Weight Training-It Matters!
Traditionally, when we think of weight training, we start picturing large individuals with bulging muscles. Most of us fear “bulking up.” In truth, our genetic makeup determines our musculature and if we can bulk up. The tendon attachments at the joints help us determine visually if we will look more toned or more like a “Hulk.” Another misconception is that professional bodybuilders ALWAYS look tanned, oiled and excessively muscular. Not true. So today, we are going to examine benefits of weight training.
According to an article written in 2008, Hackney, Engels, & Gretebeck found that resting energy expenditure remained elevated in individuals who focused on eccentric training in a full-body resistance training program. Simply stated, when greater focus is placed on the lengthening phase of weight lifting. So, for example, in a bicep curl, the downward motion or as the weight moves away from the body, this is the eccentric phase of weight lifting.
As we age, we know that our metabolism begins to slow. Our metabolic rate slows roughly 3%-8% each year (Green, 2020). When we examine body motion, think of the effort to contract your muscles so that you may lift a laundry basket or a heavy bag of groceries. As we age, these tasks become more difficult and increase our risk of injury. Still believe weight training has no place in your routine? Cardio helps the circulatory system (heart and lungs). Cardio training alone won’t help us maintain a healthy weight as we grow older.
Strengthening the muscles actually improves our cardiovascular performance as well (Green, 2020). Here are many other great reasons to include weight training; reduce risk of injury, prevent diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, or type 2 diabetes (Green, 2020). These reasons alone make me want to jump up and head to the gym and start pumping iron!!!!! How about the mental fatigue we are battling right now with the pandemic? Strength training helps with psychological health also (Green, 2020).
The bottom line here is that there are many great reasons to add weight training to your routine. Keeping our joints strong and our bones strong (ladies) will help us avoid debilitating injury that could severely restrict or inhibit our lifestyle as we age. We can effectively strengthen and tone with light weights and higher repetition counts. Remember, overall health and well-being involves many pieces to this puzzle; don’t leave any of them out or discount any of them. Stay healthy, stay hydrated, and stay focused!!!!!
Hackney KJ, Engels HJ, Gretebeck RJ. Resting energy expenditure and delayed-onset muscle soreness after full-body resistance training with an eccentric concentration. J Strength Cond Res. 2008 Sep;22(5):1602-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31818222c5. PMID: 18714225.
Green, D. J., (2020, September). The Hidden Benefits of Muscular Training, Certified. Retrieved from https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/certified/september-2020/