Why do we, here at Reclaim, prize strength training so much?
Why do we coach our members to lift heavy weights? And if some members can’t lift heavy weights yet, why do we push them to work toward that? It’s simple, really; strength is king when it comes to health.
So what are some of the major benefits of strength training?
Obviously, the first is strength: having more strength to accomplish daily tasks with ease. It’s easier to carry laundry up a flight of stairs if you have acquired the strength to lift 200 pounds. Increased bone density is another major benefit, especially for women that are approaching or in their 40s. Due to menopause, women lose bone density much more rapidly. By stressing the body with extra weight (heavy strength training), we can get the body to send “helpers” to the bones that will actually help them grow more dense over time. Strength training also helps with hormone regulation. Specifically insulin, cortisol, and the major sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. By doing heavy weight training, the body regulates these hormones in a way that promotes lean muscle gain and fat loss.
Among the benefits listed above, most people are generally concerned with metabolism.
A person’s resting metabolic rate (calories they burn at rest), can be affected in the short term with certain hacks like eating spicy foods and drinking cold water. The only way to affect a person’s metabolism over the long haul is by building more lean muscle mass. Now this does not mean that everyone will gain huge amounts of muscle like the bodybuilders in magazines. Muscle burns calories, plain and simple. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
This is not to say that heavy strength training is the sole answer to a healthy and fit physique.
It’s one piece of the puzzle. It’s the E in our NERDS philosophy. In order to gain health and see the best results, you have to put together all the pieces of the puzzle. If you’re interested in strength training and how we approach it, click here to get your free PDF guide on building a good workout.