Training with heavy weights is shown to improve your self-confidence. Weight training can also reduce anxiety ease depression, and increase happiness. While it might be hard at times to get motivated to hit the gym, the benefits outlast the initial struggle.
Get going and get happy.
2. Get stronger
Heavy weights increase the power and strength of your muscles without significantly adding bulk or size, especially for women. This means that everyday physical tasks get easier, and consistent training will increase the amount of weight you can lift. You’ll look stronger, too. Strength training with heavy weights enhances your muscle mass and definition.
3. Cut the fat
Everyone knows that exercise helps you to burn more calories, but according to Mayo Clinic, a regular strength training program can also help you burn more calories when you’re not in the gym. You get an “after burn,” where your body continues to use more calories in the hours following a workout. In addition to that, strength training builds muscle. That larger muscle mass increases the calories you burn daily without exercise.
Just like a double chocolate chip brownie, heavy strength training gives you a double reward when burning calories.
4. Build your Brain
Heavy weights develop more than just muscle. Lifting heavy increases the production of many hormones, including the hormone IGF-1, which helps to stimulate connections in the brain and enhance cognitive function. In a recent study, leg strength was positively linked with stronger minds that are less susceptible to the negative effects of aging.
Simply stated: Strength training can improve your ability to learn and think as you age.
5. Prevent injury
Resistance training using body weight and with free weights, strengthens more than just your muscles. It also strengthens your bones and connective tissues. This added strength and stability will help you ward off injuries and keep a strong body. It can also help reduce symptoms of many conditions like back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain.
6. Improve endurance
It seems counterintuitive, but strength training has been shown to improve endurance speed, and running economy (the amount of energy and effort it takes to do something like run a five-minute mile). A recent study showed that lifting heavier weights improves economy more than lighter weights. That extra weight on the bar will pay off during your next run or spin class.
So don’t lighten on the weights. The heavier the better.
7. Fight aging
Inactive adults can lose 3 to 8 percent of muscle mass per decade. You might lament the loss of your rock-hard arms or killer abs, but even worse, muscle weakness is linked with an increased likelihood of death in men. Heavy resistance training can help fight, and reverse, the loss of muscle mass. It can also strengthen bones and help prevent osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women.
The old saying, “Use it, don’t lose it” seems appropriate for your muscles.
Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning a heavy lifting program, especially if you have high blood pressure or any vessel disease.
It’s very important to use proper form anytime you are lifting, but it’s even more important when you are lifting heavy.
Meet with a trainer if you have never lifted, or if you have never lifted heavy weight, to get started. Ask them what weight you should start at to stay safe.
Pay close attention to your body and adjust lifting as needed to avoid injury.