The Benefits Of Lifting Weights: 10 Reasons Why Weight Training Will Make Your Life Better
After a good workout this morning, I was in a reflective state of mind, and started thinking about how much weightlifting has truly enriched my life over the years.
Once I got home, I went through all of the benefits of lifting weights that I could think of, and ended up putting together a pretty extensive list.
This I’m sure doesn’t surprise you: as a co-founder of Caliber, it would make sense that I enjoy weightlifting – but it truly goes beyond just the obvious benefits that people tend to think of.
Namely, getting stronger and building more muscle.
These are both great reasons to lift weights – and are often the main reasons that people start out in the first place – but the truth is that the myriad benefits of weight training go far beyond these two things.
In fact, when I put my list together, I easily came up with 10 different benefits of lifting weights, and this is far from being exhaustive…
So, if you’re on the fence about getting started with weight training – or just want to reinforce your resolve for what you’re already doing – take a read through this article and discover why regular weight training will truly make your life better.
1) You’ll Be Physically Stronger
Let’s start out with one of the most obvious benefits of weight training: that is helps to make you stronger. Significantly stronger.
There are various types of workouts that you could do in order to improve your overall fitness – but if you are looking to get stronger, then lifting weights regularly really is the most efficient way to do this.
Sure, you could focus on body weight exercises, but this honestly pales in comparison to the strength that you’re able to build with proper weight training.
And let me tell you, being strong makes so many things in life that much easier…
You can carry things more easily and pick heavy things up off the floor with less of a struggle; in short, you are just better equipped to deal with any physically demanding challenges that life throws at you.
2) You’ll Look Better
While physical attractiveness is subjective, and people have lots of different preferences, I would put forward that the majority of people will look better with a decent amount of muscle mass.
I’m not talking about bodybuilder huge here. Some people like that, for sure, but I’m talking more about having a reasonably well-proportioned muscular body, rather than a soft doughy one.
And even if you are holding more body fat than you might like, you’ll still look better with a decent amount of muscle underneath.
Muscle effectively frames your body, giving it shape and stature, and your clothes will fit a whole lot better too.
3) You’ll Have A Faster Metabolism
If I had to say that there was one ‘secret’ to staying lean in the long run, beyond what you might temporarily achieve with a crazy crash diet or an intensive period of obsessive cardio, it would be maximizing the rate of your metabolism.
When you have a slow metabolism, losing weight is that much harder, requiring you to cut your calories to unpleasant levels in order to create an energy deficit.
In addition, when your goal is to maintain weight, if you have a slow metabolism it becomes considerably more challenging – since you still have to keep your calories fairly low in order to avoid having the pounds slowly creep back up, which can feel onerous and unsustainable.
In contrast, when you have a fast metabolism, you can lose weight fairly easily, without having to cut your calories so drastically, and maintaining weight becomes a lot more manageable.
There are various ways to improve your metabolism, but one of the best ways is to build more lean muscle mass through weight training.
This is because muscle tissue, unlike fat tissue, actually requires energy in order to sustain itself.
As a result, the more lean muscle you have, the faster your BMR will necessarily be, in order to support all of that muscle tissue.
This translates into being able to eat a greater number of calories without gaining weight, and being able to lose weight eating more than you would otherwise.
4) You’ll Be More Productive
Wait, you’re saying that I’ll be more productive if I lift weights – how does that work?
Yes, I am, so hear me out!
Being productive is very much related to the habits that you build for yourself – and if you strive to develop effective habits, you’ll find that you get more done each day.
What’s more, habits tend to be self-perpetuating to some degree, meaning that the more positive habits you build for yourself, the more you’ll tend to continue to build other positive habits, while reinforcing the ones that you already have.
All of this means that if you weight train with consistency, you’ll be more likely to be productive in other areas of your life as well.
5) You’ll Be Better Equipped To Deal With Depression
Depression is no joke, and is something that 350 million people struggle with around the world.
Whether your depression is situational, or more of a chronic condition, the fact remains that depression makes simply living your life that much harder, and clouds your experiences with a veneer of negativity.
And while I’m not going to try to claim that weight lifting will solve all your problems, there is a good amount of evidence that regularly lifting weights can help people better deal with depression.
6) You’ll Improve Your Self-Confidence
There are many factors that go into how you might feel about yourself.
These might include how successful you feel you are at your job, and the quality of the relationships that you have, among many other things.
And while ideally self-confidence should be grounded in an unshakeable sense of self-worth – irrespective of your current situation in life – the reality is that feeling and looking good physically will go a long way towards making you feel better about yourself.
In fact, improved self-confidence is one of the benefits that many of my clients have mentioned to me, after firmly adopting a practice of weight training, and often shocked at how much better it made them feel about themselves day to day.
7) You’ll Improve Heart Health
It is probably not surprising that exercise can help to keep your heart healthy; after all, doctors have been recommending regular aerobic exercise for years.
However, a growing body of evidence has shown that weight lifting can also help to reduce the risks of heart disease, and improve heart health for people already suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Of course, the specific type of weight training that you do is an important consideration here, since it has been shown by some studies that higher repetition weightlifting is most beneficial for cardiac health, as opposed to lower rep, heavier load training.
8) You’ll Improve The Quality Of Your Sleep
Getting enough sleep is very important, and something that many people struggle with.
In fact, less than 40% of Americans get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, which is the minimum amount recommended for most people.
What’s more, even when you feel like you’re getting enough sleep, if the quality of your sleep is also very important, and can greatly impact how well-rested you feel each day.
Well, there is some evidence that weight lifting will help to improve the quality of your sleep, while also making it easier to fall asleep each night.
One study conducted on older adults showed that weight trained helped to improve sleep quality by 38%, which is very significant.
9) You’ll Boost Key Mood-Improving Endorphins
Have you heard of a runner’s high?
That feeling of elation that committed runners tend to have, which is almost drug-like?
Well, one of the benefits of lifting weights is that you tend to get a similar ‘high’, due to the release of certain hormones like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.
This is one of the reasons that weightlifting can help with depression, as we already discussed above, but even if you’re not depressed this can leave you feeling relaxed, and reduce your overall levels of stress.
10) You’ll Improve Your Mental Toughness
I saved this one for last, since I think that it’s a significant benefit of lifting weights that isn’t discussed very much.
Contrary to what many fitness marketing claims will tell you, the truth is that lifting weights is hard!
Oh course, it’s physically challenging to push yourself in the gym – but it’s also mentally tough to have the wherewithal to persevere through the discomfort.
And to go back the next time and do it all over again…
But that’s exactly what makes it such an effective character builder. Weightlifting provides an outlet for you to mentally go into battle against yourself, trying to accomplish more than you were able to do in the past, which is what allows you to continue getting stronger and stronger.
Yes, weightlifting regularly will build up your mental fortitude, making you more capable of dealing with life’s challenges, and teaching you not to retreat when the going gets tough.
In short, the practice of weight training will make you a stronger person mentally, as well as physically.
The Bottom Line On The Benefits Of Lifting Weights
After reading through the article, there should be no lingering doubt in your mind about whether weightlifting is a beneficial habit to adopt.
Without any equivocation, I would say that the vast majority of people would benefit from making weight training a part of their lives.
And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to be in the gym all day, every day, in order to reap some of these benefits.
Simply committing to weight training 3 days per week, for around 45 minutes per session, can have a profoundly positive impact on your physical strength, your health, and your general sense of well-being.
So, if you’re already weight training regularly, that’s great; keep doing what you’re doing, and continue to experience many of these benefits.
And if you’re not currently weight training, now is the time to get started. Your future self will thank you for it.