Why Is Strength Training Important For Everyone?

Strength training has never really lost its popularity, but do we really know why its so good for us? Here we explore the continued benefits of strength training.

Strength training helps our bodies perform everyday tasks better, even if this is lifting our children, carrying heavy shopping, weight training helps. You will sometimes see this referred to as functional training. It will also increase your metabolic rate, which often surprises people.

Weight training can in fact be more effective in burning fat than cardio workouts. The science behind this is that when you do strength training you are carrying out anaerobic exercise, oxygen is not being taken in during the exercise. But after you have finished the body has to consume more oxygen to make up for the oxygen not taken in during the exercise. Your metabolic rate then goes up and you continue to burn fat in the hours that follow weight training.

In addition to this strength training can also be good for our bones so aiding the fight against diseases like osteoporosis. Muscle tone and posture can also benefit. But one of the real advantages of strength training is for the home gym. If space is an issue for you and maybe budget as well, consider that weights needn’t take up a huge amount of space and wont cost you a fortune either.

Do Muscles Turn To Fat When You Stop?

In a word no. Muscles cannot turn to fat. They are different. If you do stop your weight training, you will see a reduction in the size of your muscles and a difference in tone and feel but they wont all turn to fat. Any weight gain that subsequently follows on is because you are not exercising and maybe consuming too many calories, but its not muscle turning to fat.

Should You Buy Hand Weights Or A Machine?

At a gym you may have used both hand weights and machine weights, but which are better? The benefits of using a machine is that they can be easy to use, should prevent you injuring yourself and are good for isolating muscles in the workout. But they sometimes allow smaller muscles to be overlooked and they can ignore the functional aspect of your training. But they can also take up space and cost money. In comparison free weights can work out cheaper, you can take them with you whether that’s to work or on holiday. The downside of free weights is that they can be an injury hazard and you need to really know the technique to use them properly.

Another piece of gym equipment that is good here is the resistance band. They are relatively cheap and great for home gyms as they are small and compact. Because they create tension they provide a good strength workout. Try to buy a few different resistance bands in different tension bands as larger muscles like in your legs will require more than smaller muscles elsewhere.

Are You Worried About Building Too Much Muscle?

This is often a a concern that women have. You may want your muscles more defined and toned, which strength training will achieve but you don’t want to look like a body builder. Well rest assured you won’t get too muscular. One of the reasons is the female hormone oestrogen, this alone make it harder for women to develop too much muscle. What can happen is that you get great shape, burn fat and calories and look great.

How Do You Know What Amount Of Weight To Lift?

Try not to focus too much on the amount of weight that you are lifting particularly if you are a beginner to weight lifting. It is more important to get the technique right so that you can avoid injury. Reps are what is important in weight lifting so work on reps. As for the weight itself don’t go too light so that at the end of the rep you are feeling nothing but likewise don’t go too heavy so that at the end of the reps you are rocking and straining to finish.