Strength training is a form of exercise. This type of workout involves the build-up of muscle tissues makes us strong and fit. It improves the metabolism and has many other health benefits.
It is safe for every one and can be done by people of all ages.
Resistance training, also known as weight training, basically includes the lifting of various types of weights. It helps in building up the muscles of the limbs including biceps and triceps.
It has many health benefits other than increasing muscle like burning of excess fat and calories along with toning the muscles and improving the body shape.
This type of training uses different methods such as lifting free weights such as dumb bells or using machines. When these are pushed or pulled away from the direction of gravity, the muscles experience a resistance due to the force by the weights.
However, this workout doesn’t always need equipment. It can be done using the body weight as well. Some examples of this include push ups, pull ups and crunches.
Strength training is usually vigorous. This does not allow the muscles to use oxygen to release energy due to the lack of oxygen as compared to the amount of ATP or energy required.
As a solution for this problem, the muscles work anaerobically, that is, they generate ATP without the use of oxygen. This may cause cramps and other problems.
To prevent this, another way of working out, called the circuit training has been introduced. This consists of normal strength training, but it is aerobic.
This is achieved by providing the body with a sufficient amount of rest after every small time interval in order to allow oxygen to reach the muscles.
What science says about effectiveness of resistance training in weight loss?
Contrary to expectations, according to a study, resistance training or simply weight lifting shows several health benefits and aids in weight loss. These include –
1.Resistance training increases muscle mass
To balance the workout, it is necessary to combine resistance training with aerobic training. This is called the circuit training.
Since aerobic training involves oxygen, it is more efficient in burning calories. However, to replace the lost mass, the lean body mass (Mass of body other than fat) is produced through weight lifting.
2.Lifting heavy improves metabolism
Resistance training helps to maintain a good metabolic health. After losing weight, there are high chances that the weight will be gained back.
This type of exercise which involves lifting heavy weights ensures that the metabolic rate is high enough to burn the gained calories back and improve the muscle strength. This sustains the initial weight.
3. Strength training helps prevent diabetes
The type 2 diabetes can be prevented by combining different types of workouts. Even in people who were obese, there was a drastic change in the blood sugar level.
Due to more insulin production, the glucose level in the blood was controlled, which decreased the risk of diabetes. This workout regime also prevents cardiovascular disease and reduces the risk of early death to a great extent.
4. Resistance training improves insulin sensitivity
Working out for even small amounts of time can have significant effects on the health. Resistance training improves the sensitivity of the body to the hormone insulin.
This means that the body will use all the secreted insulin to provide cells with glucose. We can also say that it decreases the insulin resistance, which means that the insulin in blood does not help to take glucose to the cells. It also increases the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).
5. Weight lifting can improve blood pressure control
Studies have reported that people who are involved in weight lifting and other types of resistance training show a reduction in their blood pressure.
This is very important among people who suffer from high blood pressure as this brings the level down to normal. This prevents the risk of various heart diseases in the future. Along with this, the muscle endurance or strength and flexibility of the muscles also increased.
6.Weight lifting lowers lipid levels
Weight lifting reduces the amount of fat stored in the body significantly. The levels of LDL Cholesterol or Low Density Lipoprotein and Triglycerides have been found to go down after a period of continuous exercise.
It also improves the lipid profile, or the amount of fat present in the blood.
7. Strength training increases bone density
Strength training increases the bone density. Bone mineral density is the measure of amount of bone tissue present inside the body. The denser the tissue is, the stronger the bone becomes.
Weight lifting prevents a disorder called Osteoporosis which results from decreased bone density. In this disorder, the risk of fracturing bones increases at a dangerous rate, especially in older people.
8. Weight lifting reduces risk of arthritis
This is a disorder very common in older people. It is the inflammation of joints in the body, especially the knee joint. Regular weight lifting has been found to improve this condition.
This type of training strengthens the joint by reducing the degradation of the cartilage present in the joints. It strengthens the muscle tissues and cures the continuous pain that is caused by this disorder.
9. Resistance training benefits in Fibromyalgia
It is a condition in which there is a chronic pain in the muscles. Working out by lifting light weights and doing other forms of low-intensity resistance training reduces the pain and builds up muscle which further strengthens to cure this condition.
10. Weight training improves mental health
Low or moderate level of weight training helps in fighting with anxiety. It also cures depression and increases the self-esteem. It regulates the levels of the hormone cortisol, which controls stress and other psychological parameters.
11. Resistance training delays risk of Sarcopenia
It is the gradual loss of muscles from the body. It usually occurs due to ageing and weakens the body of the person.
Loss of muscle would mean that the person won’t be able to move in the long run. Lifting weights delays this conditions and keeps the muscles strong and healthy for a long period of time.
At the initial stages, light weights should be lifted so that the body gets used to weight lifting. Only after giving the body some time to adjust to this, people should start lifting heavy weights.
Even the intensity of training should be gradually increased so that the muscles do not get strained or ruptured.
For this type of heavy training to show its effect in order to lose weight, it is important that we follow a healthy diet. We should make it a point to consume fewer amounts of fats and calories and our diet should be rich in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.