16 Reasons to Start Strength Training (And Start Changing Your Life)
After talking with hundreds of men and women, here are the top reasons I hear for Strength Training. I've even included a few screenshots of texts from clients about why they love Strength Training!
1. Did You Know The Strongest Survive?
Strength and Muscle Mass are correlated with living a long, healthy life. Yep, lifting weights actually helps you live a longer, better life.
As we age, everything starts to break down. Our organs stop working as well. And we lose a ton of muscle mass! At least we do if we aren’t Strength Training. Here’s an interesting thought: the body will break down muscle mass rather than breaking down the vital organs (brain, heart, liver, etc.) as we age. So the more muscle mass you have, the longer you can delay the breakdown of those vital organs.
And in a very practical sense, being stronger and having more muscle means you can function better. You’ll be able to do the things you love with the people you love for longer. Without any assistance or need for things like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.
Such a morbid start to this article, I know…but this stuff is no joke! Strength Training is about way more than looking good in a swimsuit at the beach in your 20’s. It’s about living life to the fullest when you’re 70, 80, and maybe even 90!
2. Speaking of Looking Sexy at the Beach…
Strength Training is THE way to create a lean, defined body. All exercise will help you get leaner, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING comes close to creating the same results as Strength Training. If you compare someone who runs 3 days per week for 45 minutes to someone who Strength Trains for the same amount of time, the one who’s Strength Training comes out leaner and with more muscle definition every single time.
And no, you won’t be bulky. In my experience as a personal trainer, I have yet to see a woman (and quite frankly only a handful of men) get bulky. And I know some really strong guys and girls! You only have a chance at getting bulky if you’re a male with great genetics, an incredible work ethic, and the lifestyle to make it possible (a.k.a- sleeping 8+ hours per night, training most days of the week, low stress lifestyle, pretty much perfect diet, etc.)
So yeah, wanna look hot at the beach or the pool this summer? Start pumping iron. You can thank me later ;)
3. Turn That Frown Upside Down
Anxiety and depression suck. I’ve been dealing with anxiety for the last few years, and I know so many people who struggle with anxiety and depression as well. But you know what makes you feel better? Strength Training!
Everyone talks about cardio being great for releasing endorphins- you know, those “happy hormones.” Well Strength Training is just as good at releasing those endorphins. When your body releases these endorphins, they make you happy. Blissful even! Everyone always feels better after finishing a workout, and so will you.
Multiple Studies have shown Exercise is MORE effective than any medication at treating anxiety and depression. (Craft LL, Perna FM.; Blumenthal JA, Smith PJ, Hoffman BM.) Many doctors and therapists even prescribe exercise as a treatment for anxiety and depression!
4. Ahh…So Relaxing
Most of you wouldn’t imagine Squats as being relaxing, but it’s true. Piggy-backing off point #3, Strength Training is an excellent way to reduce stress. In fact, it may be the best way.
Think about it. How do we normally reduce stress?
Go out to eat
Eat junk food (ice cream for me please!)
Sure, Nancy. Maybe you read a book and take a bath. But I’m not talking to you.
I’m talking to 90% of the population who take comfort in their bad habits when they’re stressed. The worst part about these habits is they often leave us more stressed. They’re mostly a failed attempt at trying to escape the realities of whatever situation we’re currently in.
And I’m not throwing shade here. I’ve eaten so much ice cream in the last year my middle name should be “Blue Bell.” You know what else has happened this last year? I’ve been really inconsistent with my workouts.
Coincidence? I think not.
And guess what? Now that I’m Strength Training regularly again, my diet consists mostly of meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts, and potatoes. Imagine that.
If you’ve got a bad habit you turn to when you’re stressed, don’t try quitting that bad habit. Not yet. Just start Strength Training 3 days per week for the next month. See what happens.
5. “Who’s that sexy thing, I see over there? That’s me. Standing in the mirror.”
If you’ve never heard of Meghan Trainor, you likely think I’m weird.
Actually let’s be serious. You’d think I was weird if you met me anyway.
So what’s point #5? Strength Training makes you confident!
It’s impossible to be able to deadlift your bodyweight and not be confident. There’s something Strength Training does for you that goes way beyond the physical. It changes who you are as a person.
I believe the mind, body, and soul are intricately connected and you can’t separate one from the others. Everything you do to one of the three, affects the other two. Depending on your situation this can be good or bad news.
