Benefits to Weight Training
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert. Sport & Exercise Nutrition. British Army Physical Training Instructor (MFT).
Updated by Bradley Lawson: BA(Hons) L 2&3 Personal Trainer, August 2021.
A 2020 report assumes that there are 205,176 gyms on the planet with the United States holding the most in one country. It can be understood then, that working out, and weightlifting, which is perhaps the most popularised frame of reference to the gym, is an important part of our culture globally.
Dating back to the ancients of Egypt, Greece, India, and a whole host of ancient histories in times BC, records show that soldiers, athletes, men, and women took part in the strength and martial practices of lifting weights to better their general health and well-being
The modern resurgence of lifting weights, a result of Hollywood films, the golden era of bodybuilding, the commercialisation and accessibility of public gyms and modern lifestyle fitness through social media has made lifting weights relevant, popular, and attractive.
However, the growing field of health and sports science has emboldened leagues of research that has helped fortify these ideas - new and old, but with very human objectives of staying strong and healthy, and with lifting weights at the heart of it.
There are many different types of fitness and physical training available to you. For novices, yoga, pilates and low-impact exercises can be the ideal ways to ease yourself into the practice of working out.
As you become more accomplished and start to improve your physique, you need to start exploring new training techniques.
One type of training that many athletes and fitness lovers use to improve their stamina and grow muscle mass is weight training. 
Weight training is a popular form of exercise, but it’s more complicated and challenging than you might think. It’s about more than just lifting heavy weights repeatedly.
There’s a great skill to weight training, and it’s one of the most physically demanding disciplines that you will do in the course of your fitness journey.
However, if done right, weight training can offer a myriad of benefits for both your mind and body. 
These benefits might not seem obvious, but fans of weight lifting and professional athletes know that lifting weights can be an incredibly useful addition to any workout.
Everyone here at Military Muscle loves weight training, and we all enjoy it as part of a varied exercise plan. So, we love sharing tips and showing others how much fun they can have if they start weight training.
If you’re considering adding weight training to your fitness regime, then keep reading, and we’ll share some of the benefits and how you can begin.
This article will deconstruct the science behind lifting weights and will take a deep dive into why we lift weights, what this does to the body, and the benefits to lifting weights.
This article will discuss:
- What Is Weight Training?
- What Are The Benefits Of Weight Training?
- Lifting Weights for seniors
- Weightlifting for Women
- How Can You Get Started?
- How to Build Muscle
- Solutions to Improve your Performance
What Is Weight Training?
Broadly speaking, weight training is any type of workout that involves lifting heavy objects to improve your strength and muscles. 
There are many different types of weight training, including doing reps with small free weights or using static weight machines to achieve extreme power.
It can involve using a variety of types of equipment, including free weights, weight machines, resistance bands and even the weight of your own body.
As such, it’s possible to do many forms of weight training at home or in a private space. However, some require specialist equipment that is more often found in a gym.
Some of the main types of weightlifting include:
- Bodybuilding: Doing reps with heavy weights to bulk up your body and improve your strength
- Circuit Training: Using weights as part of a series of exercises done in quick bursts
- Isometric Weight Training: Static weight training that involves lifting a weight to a set position and holding it there to improve your stamina and physical endurance
- Resistance Training: Using the resistance from the weight, a resistance band or even the weight of parts of your body to your muscles contraction to improve your strength
- Powerlifting: A sport that involves repeating specific lifts and exercises, such as weighted squats, with a heavy weight
- Targeted Or High Volume Weight Training: This type of weight training is similar to bodybuilding but involves only working out one muscle or group of muscles at a time to improve a specific aspect of your physique
These are some of the types of weight training that you can consider adding to your fitness regime. Each type of weight training is different, and some can blend into each or have shared characteristics.
As such, you can choose to incorporate multiple types of weight training into your workout schedule. Some gyms might call these types of training by different names, so don’t be alarmed if you notice something that you’ve never heard of before.
Instead, you should do your research to understand the results that can be achieved with each type of weight training. You can then make an informed choice about what types of weight training you will add to your workout schedule.
The type of weight training that you choose depends on your overall fitness goals, as well as the time and effort that you’re willing to put into your training.
What Are The Benefits Of Weight Training?
Weight training requires a great deal of commitment and can be incredibly grueling and time-consuming. So, the question is, why do it?
The answer is that weight training offers many different benefits, depending on the type of weight training you do and how much effort you put into it.
Some of the benefits of weight training include:
- Improving your body’s stamina and endurance
- Benefiting your bone density
- Increasing the strength of other parts of your body, such as the tendons and joints
- Helping you to reduce fat mass
- Builds muscle mass
- Allowing you to get better sleep
- Can improve your posture if done right
- Weight training can reduce and prevent some sporting injuries
- Studies show it could benefit your production of some hormones that could boost your mood and cognitive skills
- It can prevent chronic diseases
- Weight training could help you to improve your body confidence
Let's take a closer look at these benefits of weight training:
Stamina and Endurance
The common thought is that aerobic training such as running or cycling increases endurance and stamina, and this is correct. The notion that weight lifting increases strength and anaerobic power is also correct.
