It’s a new year and there’s no better time than right now to find out what all of the hype surrounding strength training is all about. Up until now, you might have only dabbled in strength training, perhaps you’ve stuck solely to cardio, or maybe you’re new to exercising altogether. No matter where you’re starting from, these five benefits of strength training will inspire you to add to or increase your strength training habits so you can experience all of the advantages for yourself.
Increased muscle mass
We all start to lose muscle mass as we age—it’s part of life. But one of the most profound benefits of strength training is how it helps us maintain, and even gain, muscle mass!
Another thing that happens as we age is we begin to lose bone density. In turn, this makes us more prone to fractures and other bone-related issues. Luckily, strength training can also help improve and maintain your bone density.
Strength training is very helpful for maintaining joint flexibility. In doing so, it can also lessen the effects of arthritis.
Remember what we said about increasing and maintaining your muscle mass being another benefit of strength training? Well, more muscle mass means a greater resting metabolism. This means your body burns calories easier/more efficiently, making it easier to control your weight.
Improve your balance
Performing strength training exercises not only improves your joint flexibility, but it also helps you balance better. Combined, these effects can help reduce your risk of falls and injuries as you age.
How to Start Strength Training
If all of these benefits of strength training have you excited to start, here are some tips to help set you up for success.
Don’t skip your warm up
Warming up is a non-negotiable before training. Not only does it help you reap more of the benefits of strength training, but it also helps protect you from injury! After your workout, be sure to make time for at least a few minutes of gentle stretching.
Don’t overdo it when you first start strength training. This will help you avoid injury and prepare you for long-term success. A good place to start is choosing a weight you can lift 10-15 times with proper form. Once you can easily do one to two sets like that, you can begin increasing the weight by 5-10%.
Rest between sets
This gives you a chance to reset and regroup. A 60-second break between sets can also help prevent muscle fatigue which can be especially strong when you first start strength training. Speaking of rest, be sure to rest for a day or two between strength training workouts to give your muscles a chance to recover.
Keep your sessions 45 minutes or less when you start
The same as starting off with weights that are too heavy, it’s also not a good idea to begin with weight training sessions longer than 45 minutes. The truth is, a longer workout doesn’t mean better results! Not to mention, if your sessions are longer than they need to be, your odds of fatigue and burnout go up.
Start Experiencing the Benefits of Strength Training Today
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