The bad news is if you’re not taking care of your body. If you’re unhealthy. If you’re weak. Your mind and soul will be too.
The good news is Strength Training makes you lean, strong, healthy, and fit! And that means your mind and soul will be too!
Strength Training will give you a confidence you likely won’t find anywhere else.
6. Drink Milk and Lift Heavy Weight For Strong Bones
Honestly, I’m not even sure if doctors still recommend milk for strong bones these days. What I do know is doctors are realizing the importance of Strength Training for increasing bone density.
Load-bearing exercise is the most effective way to increase bone density, and nothing loads your muscles, joints, and bones like Strength Training does.
Strength Training is sure to be your best defense against osteoporosis! And if you already have osteoporosis, not to worry. Starting a Strength Training program can prevent further loss in bone density and sometimes is even able to reverse the Osteoporosis!
7. Give Me All the Carbs!
The more muscle mass you have, the more insulin sensitive you are.
What is insulin sensitivity? It’s essentially a measure of how well your body processes and stores sugar in the body.
When you’re very insulin sensitive, your body is very effective at taking consumed carbs (sugar) and storing them where they need to go- like the liver and muscle. If you aren’t very insulin sensitive, you’re becoming insulin resistant. Which is the number one sign of someone with Type 2 Diabetes.
In people with Type 2 Diabetes, the body isn’t able to process sugar well and thus blood sugar stays elevated. And a chronically elevated blood sugar wreaks havoc on the body.
Two of the best ways to improve how insulin sensitive you are, are to lose fat and build muscle. Both things Strength Training is extremely effective at accomplishing.
8. Be Awesome
Want to be awesome? Amazing? Better at everything you do? Strength Training is the golden ticket!
A stronger person is a better person. No, I don’t mean morally. (But maybe!) But it will improve you in every other way.
A stronger person has more endurance because things that were once heavy are now light. A stronger person is more useful because you can lift, push, pull, and carry things you once couldn’t. And nothing is more practical than only needing to take one trip from your car to the kitchen after a trip to the grocery store. A stronger person can get through the difficulties of life because they know what it means to carry a load even when they don’t feel like it or don’t think they can do it.
9. A Strong Heart is a Healthy Heart
Contrary to popular opinion, Cardio is not the only way to improve heart health. Strength Training offers unique heart benefits that cardio doesn’t. (Artero EG, Lee D-chul, Lavie CJ, et al.)
This may sound like a foreign idea to someone who has never lifted weights before. But for those who have, this comes as no surprise. Nothing gets your heart rate up like a heavy set of squats!
And from personal experience, as well as the experience of my clients, the average heart rate during a typical Strength Training sessions is somewhere between 120-140 which falls within the Cardio recommendations often given. Basically you’re getting the best of both worlds with Strength Training!
10. Get Your ZZZ’s
Without fail, one of the first things my clients report after beginning our program is how much better they sleep. And how much faster they wake up in the mornings. Some even say they wake up before their alarm clock now!
One Systematic Review said “Resistance Exercise (Strength Training) improves all aspects of sleep, with the greatest benefit for sleep quality.” (Kovacevic A, Mavros Y, Heisz JJ, Fiatarone MA)
Maybe it’s time to stop taking those sleeping pills and start Strength Training!
11. Say Goodbye to Achy Joints
Strength Training reduces joints aches and pains, even for those with arthritis. We’ve worked with dozens of clients with Arthritis and despite their initial concerns about Strength Training, they all report feeling so much better since starting the program.
It seems counter-intuitive because the last thing you want to do when your joints hurt is move them, but when you do the pain tends to go away.
I even had a client with no cartilage in her knee tell me her doctor was shocked she wasn’t in pain. But he said because her legs were so strong, the muscles were supporting her rather than her knee joint.
Even if you don’t have Arthritis, I’m sure you’ve dealt with achy joints before. Strength Training helps with that too. By keeping the muscles strong and mobile, it takes pressure off the joints themselves and prevents you from getting Arthritis as you age.
And it’s not just great for the bony party of the joint. Strength Training improves tendon and ligament strength which reduces the risk of ever getting injured.
12. Run Hotter Than an Engine
You need to know three things about your metabolism.
