When you first hear the words “weight lifting,” you probably think of bodybuilders, fitness models, and guys making way too much noise in the gym.
This can make some people steer clear of weights, thinking that they are not for them.
Today, however, I want to reframe the idea so that you recognize just how important lifting weights is for everyone. If you are avoiding it, you are missing out on the most impactful type of exercise available.
Here are nine reasons to start weight lifting:
#1: You don't have to kill yourself
One of the biggest fears about getting started with weight training is that people see some folks lifting huge weights and they think that they have to lift that way.
If you are just starting out, lifting weights may involve using little more than your bodyweight. The point is not to kill yourself. The point is to start moving more and challenging your muscles to get stronger.
The truth is, your muscles cannot get stronger unless you have some sort of resistance. Strength is an adaptation that happens when your brain (and body) realizes that it is going to need its muscles to do more work.
At first, this might be bodyweight movements, but soon you will need to add some resistance (aka weights) to increase the challenge. Over time, this weight will feel easy and you can add more without risking injury.
#2: You won’t get “big”
Another fear is that weight lifting will lead to “big” bulky muscles. Something to know is that people who train to gain weight have to eat a lot to put on muscle.
You also have to lift a lot. Bodybuilders spend hours in the gym to push their muscles to fatigue over and over again, creating a growth response.
If you are lifting normally and eating normally, you will not get bulky. Most early strength gain is actually neurological, so you can get stronger without adding any muscle at all.
This is because you are building stronger connections from your brain to your muscles. As these connections grow, you are utilizing more of the muscle you already have, and so you don’t need to build anymore.
Another thing to know is that for women specifically, when you do eventually add muscle, it just becomes more dense vs. big. This is how you get the lean and toned look, just what everyone wants!
#3: You will be happy!
Yes, exercise of any kind gets the happy chemicals running through your body, but lifting weights seems to have a greater influence on your happiness level.
Why? Because any time you stress your body in a good way, your brain wants to give you a reason to do it again.
So, every time you lift weights, you’re left feeling happy, stress free, and empowered to take on the world!
#4: You become a better version of you
All of us were born to do something great. You may be gifted at arguing cases in court, cooking amazing meals, or keeping cool while caring for a 5 year-old.
Lifting weights helps you do things better from a physical, mental, and emotional perspective by helping you clear your head and show up as the best version of you.
You gain confidence, which helps you feel more capable to tackle the challenges of the day. You hurt less so that you are able to do what you love to do longer and better.
When you are strong, the world becomes an easier place to live and you feel better about your place in it.
#5: You gain focus
When you start lifting weights, you quickly realize that you need to stay focused on the lift if you want to do it correctly and avoid injury.
As your strength and the amount of weight you lift increase, your concentration must also increase to avoid injury. This focus in the gym will carry over to your non-gym activities, too.
#6: You start to BELIEVE
When you start lifting weights, you can’t imagine lifting any more than you do in your first session.
Three weeks later, you have already increased the weight you use.
By doing this over and over, you pick up a mental toughness and confidence that will aid you in all areas of life.
You start to believe in your ability to improve and accomplish things that may not be possible NOW, but will be possible if you continue to work on them.
#7: You tend to make better food choices
Have you been struggling to keep your daily calorie count down? Nothing helps you stay in line better than working out.
Your regular weight lifting routine makes you more aware of what you put in your body, making it easier to say no to those temptations that are always around the corner.
No one wants to undo all their hard work in the gym, so making the right food choice becomes a no-brainer.
#8: Your body becomes more resilient
While the first thing you may notice after lifting weights is stronger muscles, your bones are also secretly gaining strength at the same time.
Since the risk of osteoporosis and broken bones only increases as you age, guarding against it with weight lifting only makes sense!
Other things that will improve: your balance, your flexibility, your vision, and your stamina.
#9: Your brain gets better
Believe it or not, not all people who lift weights are the meatheads they’re made out to be. It’s quite the opposite. Research has proven that lifting weights actually has the power to improve your brain’s ability to do its job.
And if there is something that can make you smarter, think clearer, and increase your ability to synthesize and produce ideas—THAT is a win.
And this is why we include weight training in all of our workout plans. Yes, cardio, flexibility, and endurance are all important (and part of our program too), but if you are not doing weight training, you are really missing out.
Lifting weights can be intimidating for some, but it’s important to remember that you do not need to lift crazy weights to start doing things that are going to help you get stronger.
To review, here are the 9 things to know about strength training:
1) You don’t need to kill yourself
2) You won’t get big
3) You will be happy
4) You become a better version of you
5) You gain focus
6) You start to BELIEVE
7) You tend to make better food choices
8) Your body becomes more resilient
9) Your brain gets better
For all of these reasons, strength training really is something that everyone should be doing.
As long as you remember that you don’t have to (nor should you) overdo it, it will make it much easier to get going and stick with it.
How to Get Started
If you are new to strength training or are still feeling a little hesitant to get going, we get it. Exercise can be like learning a new language for some and it’s not always easy to know where to start.
So, if you would like to start incorporating weight training into your workouts, but are not sure what your first step should be, I invite you to check out our 28-Day Kickstart Program.
This is our holistic fitness program where you will get the exact exercises and diet you need to start feeling better while having a coach to show you how to do them correctly and keep you accountable to your plan.
In this program you will get:
- Full fitness and goals assessment
- Personalized fitness coaching to teach you the exact exercises you need to safely and effectively move better and build stamina
- A simple meal plan to help you decrease inflammation
- 1-on-1 success coaching to help guide you as you work to change your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits
You can get stronger and feel better, you just need a program that can show you what is right for you.
Click here to learn more and take back control of your health and fitness today!
Mint Condition Fitness empowers people to take control of their fitness and fully enjoy the life they have built.