Strength training refers to exercises like weight lifting, push-ups, leg presses, dumbbell exercises, etc. Basically, strength training exercises are those that get progressively more difficult as you do them. The idea behind the exercises is that they help you break down your muscles so that they can rebuild themselves bigger and stronger. A lot of people ignore strength training in favor of pure cardio because they assume that strength training is just for those who want to really build muscle, but they would be wrong. There are a lot of benefits to strength training and everyone can benefit from adding some strength training exercises to their workout routine (2345).
1. It is the best way to build and maintain muscle
The most obvious benefit of strength training is that it aids you in building and maintaining muscle. Strength training is by far the best way of building muscle. See, in order to build muscle effectively, you need to perform exercises that are intense enough to break down the fibers in your muscles. This is done so that your body can rebuild the fibers stronger. Over time, this leads to muscle growth. Only strength training exercises are intense enough to lead to actual muscle growth (495).
Even if you do not want to really build muscle, you can still benefit from strength training. Strength training is useful for maintaining the muscle mass that you already have. This is especially helpful for older people, who lose muscle mass as they grow older (469).
2. Strength training can boost your energy levels and your mood
Believe it or not, strength training can actually make you feel more energized and improve your mood. Strength training, because it is so intense, triggers the release of endorphins in the brain. These endorphins cannot only give you a rush of energy, but they also improve your overall mood. People often talk about a “runner’s high” for long-distance runners. Well, the same thing exists for people who strength train (211).
3. It can keep your bones healthy
In the same way that strength training can keep your muscles healthy, it can also keep your skeletal system healthy. As you age, your bones start to lose density. Eventually, this can turn into a serious issue. Do not make the mistake of thinking that this is just an issue for older people either, people start losing bone density as early as age 30. Strength training can help keep your bone density at a healthy level ( 2338 ).
4. It is good for your heart
Strength training can be helpful for your cardiovascular system as well. Strength training really gets your blood pumping. Likewise, it can help keep your cholesterol levels low and your blood pressure stabilized. These many not be a pressing concern for you when you are younger, but taking steps to improve your cardiovascular health at an early age can help you later on in life (2638).