Including resistance training (lifting weights) in your workout regime has been common advice from the fitness community for a while, but now it is finally starting to reach the mainstream audience and previously difficult to persuade markets. But what's so special about resistance training and how is it going to benefit you? Surely if I want to get more toned or drop some belly fat it's just about calorie balance? And doesn't cardio burn more calories than weight lifting?
These are all great questions and I'm glad you're thinking about calorie balance (calories in vs. calories out) if your goals are based around getting more defined. But the myriad of benefits from weight training go far beyond this...
A common goal of my clients is to appear more toned or improve their muscle definition. This is a process which we need to attack from two angles: making sure there's not too much body fat covering the muscle and making sure there's enough muscle to be uncovered. Without the second part of that equation, we strip away the body fat and we're left with a slightly shapeless result. I realise it's a touchy subject to talk about body composition due to it's subjectivity but in my experience this is not the look most people are after. Adding in weight training to target these muscles that you want to appear more 'shapely' will be of great benefit if that's the look you're going for.
Knee pain after running? Lower back pain after a long day of work? Or maybe it's your neck that constantly feels tight? Weight lifting can be a remedy to all of these! With a good strength training programme you can help improve all these problems so you can go about your days pain free and worry far less about it as you start to get older!
Calories / Metabolism
A good hour long weight lifting workout could burn on average between 200 - 600kcals depending on intensity. That's not too far off what you'd burn on the cross trainer for 60 minutes. Not to mention a few kilograms of extra muscle tissue (which, for those concerned, won't make you look bulky!) will increase your metabolism so you'll naturally be burning more calories any way.
We've focused on just 3 of an extensive list as to why lifting weights is a must for everyone, but there's so much more we could discuss from it's positive effects on bone density to the fact that it's pretty cool to be strong. We at ClubQ recommend pretty much everyone lifts weights in some capacity for optimal health.