14 Benefits of Strength Training for Beginners.
Strength training should be at the top of your list if you only do one thing to improve your health.
Strength training has become an essential component of most exercise programmes due to a growing body of evidence proving its numerous benefits. If you've ever considered strength training, you might be wondering how it can help you to reach your fitness and body transformation goals.
We have been championing strength training for beginners for years, because it is hands down, the most effective way to shed excess body fat, lose weight, and get into the best shape of your life. It’s why we have built beginner level workout programs like ‘Intro to Strength’, ‘Kickstart’ and ‘The Beginner Bootcamp’ for newbies to be able to access the power of strength training at home.
This article will go over 14 of the advantages of strength training for beginners. Let’s get started.
What exactly is strength training? Weight training, resistance training, and muscular training are all terms for strength training.
Strength training is defined broadly as any physical movement in which you use your own body weight or equipment (e.g., dumbbells and resistance bands) to increase muscle mass, strength, and endurance.
The most common types of strength training include:
Hypertrophy of the muscles. This type of strength training, also known as muscle building, stimulates muscle growth by using moderate-to-heavy weights.
Muscular endurance training. This refers to your muscles' ability to exercise for an extended period of time. High reps with light weights or body weight are typically used in training to increase muscular endurance.
Circuit Training. This of full-body conditioning involves cycling through various exercises with little to no rest in between.
Maximum muscular strength training. Low reps (usually 2–6) and heavy weights are used in this type of exercise to improve overall strength. It's best suited for advanced exercisers who have mastered their form.
Explosive power training. This workout combines power and speed to boost your power output. It is typically used by trained athletes to improve their ability to perform explosive movements in their sport.
Most people focus their strength-training routine on muscular endurance, circuit training, and muscular hypertrophy, whereas strength and power training are typically reserved for experienced athletes. The good news is that if you are following a solid workout program like our ‘Intro to Strength’ or ‘Beginner Bootcamp’, the workout program will incorporate all of these different styles of strength training into your workouts seamlessly, so that you are getting all of the different benefits.
You can use a variety of equipment (or none at all) depending on the type of strength training you choose to achieve your goals, such as:
Body weight: the use of your own body weight and the force of gravity to perform a variety of movements (e.g., pushups, squats, planks, pullups, and lunges). Body weight training can be easily optimized by snapping on a weighted vest to increase the burn and load intensity, while keeping your hands free for balance and stability.
Free weights: equipment that is not attached to the floor or a machine, such as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, or household objects.
Fitness bands that provide resistance when stretched are known as resistance bands/loop bands. One of the most versatile fitness bands that can be used for strength training is the Pink Thing resistance band.
Weight machines are machines that have adjustable weights or hydraulics attached to them in order to provide resistance and stress to the muscles. These are typically found at commercial gyms. Most trainers would argue that free weights or resistance bands are better for you than these types of machines, because holding and managing the weight while it’s in motion requires the body to use many different, smaller, stabilizing muscles that aren’t engaged when a machine is guiding the weight.
Suspension equipment is made up of ropes or straps that are attached to a sturdy point and allow a person to perform various exercises using their body weight and gravity. We don’t recommend suspension gear because it can get complicated very quickly, and changing out or repositioning the gear between exercises can take a long time.
The goal of strength training, regardless of the type, is to put your muscles under tension in order to allow neuromuscular adaptations and stimulate muscle growth. Your muscles will become stronger as you practise on a regular basis.
14 scientifically proven advantages of strength training: Strength training has numerous advantages that can improve your health.
1. Strength training makes you physically stronger. Obvious but true. Gaining strength allows you to perform daily tasks such as carrying heavy groceries or running around with your children much more easily. Anything that you have trouble doing from a functional strength perspective will start to get easier. You will notice these improvements at work, home and more generally across every area of your life. Furthermore, it aids athletic performance in sports requiring speed, power, and strength, so if you play any sports, you will start to notice that you are far more capable.
