Let’s be honest; any form of exercise is a positive place to start. As long as practiced with good form and in good health, getting moving is diverse in its benefits for the body. While any form can offer promotion of blood flow and release of integral neurotransmitters, all types of exercise tend to make a refined contribution to health.
Strength training, in particular, is a praised method of training. Despite its many benefits, some people tend to avoid it.
What is Strength Training?
Strength training is a method of fitness that involves physical exercises designed to improve levels of strength and endurance. When it comes to training the body, there are four types of strength.
- Absolute: Powerlifters.
- Relative: Athletes adhering to weight classes.
- Power: Explosive mind-to-muscle performance.
- Endurance: The goal of strength training.
Methods of Strength Training
Strength training has a reputation that often creates an association of being synonymous with weight lifting. While weight lifting is a common form of strength training, it is certainly not the only method.
- Body weight resistance: Training that solely incorporates the body for resistance.
- Resistance bands: Incorporates the use of bands or tubes that add resistance to workouts.
- Free weights: Using weights that are apart from machines, in a free, and dynamic manner that allows for modifiable use.
- Weight machines: Machines that are designed to enforce a particular movement.
These are the most common methods of strength training, but truthfully, hybrid methods are possible. It is possible to perform many types of exercise with the added intention of building strength.
Benefits of Strength Training
A favorite training style among athletes in American football, wrestling, basketball, tennis, bodybuilding, and pole dancing. It is typical for these types of athletes to use strength training as a base foundation for developing the skills needed for their respective sports. However, the average person may benefit just as well from it.
- Boost energy levels and mood stabilization: Strength training is a substantial service for your energy levels. It promotes the release of endorphins, which aid with energy, as well as neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which help to regulate mood. This can be useful for common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
- Good for your heart: Data shows that strength training can reduce your chance of cardiovascular disease by 4-70 percent. This is critical as heart disease continues to prevail as a top cause of death.
- Improved body mechanics: Strength training can have a significant impact on the body’s mechanics, overall. One may experience an improvement in coordination, flexibility, and ease of discomfort relating to joints or tendons that work overtime to support undeveloped muscles.
- Speed metabolism: Muscles that are built from strength training allow the body to burn more calories at rest. An increase in metabolic speed and function are often byproducts of introducing strength training.
- Body confidence: Let us not ignore the aesthetic benefit of strength training. Feeling physically stronger and appearing more toned as a result may contribute to a heightened self-image.
- Weight loss: Just as strength training works to speed metabolism, it is also an effective asset to weight loss. With more muscle burning at rest, more weight and fat may be shed. If it is used in a way that incorporates cardiovascular elements of exercise, weight loss may be further accelerated.
- Bone health: Strength training can aid in establishing more bone density, hence reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Prevent injury: Strengthening muscles and supporting mechanics in the body helps to reduce the chance of injury.
- Cognitive function: The function of the brain’s processing, and essentially one’s ability to think clearly, may be improved with strength training.
Why People Tend to Avoid Strength Training
With such compelling benefits, it might appear difficult to understand why people tend to avoid strength training. The reason this happens likely has more to do with misunderstanding and misinformation than anything else. On one end, some populations associate it with weight lifting alone. These people might avoid for fear of weights and injury. Or, they may totally disassociate it as an option for thinking it’s reserved for specific athletes.
Neither of these common assumptions is correct.
Strength training promotes a reduction in injury. While using weights to strength train is common, it is not necessary. Even so, there are best practices to ensure that weightlifting is done carefully and practically for each person.
Others may avoid strength training unintentionally, assuming that it cannot benefit them if their fitness goals are not to body build; or athletically inclined.
Why Avoiding It Might Be Self-Sabotage
Avoiding the practice of strength training might be hurting you in the end. If you allocate your efforts to other methods of exercise, there may be a time where strength training can make or break a plateau. It serves somewhat as a foundation for the body to expand upon its physical capabilities.
Under this lens, it may be viewed as an asset to other forms of training. Additionally, its tendency to reduce the likelihood of injury is a must for certain types of exercise that require constant re-calibration and expansion of physical ability, such as cross-fit.
Keep in mind that with the many benefits of strength training, there are potential risks, namely poor-form or overexertion. Both may be managed with careful attention to how the body responds to training.