However, it isn't considered that the latter can also increase endurance capacity, yet research published in the Sports Medicine journal found that including weight training alongside aerobic training does increase that endurance but only for land based endurance events such running or cycling.
It was found that while weight training can increase swimming velocity it didn't result in an improved swimming performance. 
People often forget about their bone health, however, diseases such as osteoporosis cause bones to become brittle and weak which can lead to fractures, it may come as a surprise to learn that it affects around 54 million Americans.
One of the simplist ways to stimulate bone formation is to encounter mechanical loads that exceed everyday experiences. In short that means do some weight lifting because it has been proven to be highly beneficial to preserve bone mass. 
Tendons, Ligaments and Joints
Tendons and ligaments attach the muscle to other muscles and to bones. It keeps the joints in place so that we have a smooth mechanical operation to lead our daily lives such as walking, drinking a cup of coffee or taking a swim at lunchtime.
Therefore it is imperative that to have a fully functioning muscoskeletal system that our tendons, ligaments and joints work as intended.
One way to ehance this functioning is through weight training. As far back as 1975 it was identified by the Medicine and Science in Sports journal that mechanical stress from training was an important factor for joints and junctions between ligamanets and tendons. 
Theoretically it is very simple to reduce fat mass, you simply burn more calories than you consume, most foods provide calories which is used as energy. By creating this calorie deficit, you will, over time lose fat mass (and muscle mass if you are not too careful).
It is considered that a healthy and sustainable weight loss program can reduce your body weight by about 0.5kg/1lb per week.
To create a calorie deficit you either need to reduce your calorie intake so it provides fewer calories than your body needs to function or you need to exercise more than the calories consumed would provide energy for. This way the body can use the stored energy that is found in fat mass.
However, do not erraticate fats from your diet. Aa general rule of thumb is that 20-30% of your daily calorie intake comes from fats, preferabbly healthy unsaturated fats.
This is because fats store vital vitamins and mineals which can in turn regulate your hormone levels.
Any exercise requires energy, some more than others, but weight training has proven to be particularly useful for older adults to lose fat and maintain muscle mass according to research by Wake Forest University. 
Muscle Mass Gains
Many people may wish to go to the gym and lift weight to purely build more muscle mass and become bigger. This could be for aestethic reasons or to help prevent injury for sports such as rugby or even soldiers. 
Nobody likes to lose sleep, it can leave us feeling short tempered, stressed and reduce our overall performance.
However, research published by the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that weight training to a persons 60% of one repitition maximum could improve sleep for elderly people. 
Having an incorrect posture can increase the stress paced on the joints of a person which can lead to injury.
Therefore it may come as no surprise to learn that performing core strengthening exercises can have a positive effect on your posture and retrain the control of normal allignment. 
Being injured can be frustrating experience and hinder your chances of making any real physical progress, be this for playing sports or just recreational training. While you can exercise to help injury recovery studies suggest that weight training promotes growth and connective tissue strength which will prevent injuries. 
Mood and Cognition
A study based on twins found that muscle fitness was positively correlated with healthy cognitive ageing over a 10 year period. 
Furthermore, there is evidence to support the use of low volume resistance exercise to improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety. 
Prevent Chronic Disease
According to the World Health Organization, the top three leading causes of death are cardiovascular related. 
It is now accepted and recognized by leading health and exercise bodies such as the American College of Sports Medicine that weight training is a significant component of fitness that can contribute to improved cardiovascular function and reduce coronary risk factors. 
The Mental Health Foundation report that mental health related problems are one of the main causes of overall disease burden throughout the world which contributes towards suicide and ischemic heart disease. 
One of the benefits associated with weight training is the improved perception of self esteem and self-perception which boosts overall self-confidence and health. 
Weight Training for Seniors
Throughout your total life you will begin to see dramatic changes to the vessel that is your body. In age, your metabolic rate will decelerate, meaning the rate at which your body will burn calories will also slow down.
Due to this natural part of getting older, you might accumulate unwanted weight and fat. To add, the makeup of your body – both your internal organs, and their cells will begin to wane, as the regenerative processes that renew these grinds to a halt.
There are plenty of sports science books and exercise manuals that preach exercise according to your age and while in some cases, a reduction in intensity is recommended; it is highly suggested to keep strength training to maintain muscle, bolstering the musculoskeletal system before issues such as loss of bone mass arrive. 
How can lifting weights help?
Exercise through weightlifting keeps a person active, and in later age, can help them stay vigorous in both mind and body. It is understood that approximately after the age of 40, muscle tissue shrinkage can escalate gradual strength loss.
