Weight training is a type of exercise that utilizes resistance provided by weights to elicit the desired response, such as an increase in strength, size, power or endurance. Weight training is also sometimes referred to as resistance training.
Currently, the 8fit app features bodyweight workouts and yoga for all levels — beginner to advanced — but stay tuned; we’re also working on specialized workout programs that incorporate resistance to help you reach your goals even faster.
What are the benefits of weight training?
Weight lifting is highly beneficial for overall health and, contrary to what you might’ve heard, you can achieve much more than muscle gains or bulkiness from weight training. In fact, you might not even notice a significant change in muscle size, but you could see an increase in muscular strength, size, power, and endurance.
Our bodies are amazing machines, and by pushing them to their physical limits, you’re guaranteed to elicit a response. This response is our muscles adapting themselves so that they can handle the same kind of stimulation (a load brought on by added weight) next time it comes around.
Here are the benefits of weight training listed out (because we love lists):
- Increases muscular strength: Defined as the maximum force that you can apply against resistance. Lifting weights will help build muscular strength and, utilizing a program with proper progression; you can train your muscles to develop their overall capacity, meaning you’ll be able to lift, push, or pull heavier weight.
- Increases muscular endurance: Defined as your muscles’ ability to exert force against resistance for an extended period. Lifting weights regularly will help your muscles convert energy more efficiently. So, the more you train your muscles, the higher your “threshold” will be and the longer you’ll be able to work out before reaching fatigue.
- Increases muscular power: Now that your muscles are stronger and more efficient, they’ll feel more powerful. Muscular power is the explosiveness — or speed — that your muscles are capable of when lifting a weight.
- Increases muscular size: Also known as hypertrophy — the increase in skeletal muscle size — is one of the most popular motivations individuals take on weightlifting. What’s great is that hypertrophy has a number of benefits aside from aesthetics. This form of weight training will help you lose weight or look slimmer. How? Well, muscle weighs more than fat but the more muscle you have, the more fat your body can burn. When you increase muscle mass, you speed up your metabolism, and this results in your body burning more calories throughout the day.
Health benefits of weightlifting
Building stronger muscles is always a good thing. Even better, you can achieve an increase in strength, power, and endurance without “bulking up” (if you’re worried about that kind of thing).
Here are 8 additional health benefits of lifting weights on a regular basis:
- Builds bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis
- Especially beneficial for older adults to help age-related loss of muscle mass
- Increases cardiopulmonary health, especially if performed as a HIIT circuit
- Improves balance and reduces the risk of falls (important for seniors)
- Helps to prevent and aid postural imbalance brought on by weak muscles or strong muscles pulling your body out of alignment
- Develops confidence — because when you’re fit and strong, you perform at your best
- Reduces the risk of injury by keeping your joints safe
- Enhances motor performance by creating better connectivity between your brain to your muscles (i.e., neural motor connectivity)
Some other benefits of exercise, in general, include improved sleep, higher energy levels throughout the day, lower risk of diabetes, regulation of blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.
Go lift things up and put them down (carefully)
Have all of the health benefits above convinced you that you need a set of weights, a squat rack, and some barbells at home?! Before you go lifting things up and putting them down, understand that there are some dangers to weightlifting — especially if you’re inexperienced. When lifting loads of any weight (actual barbells, moving boxes, or children), improper form or lifting techniques can result in injuries. Talk to a trainer and get feedback about your form before you start adding strenuous weight.
Sign up for 8fit today to learn how to move your body properly — using just your bodyweight — before adding any kind of load. Our bodyweight exercises mimic many of the movement patterns your body will perform when eventually lifting weights. We also have some exercises that introduce the use of light weights, with more weighted programs coming soon. Stay tuned!