Doing life is easier when you’re strong. Not just mentally strong but physically strong as well.

Alrighty, let’s get straight into it!

When it comes to strength, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that life is EASIER when you’re strong. Think about things like carrying shopping from the car, in one trip. Carrying a child over 15kgs. Tripping over and being strong and stable enough to fall into a push-up and spring back up. Even something as simple as untwisting a tight lid on a jar makes life easier.

Whether you’re 60kg overweight or just need to lose that last 4kg, strength training is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and build muscle. I encourage my clients to get in at least 2 days of strength work per week and I implement it into their small group training programs.

Weight training has been shown to halt and even reverse the reduction of skeletal muscle that occurs as we get older. Skeletal muscle helps us stay independent and live better for longer. I meet many older people who would benefit from strength training and I make it my mission to instil the mentality in everyone that crosses my path to continue their strength training forever. You must make it a MUST!

7 Benefits Of Strength Training

1. Body Confidence:

Body confidence is an area where a lot of people struggle. Imagine being able to get rid of this one nagging issue and to end the suffering that comes with lack of confidence? Well, you can! Strength training helps you lose weight (and body fat) in a few different ways. First, it helps you retain the muscle you have, while eating a calorie deficit and losing weight. Strength Training will start shaping and toning you nicely, helping your posture and give you so much more confidence in your body. “Yes please!”

2. Fat Burn: Strength training has a much greater level of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption than aerobic exercise. “Say WHAT Helen?!” When you finish a workout, your body needs to do a lot of work to replenish itself in order to bring itself back to the way it was before you worked out. This takes a lot of energy, and the added benefit is that it can boost your metabolism for up to 38 hours after you finish your workout!

Strength training can help increase your metabolism by speeding up your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). This is because it takes your body more calories to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat. Estimates are that for every 0.5kg muscle you gain, your RMR goes up 30-50 calories. How is that for motivation?!

3. It Makes Your Human Healthy: The human body we live in is a direct reflection of our lifestyle. Strength training increases bone density, builds a stronger heart, reduces your resting blood pressure, improves blood flow, halts muscle loss, helps control blood sugar, improves cholesterol levels, and improves your balance and coordination. The benefits cannot be bottled up into tablets and pills. This is something you must do. We have muscles on our body because they are meant to contract, so do yourself a favour and keep them strong.

4. Increases Energy: Not only will you find yourself with more energy and confidence, less stress and anxiety, and a better overall mood, but you’ll actually begin to think better (resistance training has been proven to help increase cognitive function). And while training too close to bedtime can be a bad idea, exercising earlier in the day has been proven to help prevent sleep apnea and insomnia. Having aches and pains and injuries can drain your energy and I have found strengthening what’s weak can have a profound influence on increasing your energy too! I improved my injuries and gained more energy just because I began to feel strong again ie: the RSI in my wrist which was unbelievably sore for over 7 years, my sore lower back and sore hip from 2 bad falls, my ankle (which I used to sprain quite a few times a year), you name it, I’ve injured it, I’ve trained it and I’ve healed it!

Yes, it takes constant work, but there is no better feeling than feeling unstoppable!

5. It Helps Prevent Disease and Degenerative Conditions: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Strength training helps correct issues relating to cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and inactivity – all factors for heart disease. Cardiologists are even starting to recommend strength training for people who have suffered a heart attack in as little as three weeks after the attack.

Hopefully, one day, cardiologists and doctors will tell all patients to do strength training!

6. It Improves Your Quality Of Life: Strength training has also been proven to help manage and improve the quality of life for people who have recently had a stroke, have had a spinal cord injury, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, down syndrome, lymphedema, fibromyalgia, cancer survivors and clinical depression.

I believe that the longer you do strength training for, the more quality of life you sustain.

7. It’s FUN! In addition to ALL of the above, strength training is fun! Whether you are looking for the most effective 20-30 minute workout (to stay fit and look great in your swimmers), or are looking for a competitive sport that you can really get into, strength training can help you meet your goals. It’s easy and fun to see progress as you strength train. Even if you’re looking to improve in other areas like a sport, or running, or dancing, strength training is an easy way to complement it! You can grab a training buddy and do 1 set each while the other 1 rests and mix it up so it’s always interesting.

Common objections that I hear about strength training..

“I’m too old” 

“It’s too late now”

“My shoulder is too sore”

We hear this from 30 year olds and 60 year olds alike…and, just like the standard excuse “I don’t have time” it is a lie!

If you’re one of those people that say the above objections, you are the exact person that should be strength training. Weight training has also been shown to delay Alzheimer’s and dementia and has shown great results in the frail elderly!

“My focus is on golf and walking and I need to stay trim”

Studies have shown that strength training actually increases the endurance of your muscles which is what you need if you play a sport. Particularly if you play a sport that has a repetitive movement pattern ie. golfers’ swing or walking or jogging each day. Strength training can complement your lifestyle by stimulating and activating muscles that aren’t being used, it can balance out imbalances from repetitive movements, tune up and out of shape nervous system and help you to perform better by increasing your overall endurance.

“I don’t want to get big and bulky”

This is one of the biggest myths surrounding strength training. When I started strength training, I didn’t get bulky, I got leaner. 

That “bulky” look in women does not happen by mistake nor does it happen overnight – we simply do not have the hormones necessary to get there on our own. To achieve this look, women have to eat incredible amounts of food and consume incredible amounts of drugs. When we strength train normally, without these supplements, we end up looking like an athlete. So please don’t freak out about getting “big”, it’s too hard!

“I’m overweight. I need to lose weight first.”

Great! Start with strength training 🙂

When you’re overweight, my guess is that you want to be preserving the muscle you have while losing the majority of your weight through fat. With strength training, your overall weight loss may seem slower, but you will lose centimetres faster. Strength training increases your metabolism. Remember, as long as you’re eating in a deficit, you’ll lose weight. All of my clients who are on a fat loss journey do strength training. Don’t be scared of it!

“I find it so boring”

Set some goals to make it fun eg. To do a goblet squat with a 20kg dumbbell in 6 weeks or to be able to do 10 push-ups in 4 weeks.

With strength training you can see your progress so clearly and it will motivate you more and more. Trust me! If you aren’t a fan of the downtime, put on an audiobook or podcast on your smartphone or throw on one of my Spotify playlists while training to ensure you’re always moving (instead of sitting and waiting in between sets).

Okay, that’s it for now HOL Crew!

I hope this has reignited your motivation to pick up some weights.

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