Updated: Nov 12
Are you wondering which type of physical activity gives you the most return for your investment?
Welcome to the world of strength training - the number one training modality which gives you far more benefits than any other form of exercise.
Whether it's strengthening your muscles, bones, or mind; improving brain function and energy levels; or potentially extending your lifespan, every human being on the planet can greatly benefit from a well-designed strength training programme.
Here are 50 reasons that should no doubt convince to get under the bar today:
#1 Greater longevity: Strength is the number one physical predictor of how long we live and can reduce mortality from all causes by up to 30%.
#2 More muscle mass: The stronger we are, the easier we find it to build muscle. In addition, muscle mass is the second major predictor of longevity.
#3 Stronger bones: High-intensity weightlifting is a sure-fire way to increase bone mineral density and prevent the debilitating onset of osteoporosis later in life.
#4 Healthier joints: Stronger joints hurt less and less frequently than weaker joints.
#5 Improved cognitive function: Strength training increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is crucial for rebuilding nerve tissue in the brain. Studies have shown a positive effect on improving mild cognitive impairment.
#6 Preventing sarcopenia: The age-related loss of muscle mass and function (i.e. sarcopenia) starts as early as in our 40’s. Don’t let this pain of a disease affect your quality of life beyond your 50’s. Go deadlift.
#7 Better insulin sensitivity: Strength training makes your cells more sensitive to insulin. In other words: people with diabetes or those who aim to prevent it will like this message.
#8 Improved cardiovascular health: Believe it or not: a heavy set of deadlifts gets your heart pumping just as much as a 5k run – in about 0.001% of the time and with more added benefits than plodding around the park.
#9 Preventing dynapenia: The age-related loss of muscle strength (i.e. dynapenia) is a major risk factor for severe chronic illness. Get strong and get resilient before it’s over with.
#10 Stronger immune system: Greater strength means more muscle. More muscle means producing a higher amount of myokines which are powerful immune system modulators that keep inflammation and illness at bay.
#11 Anti-oxidative effects: Strength training increases muscle mass which has powerful anti-oxidative effects on our DNA.
#12 Stronger connective tissue: Tendons, ligaments, capsules, spinal discs: all of these structures need heavy loading in the form of barbell training in order to get stronger and more resistant to wear and tear.
#13 Better blood pressure management: In a study with middle-aged men who were withdrawn from blood pressure- lowering medication, a mean reduction of 12 and 16mm/Hg for systolic and diastolic blood pressure was observed after three months of strength training, which is more than the effect of common blood pressure-lowering medication.
#14 Reduced arterial stiffness: Another major factor in protecting heart health. Strength training has shown to reduce arterial stiffness in the heart – meaning blood vessels can contract more smoothly and pump more blood through the system.
#15 Better cancer survival: Greater muscle strength and lean body mass as well as better self-esteem were shown in cancer patients who strength trained compared to those who didn’t. In addition, lifting weights lowers the high energy bill that comes with conventional forms of cancer treatment.
#16 Reduced obesity: Greater muscle mass equals more calories burned at rest, a higher release of fat-burning hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone, as well as better insulin sensitivity. Put it all into a package and say goodbye to letting obesity wreak havoc on your health.
#17 Better mental health: In a study assessing 1452 subjects, researchers found that strength training was not just an effective means to lower depression symptoms, but it also outperformed aerobic exercise in its efficacy. Another reason to skip the treadmill for the squat rack.
#18 Better hormonal profile: Testosterone is a powerful anti-aging hormone promoting strength, muscle, bone mineral density, cardiovascular health, better energy levels, as well as better cognitive functioning. Hit your heavy sets in the squat, press, and deadlift - and witness your testosterone reach superhuman levels.
#19 Greater flexibility: Believe it or not, a large amount of studies have shown that barbell exercises performed through their full range of motion enhance flexibility just as effective as stretching does. Are the lights coming on for you?
#20 DNA protection: Telomeres are tiny pieces of DNA located at the end of chromosomes and have been shown to be indicative of youthfulness and longevity. Cortisol shortens telomere length – while testosterone (produced through strength training) prevents this effect.
#21 Better ability to handle stress: Through the release of stress-fighting hormones and re-setting the HPA axis, the body prevents breakdown mode and goes into build-up mode instead.
#22 Boosting confidence: Getting stronger means being more confident in your lifting abilities while developing a more positive self-image. If you can handle it in the gym, you are more likely to handle it in life.