2. Strength training burns a lot of calories. Strength training improves your metabolism in two ways. For starters, increasing your lean muscle mass raises your metabolic rate. Muscles are more metabolically efficient than fat mass, allowing you to burn more calories even when you're not working out.
Second, studies show that strength-training exercise increases your metabolic rate for up to 72 hours. This means you're still burning calories hours, if not days, after your workout.
3. Strength training reduces abdominal fat. Fat stored around the abdomen, particularly visceral fat, is linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of strength-training exercises in reducing abdominal and total body fat.
4. Strength training can make you leaner. You will appear leaner as you gain muscle and lose fat. Because muscle is denser than fat, it takes up less space on your body pound for pound. As a result, even if you don't see a change in the number on the scale, you may lose inches from your waist. Check out this article to see what losing 5 pounds of pure body fat looks like.
Furthermore, losing body fat and building stronger and leaner muscles reveals more muscle definition, giving the appearance of being stronger and leaner.
5. Strength training reduces your risk of falling. Strength training reduces your risk of falling because it improves your ability to support your body. In fact, one study of 23,407 adults over the age of 60 found that those who participated in a well-rounded exercise programme that included balance exercises, resistance and functional training had a 34% lower risk of falling.
Many forms of strength training, such as tai chi, weight training, and resistance band and bodyweight exercises, have been shown to be effective.
6. Strength training reduces your chances of injury. Incorporating strength training into your workout routine may lower your risk of injury. Strength training helps your muscles, ligaments, and tendons by increasing their strength, range of motion, and mobility. This can help to strengthen the muscles around major joints like your knees, hips, and ankles, providing additional protection against injury.
Strength training can also aid in the correction of muscular imbalances. A stronger core, hamstrings, and glutes, for example, take the load off your lower back during lifting, lowering your risk of lower-back injuries.
Finally, adult and adolescent athletes who engage in strength training have a lower risk of injury. In fact, one study of 7,738 athletes discovered that strength-training programmes reduced the risk of injury by 33%. It was discovered to reduce the risk of injury in a dose-dependent manner, meaning that for every 10% increase in strength-training volume, the risk of injury was reduced by 4%.
7. Strength training improves heart health. Several studies have shown that regular strength-training exercise can lower blood pressure, total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and improve blood circulation by strengthening the heart and blood vessels. Strength training can also assist you in maintaining a healthy body weight and controlling your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
8. Strength training aids in the management of blood sugar levels. Strength training may reduce your risk of developing diabetes and help those who already have it manage it better. Skeletal muscle aids in the increase of insulin sensitivity. It also lowers blood sugar levels by transporting glucose from the bloodstream to muscle cells. As a result, increased muscle mass can aid in blood sugar management.
Strength training may also lower your risk of diabetes. One study that followed 35,754 women for an average of ten years found that those who engaged in strength training had a 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who did not.
9. Strength training encourages increased mobility and flexibility. Strength training, contrary to popular belief, can improve flexibility. Strength training improves joint range of motion (ROM), resulting in greater mobility and flexibility. Furthermore, those with weaker muscles have lower ROM and flexibility. In fact, a recent study comparing stretching and strength training discovered that both were equally effective at increasing ROM.
To get the best results, make sure you complete the full range of motion (ROM) of an exercise — in other words, use your entire range of motion around a joint. For example, lower yourself into a squat as far as you can without jeopardising your form.
10. Strength training improves your self-esteem. Strength training can significantly boost your self-esteem. It assists you in overcoming obstacles, working toward a goal, and appreciating your body's strength. It can, in particular, boost your self-efficacy — the belief that you can succeed at or perform a task — which can boost your confidence significantly. A review of seven studies involving youth aged 10 to 16 years found a significant link between strength training and high self-esteem, physical strength, and physical self-worth.
A systematic review of 754 adults revealed a significant link between strength training and positive body image, including body satisfaction, appearance, and social physique anxiety (the fear of being judged by others).
