Obviously, we ALL know that exercise is great for us. Simply moving your body more has a laundry list of benefits.
Activities like running, walking, hiking, swimming and just more general movement throughout the day can lead to a much healthier lifestyle.
So why do we typically recommend resistance and weight training along with all of those other forms of exercise and movement?
When we bring up weight and resistance training, we are often asked these questions:
“Do I need to resistance train and lift weights?”
“Should I resistance train and weight lift?”
“As a man ... do I have to lift heavy weights?”
“As a woman, will I get bulky?”
“What type of weight training program should I follow?”
“Do men and women need different weight training programs?”
All of these are great questions! Before I address some of these, let’s take a look at the benefits of weight and resistance training ... many of which are very overlooked!
Resistance and Weight training has shown to help with the following health benefits:
-Helping BOOST Metabolism
-Maintaining a Healthy Weight and Improving Weight Loss
-Improving Bone Health and Bone Density
-Lowering Inflammation within the Body
-Improving muscular structure
-Fighting Risk of Chronic Disease and Cancer
-Decreasing Injury Risk
-Controlling Blood Sugar Levels
-Improving Brain Health and Cognition
And honestly the list goes on and on…
Now, to address some of those commonly asked questions.
No one “needs” to lift weights or resistance train. You can simply go on daily walks and improve health, drop weight, etc.
I will say though, you will be missing out on MANY of the above benefits. If you have goals of improving body composition (meaning building muscle and burning fat) you SHOULD ABSOLUTELY be weight training!
That doesn't mean you need to be a bodybuilder, powerlifter, or avid gym goer. Simply using a resistance band, light weight, or even body weight in your living room while watching TV can be extremely effective.
We also are often asked if Men and Women can follow the same program and lift weights in the same manor.
The answer: ABSOLUTELY!
Though Men and Women have different genetic makeups and hormones, muscles are muscles! They are built and shaped the same way!
Now, due to the genetic difference in Men and Women, Women will not get too “bulky”. It is simply not in their genetic makeup. If anything, Women will “tone” their muscles and look better than ever!
Now if you are looking to start weight training and curious about what program is best for you, you will just have to try some different protocols out!
There is no “best” when it comes to a program. Find something you can stay CONSISTENT with and ADHERE too!
Very similar to when someone asks what the “best” diet is! It will all come down to adherence and making sure you ENJOY what you are doing so you can stick to it long term!
The benefits of weight and resistance training are VAST, for men and woman alike.
If your overall goal is to burn fat, build lean muscle, and live the healthiest life possible (aka just about ALL OF US), you SHOULD BE RESISTANCE TRAINING.
Not only will you reap all of the benefits listed above, there's a good chance that you will physically look better than you ever have.
If you are struggling to put together a plan, or have more questions about training in general, reach out to any of our Sports Nutrition Specialists and we will gladly help customize a plan for you!
*This post was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a Bachelor's in Science Nutrition and Dietetics. He is also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.