Weight lifting can often sound like hard work, and unless you want to look like Mr Universe, it isn’t really worth it – or is it?
There are numerous benefits to weight lifting, and it’s not all about getting a huge chest and biceps. Adding weights to your diet and exercise regime is not only going to help you burn fat quicker and for longer, but has some amazing health benefits as well.
If you also want to get ahead in your career, then having a fit body may just be the edge you need to stay ahead of the competition.
Here are our 7 amazing reasons as to why you should lift weights:
1. Cardio can burn muscle as well as fat
If you are looking to hit the treadmill in an attempt to burn off extra fat whilst dieting, then it’s important to realise that you may also be burning off your muscle. Studies have shown that performing cardio only exercise will burn around 75% fat and 25% muscle.
So although the scales are showing a great weight loss, a good portion of what you’ve lost could be muscle. However, this does really depend on what you are looking to achieve. If you are not too worried about muscle and your body shape, then it may not matter. But if you are looking to not only lose weight, but strengthen your body and even gain some definition, then weight training is the way to go.
2. You will burn more calories
Lifting weights will increase the amount of calories you burn when resting – and for up to 24 hours or more! During weight lifting your muscles will tear, so they need to use lots more energy in order to repair themselves.
Your metabolism will also literally be in overdrive for hours after your workout, and will continue to burn fat even when you are sat on your bum watching TV!
3. Dieting is easier
Extensive research has proven that those of you who are hitting the gym on a regular basis are much more likely to stick to a diet than those who don’t. One of the main reasons for this is that once you’ve been to the gym, you are more likely to stay focused on a healthy diet because of the hard work you’ve put in.
4. It’s easier to keep cool
Studies have shown that a regular trip to the weights room is more likely to keep you cool under pressure, and will make it much easier to keep stress at bay. When tested, fitter people showed lower levels of stress hormones than unfit people, and blood pressure levels were able to return to normal quicker.
5. You will get into shape quicker
If you already have a cardio training regime, then you may want to consider adding weight lifting into the mix. Studies have shown weight lifting during circuit training can increase your heart rate by up to 15 beats per minute.
Building up your muscle strength as well as endurance training is extremely important when it comes to burning fat and getting in shape. You are likely to lose muscle as well as fat when performing cardio, so lifting weights will allow you to retain as well as gain more muscle along the way.
6. You’ll have a healthier heart
It may be easy to forget about your heart when it comes to diet and exercise, so it’s important to realise that weight lifting can reduce your diastolic blood pressure by up to 8 points. That kind of decrease can reduce the risk of a stroke by up to 30 percent and the chance of a heart attack by up to 15 percent!
7. You might get a promotion
Lifting weights will not only burn fat and keep you looking and feeling healthy, but you also might find yourself up for promotion as your productivity at work increases.
Studies have shown that productivity can be increased by as much as 20 percent if you’ve hit the gym that day. So not only are you better equipped to handle a stressful day at work, you are much more likely to be better at your job.