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I’m approaching this from a fairly biased viewpoint, however, I don’t think I’m understating anything when I say that exercise is probably one of the top 3 most powerful tools you have at your disposal for improving your health and well-being, both long and short term.
Within exercise as a whole, one specific discipline has benefits unique to it that you can’t get from any other form of exercise, which is why I’m such a personal advocate for it.
That being resistance training. The best approach would be to have a mixture of both cardiovascular exercise (heart/lungs/circulation) and resistance training (muscles, bones joints). Which should hopefully shine a light on the popularity of things such as circuits, CrossFit, Hyrox.
They are not for everyone, however, and keeping them in separate workouts also has benefits.
Weightlifting helps increase your overall day-to-day energy, there are a few mechanisms involved in this, but at the most basic level, if you are stronger, you’re more efficient at moving yourself through your daily non-exercising tasks. Walking the dog, picking up kids, and doing household chores, and if those take up less of your total daily energy, you’ll have loads more left to do with whatever you want.
Lifting weights builds muscles and helps you reduce your body fat. Both of which will affect your appearance in and out of clothes, which is what a lot of people begin their training with in mind. Dieting can only get you so far if you aren’t lifting weights, you can drop all the body fat you want, but if there’s nothing under it to provide shape, you may not get the appearance you’re looking for.
It also makes any reduction in body fat easier. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, it requires caloric expenditure to stay around and function, whereas fat has a far lesser demand.
Lifting will also strengthen, not only your muscles but all of your connective tissues as well. I realise there’s a bit of a dark cloud over lifting weights regarding form and making sure you’re ‘doing it right’ but this (like a lot of stuff) has been blown up a lot more than is realistic, normally to attract attention to content, or to sell specific things. Is there potential for increased injury risk if you do silly, non-appropriate things relative to your level of ability? 100% yes. Are you going to immediately snap something if you try and do a beginner program using appropriate loads and maybe just need more practice on your form? 100% no.
If you are still concerned about getting some advice or oversight for your training or technique, then you should hire a coach. You don’t have to think of this as a long term commitment, plenty of people visit us for some consultations on certain aspects of training, and then go off and continue on their own, to great success.
Hopefully, this has convinced you that this year is the year to try out lifting! If it is, please consider coming down to ATS and giving it a bash. Feel free to get in touch on 07843024606 or @atsapproved on all socials.