It’s easy for resistance training to become pigeonholed as an activity reserved for athletes, bodybuilders and muscle-obsessed bro’s which is a shame because the benefits go far beyond building bigger arms or perfect legs. For sure adding shape and definition to our physique can be a great motivator but beyond the superficial there are many other reasons to make regular resistance training a fixture in our weekly exercise plan.
Metabolism - Resistance training helps increase lean mass and boost our metabolic rate. This has obvious benefits when looking to burn unwanted body fat.
Body Composition - Resistance training helps improve our lean mass : fat mass ratio which is typically correlated with improved health and well being.
Effective Weight Loss - For those of us looking to lose weight regular resistance exercise helps ensure the majority of weight loss stems from our fat stores not our muscles stores. This is valuable for a number of reasons not least of which is protection against rebound weight gain.
Stronger Muscles - No surprises here but resistance training helps strengthen our muscles which in turn makes everyday activities like carrying bags, lifting objects and climbing stairs easier to perform.
Stronger Bones - In addition to stronger muscles, resistance training helps strengthen the entire musculoskeletal system including our bones and connective tissues.
Injury Prevention - Stronger muscles, bones and connective tissues coupled with improved balance and muscular coordination can help fend off potential slips, falls and injuries.
Anti-Ageing - Over time our bodies experience a natural decline in muscle mass and bone density. This can be significantly offset by regular resistance exercise which has wonderful anti-ageing implications for our later years.
Athleticism - Increased strength has the potential to translate into faster speed, stronger hits and greater power on the sports pitch. Competitive sportsperson or not we can all benefit from improved athletic ability.
Endurance - Increased strength means a smaller percentage of effort is required to perform a given movement. These individual energy savings contribute towards greater overall endurance.
Confidence - Building a stronger body can be a deeply-satisfying feeling which leads to improved confidence and self-esteem in our everyday lives.
I'm sure this list could go on.
Whether you choose to lift weights, perform bodyweight calisthenics or play around with some resistance bands incorporating regular resistance training into your fitness plan seems like a no-brainer to me.