Written by Jack Boardman
5 Added Benefits Of Weightlifting
Aside from a ripped physique and enhanced strength, there are five other ways weightlifting is good for your body that you might not know about.
Weightlifting can increase your metabolic rate. This is usually associated with cardio workouts and a common assumption is to begin a new training routine with cardiovascular exercise instead of resistance training for this reason.
The fact is that resistance training has a positive effect on your metabolism and endocrine system, which is the collection of glands responsible for regulating your metabolism, growth and development, among other things. By lifting weights you are essentially tearing down your muscle tissue in order for it to rebuild (with the right rest and nutrition) and so you are putting your metabolism to work.
Lifting weights is good for your bones. Weightlifting stimulates osteogenesis – the production of new bone mass and has been proven to reduce bone mass loss as you age and become prone to degeneration and even osteoporosis. This, however, is not just a benefit to ageing folk, but adolescents too – that old wives’ tale about lifting weights stunting your growth isn’t true! Think about it: compare a weightlifting teen with one who doesn’t.
Lifting weights develops your skeletal muscles. You knew this one already, but the science behind it is all about achieving muscular hypertrophy with a combination of heavy resistance training and protein consumption. Sure, plenty of sets of high rep bicep curls will get you pumped up for a few hours so that aesthetically you’re set for the beach, but real muscle growth is achieved with a conscious focus on caloric intake, protein consumption and gradually increasing the amount of weight you lift.
Weightlifting has been proven to enhance natural anti-diabetic activity. Glucagon and insulin are hormones that help balance your blood sugar (glucose) levels. Glucose is essential for exercise and is one of the many fuels you need from food and supplements so that your energy is at an effective level for your workout goals.
During exercise your insulin levels drop and the pancreas’ release of glucagon causes the liver to produce more glucose. In order to maintain constant blood sugar levels, your insulin levels drop to balance out the insulin-like effect of your contracting muscles. This is so that your muscles can take in the glucose (energy) that they need to function. Weightlifting has been proven to increase insulin and glucose sensitivity. For diabetics with impaired sensitivity, there are benefits in the improved toleration of carbs.
It’s important to note that when exercising with diabetes, you should check your blood sugar levels before, during and after a high-intensity workout. A sudden drop in blood sugar could result in hypoglycaemia.
Weightlifting can increase your production of anabolic hormones. These include testosterone, growth hormones, insulin, and various growth factors. It has been proven that lifting weights results in an increase in these hormones after training.