aerobic exercise 3 days a week and the third group that did strength training 3 days a week.
The results showed that each of the groups lost about the same amount of weight, 21 pounds. But the group that did strength training lost 21 pounds of fat. The group that didn’t exercise and the group that just did aerobic exercise lost 15 pounds of fat along with nearly 6 pounds of muscle.
You don’t want to sacrifice your muscle when you are losing weight! We lose muscle mass as we age anyway and the purpose of proper exercise is to redevelop the body, not break it down. Other studies of non-lifting dieters show that on average, 75% of their weight loss is from fat and 25% is muscle. The muscle loss may look good on the scale as far as the numbers go, but it won’t look good in the mirror.
Muscle loss will also make it more likely that you will gain back the fat you lost because you have made your metabolism even less efficient. Muscle has to burn calories just to sustain itself. So, to lose weight, reduce your calorie intake and strength train so you can protect your hard-earned muscle and use the muscle to help you burn more fat!
2. You’ll Burn More Calories
Strength training increases the calories you burn, even while you’re at rest.
Why? Because your muscles use energy to maintain, repair and rebuild your muscle fibers after each strength training workout. On top of that, muscle is more metabolically active than fat, burning more calories 24/7.
At the University of Wisconsin, researchers found that when people performed a total-body workout comprised of just three exercises, their metabolisms were elevated for 39 hours AFTER the strength training workout. And, they burned a greater percentage of their calories from fat during those 39 hours, when compared to those who did aerobic exercise!
Researchers from the University of South Maine using advanced methods to estimate energy expenditures during exercise found that weight training burns more calories than running, up to 71% more! Based on these findings, it’s estimated that performing just one circuit of eight exercises which takes about 8 minutes can expend about 230 calories. And by stimulating a metabolic response you keep burning calories for another day or two after you stop exercising. twitch promotion