You don’t have a slow metabolism. Almost all differences in “metabolism” between people can be explained by differences in gender, age, weight, height, and activity level. When controlling for those factors, there’s not much difference between people. So stop complaining about your slow metabolism!
There isn’t much you can do to increase your metabolism. Sorry. Well, there is this one thing…
Strength Training increases muscle mass, and muscle mass is the biggest factor contributing to your metabolism that you can control. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. You also burn more calories while active. You’re basically “running hotter” all day long! This is one of the many reasons Strength Training is king when it comes to losing fat and toning up.
13) Just Call Me the Energizer Bunny
Remember me talking about my clients reporting better sleep as one of the first things they notice after starting our program? Increased Energy is another one of the things we hear about within the first week.
I’m not quite sure about the science behind WHY this happens, but take my word for it. It happens.
You’ll be up before your alarm and ready to crush the day. You’ll crush your work. You’ll crush your workout. And you’ll still be going strong when you get home to hangout with friends or family. Then you’ll sleep and do it all again. You’ll basically be the energizer bunny.
And I’m not talking about that cheap energy you get from caffeine or sugar. The energy where you’re up one minute and down the next.
I’m talking about pure, steady, unending energy. You won’t be hyped up and crazy. You’ll just stay strong from the time you’re awake til the time you’re asleep. And for some of you that are dragging butt Sunday-Saturday, this might be the best part about Strength Training.
14) Just Imagine What You Can Do With All That Energy
Productivity matters. We all want to be more productive. That’s why there’s a gazillion articles with “Productivity Hacks.” Here’s a simple hack, and I bet it’s more effective than anything you’ll read in those articles.
Start Strength Training, and with that extra energy and less stress you’ll be so laser-focused at work. You’ll finish your to-do list every day. By 3pm. Then you’re free to go home, lounge on the sofa, and watch tv. But you won’t want to. You’ve got all this energy.
Instead you’ll start tackling those home improvement projects you’ve been talking about for years but never got around to.
Am I being dramatic about all this energy? Nope. It’s the truth! The energy and productivity you’ll enjoy from a Strength Training program is life-changing. But don’t take my word for it. Try it out!
15) It’s Fun!
If you’re currently in a workout program and you’re seeing good results but you’re miserable, it’s time for a new program. Look, life’s too short to follow workout programs you don’t like. You’ll be much better off finding something you love and sticking with it the rest of your life.
One thing I love about working with my clients is the love they develop for Strength Training. People come for the results, but they stay for the fun! I’ve even had dozens of clients say something along the lines of “I’ve never enjoyed working out, but I LOVE Strength Training at SST.”
Why is Strength Training so fun?
You aren’t killing yourself in every workout. In fact, most of the time you’ll leave the gym feeling like you could have done more.
It’s about pushing your body to do more than it could previously. Not about how many calories you can burn. It’s positive. Not negative.
The community you can build around Strength Training is incredible. Speaking of that…
16) The Steel Strength Training Community is Amazing. They’re My Family.
There’s not much in this world I love more than Strength Training, but one of those things is people. I love building relationships. That’s why we created the model we have at Steel Strength Training. We’ve combined my love for Strength Training with my love for people.
We’ve been able to create a diverse community (gender, socioeconomic, ethnicity, fitness levels, etc.) of beautiful men and women who are working hard towards being a leaner, stronger, healthier version of themselves.
And we’d love for YOU to be part of our community. Our family.
If you understand the important of Strength Training, you want to see lasting results, and you want to join a family of like-minded people…come join us! Just click here and fill out the form. I’ll contact you within 24 hours to discuss your goals and the details of the program.
If you aren’t quite ready to start Strength Training, or you want to get to know us a little better before you join, click here and sign up to receive our weekly e-mails. I’ll send you our latest blog posts, videos, and social media content!
Photos By: Eleanor Stenner Photography
Artero EG, Lee D-chul, Lavie CJ, et al. Advances in pediatrics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3496010/. Published November 2012. Accessed May 9, 2018.
Blumenthal JA, Smith PJ, Hoffman BM. Advances in pediatrics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3674785/. Published 2012. Accessed May 9, 2018.
Craft LL, Perna FM. Advances in pediatrics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC474733/. Published 2004. Accessed May 9, 2018.
Kovacevic A, Mavros Y, Heisz JJ, Fiatarone MA. The effect of resistance exercise on sleep: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28919335. Published June 2018. Accessed May 9, 2018.