You could do one thing to improve your health, strength training should be at the top of your list. It involves using one or more muscle groups to perform a specific task, such as lifting a weight or squatting.
Due to the growing body of evidence supporting its many benefits, strength training has become a fundamental part of most exercise programs. If you’ve ever considered strength training, you may wonder how it will benefit your life.
What is strength training?
Strength training is also known as weight training, resistance training, and muscular training.
The general definition of strength training is any physical movement in which you use your body weight or equipment (e.g., dumbbells and resistance bands) to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance
The main types of strength training include
- Muscular hypertrophy. Also known as muscle building, this type of strength training uses moderate-to-heavy weights to stimulate muscle growth.
- Muscular endurance. This refers to your muscles’ ability to sustain exercise for a period of time. Training to increase muscular endurance usually involves high reps using light weights or body weight.
- Circuit training. During this form of full-body conditioning, you cycle through various exercises with little to no rest between them.
- Maximum muscular strength. This type of exercise involves low reps (usually 2–6) and heavy weights to improve your overall strength. It’s best reserved for experienced exercisers who have mastered their form.
- Explosive power. This training combines power and speed to improve your power output. It’s usually employed among trained athletes to improve their ability to perform explosive movements in their sport.
Depending on the type of strength training you choose to reach your goals, you can use various equipment (or none at all), such as:
- Body weight: using your own body weight and the force of gravity to perform various movements (e.g., pushups, squats, planks, pullups, and lunges)
- Free weights: equipment not bound to the floor or a machine, such as barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, or objects around the house
- Resistance bands/loop bands: rubber bands that provide resistance when stretched
- Weight machines: machines with adjustable weights or hydraulics attached to provide resistance and stress to the muscles
- Suspension equipment: consists of ropes or straps that are anchored to a sturdy point in which a person uses their body weight and gravity to perform various exercises
Regardless of the type of strength training you perform, the goal is to put your muscles under tension to allow neuromuscular adaptations and stimulate muscle growth. With regular practice, your muscles will become stronger
14 benefits of strength training backed by science
There are many benefits to strength training that can improve your health.
- Makes you stronger
- Burns calories efficiently
- Decreases abdominal fat
- Can help you appear leaner
- Decreases your risk of falls
- Lowers your risk of injury
- Improves heart health
- Helps manage your blood sugar levels
- Promotes greater mobility and flexibility
- Boosts your self-esteem
- Makes your bones stronger
- Boosts your mood
- Improves brain health
- Promotes a better quality of life
If you haven’t tried strength training, now is the time to start.
Strength training provides numerous health benefits, such as a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, stronger bones, better brain health and mood, and improved self-esteem.
Fortunately, strength training isn’t just lifting weights at the gym. You can get in a great strength-training workout using your body weight, resistance bands, free weights, or even items around your house.
Whether you’re new or experienced, strength training is for everyone.