While it might be obvious that weight training can improve your muscles, there are loads more things that weight training also helps with. Here’s my list of six things that weight training improves other than just your muscle composition.
1. Your fitness
When most people think of fitness, they probably think of running, cycling, or swimming, yet you can also get huge fitness improvements through weight training. Basically, since weight training raises your heart rate, you’ll get some cardio benefits. The exact amount of cardiovascular fitness you’ll get depends largely on the type, intensity, and amount of exercise you do.
If all you do is go to the gym and do 1 million sets of 10 bicep curls with 2 minutes’ rest in between, then chances are you’re not going to improve your fitness very much. On the other hand, let’s say you do 5 sets of 10 squats at a reasonably heavy weight, and only rest for 60−90 seconds between sets. You’re going to be gassed by the end of that workout, and your fitness is likely to improve.
Pro tip: If you’re really looking to boost your fitness, try throwing in a 5−10-minute weights-based circuit at the end of your workout.
2. Your posture
The 21st century lifestyle is more sedentary than ever before. Most of us spend huge amounts of time sitting down at work, only to get home and sit down all evening. Our hips get tight, our glutes (buttocks) get weak, our chest gets tight, and our posture becomes completely messed up.
Luckily, a well-designed weight training programme will involve stretching tight muscles and strengthening weak muscles, which will help to fix your posture.
3. Your mindset
The benefits of weight training extend beyond your physical health into the mental side of things. Weight training can help you to develop persistence, a better work ethic, and a stronger sense of self. It has also been linked to improved mental health and a significantly lowered risk of anxiety and depression.
There are a few reasons for this, which include:
- Weight training is often a social activity.
- Weight training lets your body release endorphins (feel-good hormones).
- Weight training is progressive and gives a sense of accomplishment.
- Weight training typically leads to improved self-image and increased confidence.
In other words, going to the gym helps you to feel great as well as look great!
4. Your sex life
Yep, that’s right − weight training will absolutely improve your sex life! When you think about the three reasons above, it makes a lot of sense. If you feel better about yourself and feel sexier, you’re more likely to be confident in the bedroom. Plus, if you’ve got better posture and more fitness, then you’ll probably perform a bit better, too!
What’s more, since weight training has been shown to increase testosterone levels (the male sex hormone), you can expect an increase in sex drive as well.
5. Your career
It doesn’t matter what job you do or which profession you work in − heck, you can even run your own business − there will always be stressful, tough, or frustrating days to get through. For those who don’t exercise, this frustration builds up and can lead to decreased motivation, fatigue, and, ultimately, decreased performance at work.
On the other hand, people who do exercise, especially by weight training, have a way to relieve stress, get rid of that frustration, and clear their minds. This means that they can think more clearly, which often leads to them finding a solution for the work/business problem and ending the frustration.
Weight training is a tool that you can use to look after your health and keep yourself happy and calm, and it will benefit you in the long term.
6. Your relationship(s)
Let’s face it, if you’re happier, healthier, fitter, and more confident, then you’re going to be much better at managing all your relationships – friends, family, and significant other.
Feeling less stressed means that you’ll bring a relaxed, happy tone to your conversations, and having more energy means you’ll be much happier to go out to social events and enjoy yourself. Plus, if you’re free of frustrations, then you won’t be tempted to spend all evening moaning and complaining to your other half (which they’ll certainly be grateful about!).
In short, if you want great personal relationships, then regular strength training is the way to go.
Pro tip: Be careful not to mess this up by spending every single evening at the gym! That’s a sure-fire way to get yourself into trouble.
There you go − five ways in which weight training improves your life other than just muscle composition (which is pretty awesome on its own anyway!). You can improve your fitness, fix your posture, look after your mental health, have a better sex life, kick ass at work, and ace your relationships, too! So if you aren’t weight training yet, then it’s definitely time to start.
Can you think of any other benefits?