10 Reasons to Lift Heavy Weights
#1 Weights Change Your Body Composition
The best way to develop a lean physique is by dieting and weight training together. Whether you say your goal is to get “cut,” “big,” or “toned,” lifting weights and eating a clean diet is the easiest way to achieve that.
#2 Weight Training Will Help You Lose Fat
The conventional wisdom that pushes aerobic exercise as the best solution to obesity dismisses the overwhelming benefit of building muscle. More muscle equals more calories burned at rest.
#3 Lifting Builds Fast-Twitch Muscles That Raise Metabolism
Everyone knows about the basics of how building muscle keeps you lean: First, there’s the afterburn effect of exercise, which lasts for as much as 38 hours after your workout. Second, the more muscle you’ve got, the more you can eat due to the higher metabolic cost of maintaining that muscle. Third, lifting induces the secretion of fat-burning, muscle building hormones to help you get (and stay) lean and cut.
#4 Weights Enhance The Nervous System & Gene Pathways
The effect of a strong neuromuscular system extends to all ages and is a primary predictor of longevity and well-being. Additionally, emerging evidence shows how weight lifting up-regulate genetic pathways that prevent aging, rebuild damaged tissue, burn energy, and use oxygen. (That’s right, you can literally change your genes by consistent training and dieting) The effect is better brain function for young and old alike.
#5 Strength Training Increases Endurance In Athletes & Regular Folks
Strength training has been repeatedly shown to decrease body fat percentage in elite endurance such as cyclists and distance runners. It may reap even more dramatic results for us mere mortals.
#6 Strength Training Decreases Blood Pressure & Improves Heart Function
Weight training enhances arterial function and decreases inflammation. The combined effect of lower BP, less inflammation, and better blood flow will reduce cardiovascular disease risk by more than 14 percent according to some studies.
#7 Strength Training Improves Sleep & Reduces Chronic Pain
Researchers suggest the long-term effects of better sleep are profound since it influences glycemic control, diabetes risk, and body fat gain.
#8 Strength Training Prevents Disease, Particularly Cancer & Diabetes
Strength training has also repeatedly been shown to correlate with lower risk of a number of cancers. For instance, teen girls who weight train experience reduction in breast cancer risk later in life. This is true for women of all ages.
#9 Strength Training Improves Hormone Levels & Reproductive Function
Everyone knows training increases growth hormone and IGF-1, both of which correlate with leanness. Lifting also leads to better regulation of the hormones related to hunger and energy use. It fights off stress from cortisol and related tissue-degrading hormones that have the side effect of damaging reproductive health.
#10 Lifting heavy builds strong bones
To build bone you want to regularly train in the hypertrophy and strength ranges, while including cycles in which you lift maximum loads—that’s the most weight you can lift for just a rep or two per set. Plyometric, bounding exercises, and wearing a weight vest are also ideal for bone density development.