Lifting weights is something that many people look on with scorn and disdain. I generally hear things like “I don't want to get big and disgusting like the bodybuilders in the magazines!” or “All I want to do is lose some fat!” or “I only want to be leaner.” When I hear these objections to lifting weights I think of my 5 reasons to lift weights.
- You will lose more fat by lifting weights. Most people think that cardio is the ticket to burning fat. Penn State University did a study. They put people into three “dieter” groups: (1) no exercise; (2) cardio only; (3) cardio and weight training. All 3 groups lost about 21 pounds. The group that lifted weights along with the cardio lost 6 lbs more fat than those who did not push the weights around. The reason is that the lifters lost almost pure fat while the others lost a combination of fat and muscle. Further research showed that those who don't lift lose 75% fat and 25% muscle. This makes it more likely that you will gain the weight back. Weight training while also incorporating cardio will protect your muscle while helping torch the fat.
- You will burn more calories. Weight training increases the number of calories you burn while at rest. This happens because your body will burn calories as it repairs the damage done from weight training. Researchers have shown that people who do 3 full body workouts with just 3 big muscle moves have an increased metabolism 39 hours later.
- You will build stronger bones. As you age your bone mass decreases. Lifting for 16 weeks will help increase your bone mass by 19 percent. This will help you avoid a debilitating hip fracture later in life.
- You will have a healthier heart. Research has shown that weight training will reduce your blood pressure over time. It can reduce your diastolic blood pressure by 8 points. This is enough to reduce the risk of stroke by 40% and the chance of heart attack by 15%.
- You will have better fitting clothes. Muscle takes up less space than fat. In fact 1 lb. of fat takes up 18% more space than 1 lb. of muscle. When you add muscle and burn fat you will look better in your clothing. You will turn heads because of how good you will look. Who doesn't check out the tight body of someone walking by who is in great shape?
If you are one of the people with the objections I already mentioned, perhaps it is time for you to rethink your objections. Weight training is essential to get into the best shape possible. If you have any other reasons why someone should lift weight please share with us in the comments area.