Five reasons you should be lifting weights
No matter who you are, you should be lifting weights. Obviously coming from a gym whose equipment list solely consists of weight to lift, this might sound a little bit biased. So here are five reasons why:
1. There is no such thing as ‘toning up’
I’m not sure where it came from, but the fitness term ‘toning up’ refers to having visible muscular definition. This simply means having enough muscle and a low enough body fat level to show it. So when someone states they wish to tone up, what they are really saying (whether they realise it or not) is that they wish to build muscle and lose some body fat. Lifting weights is a great for this!
2. More muscle, less problems
Muscular size and strength has been strongly linked to independence and longevity. This means that you will live longer and not have to have someone help you out of a chair (well, maybe after a big leg day). Outside of the ageing process, being stronger will allow you to do more things! Strength provides another buffer for activity (much like aerobic capacity or cardio) so you can go harder for longer.
3. Tangible progress
Strength training provides very direct, immediate feedback regarding progress. Did you lift more weight? Congratulations! Did you lift the same weight for more repetitions? Congratulations! Did you lift more overall volume today compared to last week? Congratulations! This provides a great positive feedback loop, and helps keep you motivated.
4. Mental health
Everybody knows exercise is good for you, physically and mentally. This definitely isn’t something limited to lifting weights. However, time and time again, I have seen weightlifting mold people into more confident and fulfilled versions of themselves. Learning that you are capable of more than you initially thought possible is a powerful thing.
5. Cultivating discipline
One of the great things about being strong, or being super lean while carrying muscle well, is that you have earned it. You can’t buy a big squat, you can’t rent a body with 12% body fat. These are things that you have worked for, paid your dues, busted your ass and EARNED. Nobody can take that away from you!