Why you should start resistance training for better health & fitness

Young women deadlifting in gym

Resistance training has become a very popular form of physical exercise and is designed to improve strength and endurance, and often involves the use of weights. Many people often shy away from this type of exercise because they think it will result in them gaining weight or start bulking up too much.

This kind of thinking leads a lot of people away from the weights room and leaves them solely focusing on cardio-based activities. However, despite what you may have heard, avoiding resistance training because of these beliefs could actually be detrimental to your health and fitness aspirations. This is because resistance training has many long-term benefits, including improving body composition, and preventing weight gain.

We’ve got some reasons right here, why you should start incorporating some resistance training into your regular exercise routine, in order to achieve your best fitness results.

Gain an increase in caloric expenditure

Resistance training can result in an increased caloric expenditure, thanks to the beneficial effects of the training itself and the effects of having an increase in muscle mass. Of course, with normal exercise, you’ll usually burn some calories whenever you do a training session. However, once you’ve built up some muscle mass, you’ll actually continue to burn calories long after your workout session.

Studies have shown that caloric expenditure can remain elevated for a few days following a workout session. Effectively you could carry out a single resistance training session, which would then increase your resting energy expenditure. This would then remain elevated for days afterwards, meaning you would still be shedding fat even when not actively doing your training.

If you perform consistent resistance training exercises, it’s likely that you’ll increase your resting metabolic rate. After gaining increased muscle mass from resistance training, you’ll also boost your metabolism as muscle requires more energy for tissue maintenance. As a result, once you have a good routine of consistent resistance training, you’ll ultimately be burning more calories throughout the day. 

Enhance your body composition

Your body composition is essentially your relative proportion of fat mass and fat-free mass (which consists of muscle, bone, organs, water and connective tissue). Things that can negatively effect your body composition include having poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

Training to build muscle mass can greatly benefit your body composition, as it will help improve bone mineral density, while decreasing body fat. This is why when it comes to resistance training, it can be more beneficial to track your progress by comparing your body-composition changes over time, as opposed to measuring your body weight. Your weight may actually stay relatively the same because you’ll be replacing some of your fat loss with lean muscle. So this could leave you thinking that you’re not making the right progress, when you actually are.

Practicing resistance training on a regular basis doesn’t mean you need to be worried about bulking, because unless you’re specifically training, eating, and supplementing etc to bulk up your muscle size as much as possible, you won’t experience this effect. Instead, you’ll be able to positively alter your body composition through an increase in lean muscle and a reduction in body fat. Resistance training will help you re-shape your body, making it more defined and you’ll be able to better maintain a healthy weight. 

Get stronger 

Resistance training has been proven to significantly improve people’s strength. While it’s true that low-intensity training can have positive effects on muscle strength, you’ll get the best improvements from high-intensity resistance training. 

We will all experience a loss in strength as we age, with maximum strength peaking around the age of 30, and beginning to decline around age 50. This is why resistance training is so essential, because including it with your workout routines at any age will help to both preserve and enhance strength and physical function.

Improve your overall health

Not only can resistance training enhance your body composition, give you increased strength and improved caloric expenditure, it also offers many other overall health benefits. Studies have shown that this type of exercise can help prevent and treat many chronic diseases, from cardiovascular disease to type 2 diabetes and even cancer. 

It also works wonders for improving your mental health too, and has been linked to positive mental health outcomes. Including, improved cognition, self-esteem, fatigue, anxiety and depression. If you’re new to resistance training, remember to start slowly with lower resistance and gradually build over time for the best results and to avoid injury.

Of course having the right food is hugely important for building muscle mass, and ensuring you’re truly getting the most out of your resistance training. Our muscle gain meal plan can give you all the great tasting, muscle building food you need, delivered straight to your door. Leaving you to focus on your exercise without worrying what food to buy and cook.