Besides the obvious of—strength training helps you look better by shaping and toning your body, here are 10 strength training advantages you might not have thought of (strength training includes bodyweight, dumbbell, barbell, resistance band, kettlebell and medicine ball exercises):
Here are my 10 Strength Training Advantages for Your Body:
1. Strength training helps you burn more calories and fat during and after your workout and even while you sleep (because of increased metabolic rate).
Full body strength training is the key to burning more fat and transforming your body. You must make a major commitment to strength training.
Muscle mass is your body’s top fat-burning tool. Not only will your body’s composition improve (less fat, more muscle), it will improve your overall health.
Maintain and/or improve muscle mass throughout your life to slow the effects of aging.
Numerous studies indicate that muscle mass may decline by 20% to 40% between age 20 and age 65. Muscle inflexibility, joint/tendon/ligament stiffness, bone loss and decreased range of motion also comes along with inactivity. You can stop a significant portion of this deterioration of muscle mass and mobility by using a regular strength and conditioning program throughout your life.
A slow or sluggish metabolism is NOT the MAJOR cause of weight gain. A caloric imbalance is the cause of weight gain. If you consistently eat more calories than you burn in a day (caloric surplus), you will continue to gain weight and fat.
Regular exercise and an active lifestyle will help you burn more calories during the day and at rest. I recommend that you walk at least 30 minutes every day, even on the days you workout.
2. Your metabolism naturally declines with age starting at about age 30.
Use strength training to keep your metabolism humming even as you age.
3. Do you need more energy during the day? Strength training will help you stay strong and energized.
4. Reduce your risk of osteopenia (less than normal bone density) and osteoporosis with regular strength training.
You should get a bone density test if you’ve never had one performed. It takes about one minute for the test.
If you only run or bike for exercise, it won’t protect you from developing osteopenia or osteoporosis. Cycling is a great exercise to improve cardiovascular health and it targets many major muscle groups. But, recent research shows that male cyclists are susceptible to osteopenia which can often lead to full blown osteoporosis.
Pam Hinton (co-author of the study), associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia stated, “You would think that cyclists are very healthy because they spend all those hours training. In other aspects they are — cardiovascular health and body composition. But in this one aspect, they’re not doing so well.”
“Some of those with osteopenia were in their 20s and 30s, and that was pretty alarming to me,” Hinton says. “I thought I’d just see it in guys who were older and had been riding for years.” “When you’re young, you should be maximizing your bone density,” she says, “and as you get older, exercise slows the rate of loss. So it’s really important no matter where you are in your life to be doing some kind of bone-loading exercise.”
5. Live a fuller, happier life with a strong body and positive self esteem.
6. Finish your strenuous yard work and other hard tasks without getting injured (because you are physically weak).
7. Keep your posture upright and strong throughout your life with regular strength training. For your body to reach optimal strength, flexibility, balance and power, you must correct your postural imbalances and dysfunctions as much as possible.
8. Allow your heart to work more efficiently with regular strength training because of a reduced resting heart rate and blood pressure.
9. Decrease the risk of diseases, like diabetes and high cholesterol, with regular strength training.
10. Strength training helps lower the risk of broken bones by older adults because of improved balance and coordination.
Start your regular strength training as soon as possible (2-3 days a week, 30-40 minutes per session).
The following tips will show you how to shape and tone your body all day—not just during your workout. Take advantage of all the time you have available to you during the day to burn more fat and sculpt your body. I will assume you know that you MUST follow your fat burning meal plan to be successful with any fitness program.
a. Posture – Sitting, Standing, Walking and Running – Brace your torso all the time (like you’re preparing to take a punch in the gut). This is great core work all day, every day.
b. Running and Jump Training – Running and jump exercises activate the bulkier, shapely fast-twitch muscle fibers. Sprints are great and so are plyometric exercises (squat jumps are an example) when you are physically ready for them.
c. Jump Rope Exercises – Jump rope is a very underrated exercise that is good for fat burning, total body sculpting, hand-eye coordination and balance. You can jump rope every day (two feet, one foot, shuffle, slalom, alternating feet, etc.). Speed jump roping is even better.
d. Medicine Ball Exercises – Play with your medicine balls as much as possible. Medicine ball exercises are athletic in nature and shape your body in all 3 planes of motion. Do as many of these exercises in a standing position to burn more fat and better sculpt your body. These exercises are good for warm-up and workouts.
e. Bodyweight Exercises – Squats, Lunges, Pull-ups, Chin-ups, Triceps Dips on Bars, Pushups, Planks, Bridges, Cobras, Mountain Climbers, etc. really burn fat and naturally sculpt your body. Bodyweight exercises force you to balance and stabilize your body with no help from machines. And you can do them at home while watching television.
Get started today!
Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workout Book below and start shaping your body faster! There are 3 levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. You will also get fat-burning menus!
Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut and Your Fitness University. Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.