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6 Benefits of Strength Training

            As a CrossFit owner, I used to get a lot of women interested in losing weight and being more fit. They tended to want to try the bootcamp classes first because they didn’t want to lift weights. They would tell me, “I don’t want to get too bulky,” or “I don’t want to look like a body builder.” I heard an analogy once that said, “not lifting weights because you don’t want to look like a bodybuilder is like not driving over the speed limit because you don’t want to become a competitive NASCAR driver.”

No one ever accidentally looked like the Hulk. Looking like a bodybuilder takes an obscene amount of time, effort and dedication both in and out of the gym…. for years and years! Lifting weights 3x/ week is NOT going to make you look like a bodybuilder, I promise! And no one ever complained about being too strong. Strength is not only sexy, but has a ton of health benefits!

Everyone, no matter your age, should be doing some kind of regular strength training. (Read that again)! In fact, the Physical Guidelines for Americans recommend that all adults should strength train two or more days per week! This could be at the gym, or at home using very little equipment. Resistance bands and med balls, small hand weights, water bottles/jugs or even your own body weight can be used as resistance when designing a strength training program.

Besides being a bad ass for lifting weights, here are six reasons why you should start (or continue) to strength train…. Set to the tune of music because who wants to read a boring blog post? As Bon Jovi says, I’ts My Life… It’s Now or Never…

****FREE**** If you scroll down to the bottom you’ll get a bonus strength training workout from our very own, highly qualified, certified fitness trainer, Pui Lok Choi MS, CSCS, FRCms, USAW.

You can also purchase our CUSTOM WORKOUT PLANS by clicking on this link: Custom Strength Plan and check out all of our services.

1. (Come on Baby) Light My Fire – The Doors

Burn more calories! (Fire… Burn… you get it, right)? Having more lean muscle mass means you’ll burn more calories at rest. Strength training has been shown to be more effective for building lean body mass over time than cardio. It can also boost your metabolism! So, when you’re just chillin on the couch, doing nothing, your muscles are working for you by burning up some extra calories, which results in less fat for you! I don’t know about you, but I want to burn fat while I binge watch Netflix.

2. (Bringing) SexyBack – Justin Timberlake

You’re already humming this song in your head, aren’t you?

Building muscle may help you lose fat more effectively than simply doing cardio. Changing your body composition – the amount of muscle vs. fat on your body frame – can boost your confidence, a valuable consequence. Getting stronger will make you leaner. It’s motivating and exciting to see the physical changes that come with strength training. And you know what?… That sense of pride that comes with reaching new strength training goals is known to carry over into your life outside of the gym.

3. Bad to the Bone – George Thorogood

B-B-B-B-Baaad… Or in this case… Good for your bones! Strong muscles lead to strong bones. Strength training, or any weight baring exercise, is known to increase bone density. As we age, we lose bone density which can lead to brittleness, or increased risk of fractures and breaks. Studies have shown that consistent strength training can increase bone density and even prevent osteoporosis. It’s never too soon to concern yourself with the quality of life you’ll have when you’re older. Start now!

4. Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bob Marley

Strength training can do wonders for your mental health! Lifting weights can improve your mental health by easing depression, combating anxiety, improving your self-esteem, and improving your overall mental sharpness.  

The New York Times published an article on the benefits of weightlifting for preventing and decreasing depression. The research clearly showed that consistent resistance training, whether heavy or light, anywhere from two to five days per week, helped men and women, young and old alike, to stave off depression and decrease its symptoms. Additionally, weight training was reported to make participants feel immediately better after completing a workout, hello endorphins! Strength training can also reduce your stress levels! I don’t know about you, but being happier and less stressed sounds like a win-win.

5. Footloose – Kenny Loggins

Strength training helps your balance and stability (and possibly improves your dance moves…. Okay I made that part up, but it could be true). Ever notice that your right side is stronger than your left, or that your upper body isn’t quite as strong as your legs? Strength workouts will help address muscle imbalances, so you can be the best, strongest, and most capable version of yourself. This will help you run faster, lift heavier, and avoid injuries.

6. Groove is in the Heart – Deee-Lite

Although cardio has gotten most of the heart health benefits in the past, new research     from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows that resistance training deserves some mad accolades too! The study found that women who regularly engaged in strength training activities had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who did no strength training. Besides reducing body fat, which is a big risk factor for heart disease, strength training has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol when combined with cardio.

Not only is strength training great for heart health, it has a slue of other health benefits including, but not limited to, maintaining healthy blood sugar, regulating blood pressure, and helps with some autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia and PCOS.

To Summarize, 6 Benefits of Strength Training:

  1. Helps  you burn more fat.
  2. Builds your self confidence.
  3. Gives you strong bones.
  4. Combats depression and anxiety.
  5. Helps with balance and stability.
  6. Improves heart health.

Free Strength Training Workout Designed by Choi:

Pui Lok Choi serves as Adjunct Kinesiology faculty at The College of the Desert in Palm Desert, a high school assistant football coach, and strength and conditioning coach at Animal House Fitness in Riverside where he works with anyone from Moms to MMA athletes. He holds a CSCS from the NSCA, a Performance Enhancement Specialist certification from the NASM, and he is a Mobility Specialist through Functional Range Conditioning. He earned a Masters’ in exercise science from California Baptist University and loves spending time with Family but will also enjoy the occasional good time. 

Free Strength Training Workout:

Choose your two favorite songs (about 4 minutes each).

During song number one:

AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

10 Air Squats

5 Jumping Jack – push up – mountain climber complex

10 Sit-Ups

5 Lunges

10 Leg Lifts

5 Jumping Jack – push up – mountain climber complex

3 Minute Rest

During song number two:

AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

8 Dumbbell Push Presses

8 Reverse Lunges (holding DB in each hand)

8 Bent Over Rows

8 Romanian Deadlifts to High Pull