11. Strength training is essential for bone strength. Weight-bearing exercises cause temporary stress on your bones, signalling bone-building cells to take action and rebuild your bones stronger. Strong bones lower your risk of osteoporosis, fractures, and falls, especially as you get older. Strength training, fortunately, can provide bone-strengthening benefits at any age.
12. Strength training improves your mood. Weight training on a regular basis may improve your mood and mental health. Strength training has been shown in numerous studies to reduce anxiety and improve mood. Strength training has been shown to improve mood regulation by increasing self-esteem and self-efficacy. Furthermore, exercise promotes the release of mood-enhancing endorphins, which can contribute to a positive mood.
13. Strength training enhances brain health. Strength training may improve brain health and provide protection against age-related cognitive decline. Multiple studies in older adults have found that participating in strength training improves cognitive function (e.g., processing speed, memory, and executive function) when compared to those who did not.
Resistance training is thought to have numerous neuroprotective effects, including increased blood flow, decreased inflammation, and increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is linked to memory and learning.
14. Strength training improves quality of life. Strength training may improve your quality of life, particularly as you get older. Numerous studies have linked strength training to improved health-related quality of life, which is defined as an individual's perceived physical and mental well-being. In fact, a meta-analysis of 16 studies involving adults aged 50 and up found a significant link between resistance training and improved mental health, physical functioning, pain management, general health, and vitality.
Additionally, strength training may improve the quality of life in people who have arthritis. A meta-analysis of 32 studies found that strength training significantly improved pain and physical functioning scores.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Strength Training Routine.
You can use a few strategies to make the most of your strength-training regimen.
A shot from our Beginner Bootcamp. This strength workout is just 11 minutes.
Begin with the fundamentals. If you're new to strength training, you should start by learning basic movement patterns. This will ensure that you are performing exercises in a safe and effective manner. Our ‘Intro to Strength’ and ‘Beginner Bootcamp’ workout series start by teaching you the fundamental exercises of strength training, and progress you to more advanced movements.
Beginning with bodyweight exercises that emphasise balance, core stability, and fundamental movement patterns (e.g., bend-and-lift, single-leg, pushing, pulling, and rotation movements), the Beginner Bootcamp uses exercises like bodyweight squats, modified pushups, and basic strength exercises to establish a strength movement foundation.
When you're comfortable with basic movement patterns, experiment with adding external forces (e.g., weights, resistance bands). The best way for a beginner to up their workout intensity is to snap on a weighted vest.
You must challenge your muscles in order to gain strength and muscle. As you gain strength, you should aim to increase the weight, reps, or number of sets. This is known as progressive overload.
As you can see from this shot from the Beginner Bootcamp workout series, you don’t need a lot of space to get a gym quality workout at home.
Avoid going overboard. Our Beginner Bootcamp workouts are between 10-15 minutes per workout, 5 days per week. At this pace and tempo, you can expect to feel challenged and even a bit sore. While some soreness the day or two following a strength-training workout is normal (this is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), you should not be in pain or unable to perform your daily activities. It's a common misconception that you must be sore after a workout in order to see results. Gaining strength and muscle mass, are unrelated to muscle soreness.
Aim to finish your exercise sets just before failure, which means you can't physically complete any more reps. This reduces the possibility of DOMS while still sufficiently challenging the muscle.
Finally, give yourself adequate rest time to allow your muscles to heal and grow.
In conclusion. If you haven't tried strength training before, now is the time. Strength training has numerous health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, stronger bones, improved brain health and mood, and increased self-esteem.
Strength training, thankfully, is more than just lifting weights at the gym. You can get in a great strength-training workout using your own body weight, resistance bands, free weights, or even household items.
Strength training is for everyone, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned athlete. If you are looking for a place to start Strength training, we are offering a full year of access to our Beginner Bootcamp, Intro to Strength, and all of our other workout programs on our fitness streaming service BodyRockPlus.com for just $69 with code: NY22. If you like our vibe here at BodyRock, and want to train with us, we’d love to have you.