Strength training, aside from cardio, may be the most popular form of training both inside and outside of the gym. Whether it be a set of heavy deadlifts, squats, or even push-ups, you cannot deny the positive effects strength training has on both physical and mental health.
A clinical study reported that regular resistance training led to better physical performance, improved movement control, better functional independence, improved cognitive abilities, and higher overall self-esteem.
Here are five benefits of resistance training that will hopefully convince you to start or stick to your own strength training journey. It truly is an amazing thing, and more people should make the gym a habit.
With that, let’s start with benefit #1, better mental health.
Benefit #1: Better Mental Health
Strength training, when done over a long period of time (correctly), especially once you start to experience the physical changes, will just make you feel great.
Even on a session-to-session basis, the feeling of accomplishment and progression you get after completing a workout is very rewarding. It can be a total game changer for your mental health, especially if you enjoy it.
So, if you’ve been feeling a bit grim lately and need something to get the ball rolling, I would highly suggest buying a gym membership and hopping on a novice program such as starting strength or strong lifts.
The quickest cure for depression is adding 10-20lbs of muscle and 150lbs onto your deadlift in the span of 6 months.
Benefit #2: Improved Physical Appearance
This one is a favorite, and is the reason most people start lifting. Now, this may sound vein, but in a world as shallow as ours, looking good and having an attractive physique has many advantages.
You know, more job opportunities, more dating opportunities, people treat you better, your confidence skyrockets, all that good stuff.
Strength training and specifically bodybuilding, and hypertrophy-focused training (muscle growth, will improve your appearance the quickest. However, powerlifting, power building, calisthenic, and even CrossFit-focused programs will also do wonders for your physique as well.
Many people undervalue this benefit when talking about the benefits of strength training, as improving your looks for whatever reason is viewed as a shallow, vain endeavor (which couldn’t be further from the truth).
Training to look better will improve every aspect of your life, whether it be social status, mental health, physical health, and even income. Don’t listen to those “functional” training gurus who shame people for trying to look better. Train towards the goals that make you happy.
Benefit #3: You’ll Be Strong!
So as the name suggests, “strength” training makes you strong. Now, this can be to varying degrees. Some people just want to be able to squat 135 to depth, while others want to deadlift a small car.
Most people lie somewhere in the middle, usually just wanting to get the most out of their genetics while staying natural.
Now the amount of strength you’ll build will be dependent on a couple of different factors, such as your genetics, whether you’re cutting or bulking, your limb leverages, and overall skeletal structure.
However, you will be much stronger than when you started. The benefits of having a higher level of relative and raw strength are actually pretty awesome.
Everything feels lighter, your movement feels smoother, your posture is better, you feel much more safe and secure in your own skin, and you just feel like a much more capable person overall.
There aren’t many scenarios where being stronger is a negative, so why not get as strong as possible?
Benefit #4: It’s Great For Longevity (And Overall Health)
Did you know that regular strength training is one of the quickest ways to increase one’s life span? A study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that just 30-60 minutes of resistance training per week reduced one’s rate of premature mortality by 10-20%!
Combine this with a healthy diet and a good sleep schedule, and you will pretty much be immortal. Not only is strength training great for longevity, but it is also great for your overall health and well-being as well.
Benefit #5: It Builds Discipline
Strength training is hard. It’s supposed to be.
If strength training were easy, everyone and their mother would be benching 315, squatting 405, and deadlifting 500+, but due to its difficulty, only a select few of the population will ever reach that level of strength.
Doing this day in and day out is tough, especially if you primarily train with free weights (i.e. barbells, dumbbells, and calisthenics).
Doing this long-term requires discipline, consistency, and accountability. If you lack discipline, you won’t get strong; it’s as simple as that.
The mindset change must happen before any physical changes take place, forcing you to adopt a more disciplined, focused mindset to experience growth. This is a very under-appreciated and under-talked-about benefit of strength training that I believe deserves more lip service.
Strength training can change your life and give newfound confidence, an awesome body, and almost superhuman levels of strength. Hopefully, you’re inspired to start or stay on your own strength training journey.
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