10 Reasons Why You Should Lift Heavy
Lifting heavy weights is still widely recognised as the most effective way to achieve fitness goals. However, many people don’t aim high enough and embrace heavy training as they should be. Going heavy causes amazing changes to your body including improved brain function, metabolic rate and heart health. Here, we outline 10 key reasons why you should lift heavy:
Being strong can help you improve other areas of your training. Lighter weights with many repetitions is great for building muscle endurance, but in order to increase strength, you need to up the load. Strength training also gives you confidence – building it requires hard work and effort to get it done. Instead of setting for mediocrity, you can truly find out your physical capabilities.
Having powerful muscles provides a number of benefits such as keeping your back safe when loading up the car and improving jumping ability. It also gives you the body you desire and the metabolism needed to maintain that physique. Naturally, more muscle means you’ll be at less risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
You may have been told that cardio is the number one fat burner, but more and more studies are suggesting that lifting heavy can be more effective. This is because weight training at a high intensity engages your metabolism and creates added stress on your body, helping you burn fat throughout the day.
Toning is all about lean muscle. For most people, they will need to burn any fat which is covering them, but it is muscle which provides the sculpted physique so you don’t look like a stick man once you lose excess body fat.
The best way to shed body fat and increase lean muscle is to focus on anaerobic exercises such as sprints and heavy weight sessions. You’ll also want to train the classic lifts like lunges, squats and chin-ups.
If you’re new to the gym or have never been able to develop a consistent training plan, you might think that you won’t be able to lift heavy weights. However, it’s more likely that you’ll be stronger than you actually think. Of course, you need to remind your body of proper form and technique, but once that’s nailed, you’ll be lifting heavy in no time.
Pushing your body every week in the gym can be addictive and is very rewarding when you manage to record a new PB.
Achy hips and sore knees will become a thing of the past with lifting heavy. Strengthening muscles around joints gives them added support and helps you maintain proper form.
Research has shown that lifting heavy weights over a long period of time not only preserves bone mass, but can also encourage new bone to grow. Therefore, lifting is not just awesome for building stronger muscles; it also makes your bones stronger.
As people get older, their muscle fibers shrink in size and become less sensitive to messages from the central nervous system. This leads to decreased balance, coordination and strength. The extent of damage depends on a number of factors such as genetics, diet and – of course – physical activity level.
Lifting heavy weights can offset these effects and prevent your balance and stability from decreasing significantly.
While it’s true that you can’t spot reduce, lifting heavy helps torch fat everywhere on the body, helping you get rid of that persistent beer belly. Not only will you feel great about your appearance, you’ll also lessen your risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and various cancers.
Testosterone, human growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor all play a major role in increasing strength. In order to make sure your body is secreting these chemicals effectively, use large muscle group exercises with heavy resistance and keep intervals between sets as short as possible.
About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.