#23 Improved metabolism: Strength training raises so-called catecholamines, a type of hormones responsible for stimulating calorie burn.
#24 Improved movement: Strength training develops muscular balance and agility to perform movements with greater accuracy.
#25 Tackling insomnia: Strength has been shown to lower inflammation in the brain and improve circadian rhythms. Better workouts for better sleep should be an integral part of your life.
#26 Lower risk of sports injury: Stronger bodies are harder to break. Simple as.
#25 Run faster: Whether you’re a tennis player, footballer, or basketball player, physical strength has shown to be a major component in improving sprin performance. Squat (and run) like your life depends on it.
#27 Build a stronger back: Low-back pain is the global number one physical reason for work absence. Get your squats and deadlifts in order to get your back on track.
#28 Earn more money: Strength training improves posture, physical appearance, and cognition – powerful cards to play at your next business meeeting.
#29 Increase EPOC: Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption is a reliable marker for how well your body burns calories in the first 24h after a workout. Strength training enhances just that.
#30 Better endurance: The stronger you are, the less energy your muscles require to perform a contraction. Multiply that over a game of football or the length of a rowing race and see where it takes you.
#31 Improved libido: By raising testosterone as well as other androgen hormones, strength training can boost libido in both genders.
#32 Better blood sugar management: Weightlifting raises your muscles’ demand for glucose – making it easier for the body to regulate blood sugar.
#33 Improved power: As power is the product of force and speed, a stronger person can produce more power than a weaker person. Greater power means higher jumps, faster runs, and stronger punches.
#34 Mood booster: Strength training raises endorphines and lowers cortisol – both of which enhance your mood and prevent depression.
#35 Increased number of mitochondria: Strength training raises the number of mitochondria – the powerhouses which are responsible for energy production in the body.
#36 Increased willpower: Moving a weight that is a little heavier than you think challenges your will to get it done. One thing is for sure: it was never meant to be easy.
#37 Walking made easy: As strength training skyrockets the body’s ability to produce force, your walks will now feel like strolls. If you like spending time in nature and getting from A to B on your legs, squats and deadlifts are gold for you.
#38 Gardening made easy: Moving stuff around the yard, twisting the body into awkward positions, and trying to dig out that last bit of tree roots are now becoming as effortless as stirring your morning coffee.
#39 Learning discipline: Strength training is a process which requires a diligent lifestyle change. Eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, and turning up regularly for sessions are lessons that are applicable to every aspect of life.
#40 Better nutritional awareness: To get stronger, the right foods have to be consumed in the right amount. Protein up, sufficient carbs, and staying away from processed crap is the name of the game for becoming a badass in the gym.
#41 Deeper hips, bigger legs: The number one lift making the biggest difference to a lower body physique is without a doubt the deadlift. Shoot for double your body weight on the bar and watch your hips and legs turn into killer machines.
#42 Bouncing back after illness: It is from our experience that stronger people bounce back quicker from illness than weak people, and also have shorter spans of being out of action. Get your numbers of swiftly to minimise time away from the bar.
#43 Less frequent colds: Say goodbye to bugs that would keep you on the sideline for weeks. Stronger people have stronger immune systems and are not fazed by the onset of a snotty nose.
#44 Earning a few haters: People in your close surroundings who are not familiar with your new interest may act slightly allergic in the beginning. Some of them will turn out to be friends, and some will hate you for doing the right thing. None of your business - just proof that you’ve started to become a champion.
#45 Connecting with people who you resonate with: In the strength training community, people with the same goal connect. Everyone wants to get stronger, and people feed off each other’s energy. Win-win.
#46 Better school grades: Through the improvement of cognitive performance as well as greater perseverance, school kids as young as nine years can greatly benefit from lifting weights to improve their grades at school.
#47 Better muscular balance: By the use of bi-pedal movements like squats, deadlifts and presses, we develop muscular balance across the whole body. Less pain and better physical performance are the result.
#48 Improved aesthetics: Strength training is the go-to routine for a better-looking physique. Deeper hips, pants-filling legs, bigger arms, and a back so impressive others will want to maintain a safe distance from you.
#49 A stronger spine: The two major components of the spine – 24 vertebrae and its discs – become rock solid through the application of a heavy load onto the back. Squats and deadlifts give you a giant backbone!
#50 Greater body tension: A tensing of the muscles makes us carry our body through the day with greater drive and intention. Just picture a weak, loose, and squishy-soft body on the opposite. Which one would you prefer?
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