SOCIETAL NORMS (yawn)
Is lifting weight just another exercise fad? Everyone’s doing it, right?!
You, me, them – we’re ALL seeing it! News articles and social media clips of female trainers getting down and dirty in the weight room, endless captions of peach emojis and bicep-curling selfies.
Heck, even Women’s Health is on board, boasting photos of super ripped models in their matching bra and sports tight looking ever so fresh-faced and flawless, while the rest of us are left confused about weight lfiting’s legitimacy or trickery.
For most of us, when we think of people lifting weights, we think of men viciously grunting and moaning in a gym. If you’re a woman reading this, you weren’t taught or encouraged to lift weights growing up. With some outliers and female athletes being the exception, women commonly didn’t “lift”. There was no emphasis on becoming stronger. Women were socialized to focus their attention on cardio laden actives like running or spinning.
So WHAT gives with these (bs) societal norms?
We’re here to tell you LIFTING WEIGHTS IS LEGIT! That’s right – when you do it properly, safely and follow a thoughtfully designed program tailored to your skill level, weight lifting is exactly what does a body good for not only how you look, but for the mechanics of your physical and mental health both now and for the rest of your life #forever.
THE LEGITIMACY OF LIFTING WEIGHTS
For the record, when we say strength training, it’s the same as lifting weights. Both terms mean the exact same thing and are used in reference to any form of resistance used to challenge your body. This can include your own body weight, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, resistance bands, heavy AF sleds, or the like. And, it’s relative meaning you DO NOT have to be a seasoned body builder, super strong or able to lift heavy weights to be successful at this and get results.
You just need to reframe your mindset and possess a willingness to learn. Everything else falls into place.
Strength training provides an unmatched variety of benefits to your body (hell YAS). From optimizing your overall health and performance to just looking and feeling your best, strength training is arguably the best bang for your buck at the gym.
Who doesn’t LOVE a good deal?! Supersize that shit!
As mentioned, people avoid adding weights or any type of resistance to their workouts for all sorts of reasons:
They weren’t taught, it was never an option, they don’t know how to do it, or they fear they will get “bulky” (that is untrue and a WHOLE other blog for another day).
Admittedly, strength training is harder to learn versus an elliptical, treadmill or bike. And, as you know, feeling intimidated, unsure or fearful about anything causes a “fight or flight” reaction. Meaning, you will either carpe diem the shit out of it or avoid it all together.
In full disclosure, the entire team at Results Fitness believes you and everyone else reading this should use some form of resistance training, as long as you are physically able. Even if you have a history of injury, cranky knees, joints or back issues, there is typically always something you can do. In fact exercise actually HELPS with these types of issues (more on this below).
You should never feel pressured to do something. But, because you’re a friend and your health is important, consider us that sweet and nurturing voice encouraging you to add some weights/resistance to your exercise routine because it does the body good – and we know you can do it!
THE SUPERB 7:
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY WHEN YOU LIFT WEIGHTS
Everyone knows exercising can totally transform the body – making it leaner, tighter, more toned, more muscular…you catch our drift!
These are all super cool and tangible results – things you can physically see with your own eyes. But Results Fitness loves, loves, loves strength training for so much more – “the superb 7”! These are the benefits you can’t see but without question, will make your life longer, happier and healthier!
#1 SUPERWOMAN/MAN STRENGTH!
This is the most obvious, but strength makes daily activities much easier and improves your quality of life. For instance, isn’t it the best when you’re able to carry and unload 8 bags of groceries in one trip? Don’t you love picking up your kids or grandkids without being in pain or hurting your back?
#2 LESS PAIN, MORE GAIN!
Strengthening the muscles around problematic joints (knees, shoulders) can alleviate chronic pain in those areas. A common observation is how people with bad backs feel better after proper lifting..really damn good because YES, when done properly, lifting weight HELPS alleviate pain! Side note: this should be done under the direction of an experienced coach to make sure you’re technique + form is on point!
#3 BANGING METABOLISM!
Getting stronger means you have more muscle and this muscle requires energy, even at rest. That means strength training will increase the total number of calories you burn daily! Bonus: unlike cardio activities, there is an “after burn” affect of strength training meaning your body will continue burning calories up to 48 hours. Oh, hell yeah baby!
#4 LIVE INJURY FREE!
Connective tissues (all that stuff in and around your muscles, bones and joints) adapt and get stronger and tougher with weight training, including where tendons attach to bones. All’s this means to you is these changes make it harder to get injured, which duh, is a really good thing! #resiliency
#5 SMILING HEART!
When lifting heavy weights, your blood pressure goes way up and blood flow is slightly impeded. Don’t get scared this is OK! This demand on the heart to supply blood under these conditions provides serious work to make that heart stronger. Strong heart?! Yes, please!
#6 STRONG ASS BONES!
As we age, bone health becomes a topic of discussion. Women especially have a higher tendency of incurring low bone density with age. Heck, if you’ve experienced this, then you know the physician recommendation: exercising with weights! Lifting weights will help offset and slow the progression of low bone density because lifting weights creates stronger, thicker bones. These stronger bones are harder to injure and will help fight off things like osteoporosis later in life! #booyah
#7 PREVENT DISEASE!
Strength training reduces your risk for a huge array of diseases, especially those related to inactivity. Have you ever heard of survival of the fittest? Well it’s true! Stronger people tend to live longer with a better quality of life.
The benefits of strength training are endless. The next time you hit the gym, work with your trainer or pop in that DVD, make sure you add weights or body weight resistance at least one time! Not only will you look good, you’ll feel REAL amazing!
After all, don’t you want to have more time (and quality time) with the people you love doing what brings you the most happiness?
Remember: Lift weights and take care of yourself! This body’s the only one you’ve got!