However, a regime of lifting weights can both impede the rate of muscle and strength decline, and actually reverse this by attacking an age-induced sluggish metabolism. Medical professionals on the topic advise that you can stunt the downspiral of the metabolism through the thermic effect of a high-protein diet, combined with weight training.
The strength and muscle building activity plus the optimal diet allow for the mechanism of protein synthesis to take place, whereby muscle hypertrophy can appropriately respond and adapt to the resistance of the weight lifted.  
Lifting weights for those aged 60+
Although it should be assessed on a person-by-person basis, the scientific literature points towards a theme of more drastic muscle loss in the elderly - 60 years and over in age.
In one study, it gathered that exercise classed as strength training is quintessential in heightening mobility, important for daily activities as the human body regresses overtime. 
The study raised the discussion that the function of training for people in this age range should be planned with the intention to prevent wasting muscle, in tandem, with the intention to stop the loss of motor function in the body. It articulates that weight lifting can be important and restorative to motor function, and is a stable for keeping and growing strong, lean muscle.
In conclusion, it drew that muscle loss can not only be successfully counteracted but muscle gain can continually be achieved through training 3 or 4 times in a week.
In reference to the study above, and with advice from a medical professional, weight training and progressive strength training can be an effective tool for extending the lifespan, improving quality of life, and eliminating generalised skeletal muscular disorder in elderly people.
Using Weightlifting to Fight Inactivity
The human body is weakest when it is not used. It becomes a really important component to longevity to remain active as age takes its grip.
After only 24 hours of bed rest, the human body’s ability to maintain regular blood pressure during physical activity diminishes.
It therefore is important to keep a constancy to your fitness, as your sympathetic nerve activity reduces in age, which might make it harder to return to physical exercise after long periods of inactivity.
Weightlifting can be the grease to your groove that adds routine, discipline, and objective goals to your life where your fitness and health are concerned. 
In the United Kingdom it is known that there are at least 200,000 people that live with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) at one time.
The organisation ME Research discovered that patients over 50 suffered much more with fatigue, depression, and a generally lower quality of life.
It also pinpointed the physiological effects of age and how keeping active is essential in combating the wear and tear, and cumulative effects of aging and CFS together.
For aging people with CFS it is advised that exercise is carried out in a slow and calculated fashion. It is also recommended not to avoid it as it can promote the following:
- Muscle Strength
- Prevention of Heart Disease
- Prevention of Circulatory Issues
- Maintenance of Lung Function
- Maintenance of Bone Density
Does weight training increase testosterone?
Testosterone in the body begins to drop off with age, for men this can be detrimental if it snowballs or if you become deficient in testosterone.
Your libido can vanish or decline if testosterone drops outside of the normal parameters, along with confidence, increased body fat, weakness in bones, irritability and more.
A study mapped out the results of strength training on young and old in relation to growth hormone and testosterone. It found that strength training over the course of 12 weeks rewarded the participants with growth hormone and testosterone release regardless of age.
This showcases further why it is doubly important to do resistance training as age begins to cast a shadow on a man. Keeping testosterone in the normal range, is a healthy practice that can be realised by lifting weights.
It can be pointedly enhanced with a well-balanced diet, proper sleep schedule, stress management and/or a testosterone booster. 
Do not be discouraged by age or years past.
Health and fitness researchers actively eschew notions that older people should not use resistance exercise.
Strength training via lifting weights is unprecedented in its capacity to fight against age-related decline of muscle mass, strength, and vitality. In strength you will be able to retain physical function and importantly – independence.
Weightlifting for Women
Weightlifting is excellent in sculpting your body, by developing muscle and muscle tone, while also promoting fat loss.
It also worth demolishing the myth that an appetite for strength training will blow a woman up into a cartoonish bulk of muscle more closely resembling an ox.
This is not true as muscle growth in excess is hampered by estrogen in the body. Estrogen can be excellent for recovery and retention of muscle tissue, but the natural hormone will provide a shorter ceiling for muscle growth.
It is also relevant to say that the women moreover begin from a lower baseline of muscle and strength than men. Therefore, they should not compare themselves directly to men in this field, or female elite strength athletes as these are not realistic indicators of how muscle will accrue in the body after completing exercise.
Most significant to note, is that you can become a strong, lean, and healthy individual using weightlifting. It can be done secondarily to a sport, as part of your long-term training strategy to increase sports performance and is best done in conjunction who coach or personal trainer who can recommend strength training exercises most compatible with your sport. 
Lifting weights for the most part has been presented online as being a male orientated sphere, with very little female representation.
Now, this might be disconcerting for a woman, as it predicates ideas that strength training might be exclusive to men. In the past few years women and weightlifting has developed momentum, as sports like power lifting, Olympic weightlifting and cross fit have taken off.
Simultaneously, women in these events have cultivated growth in the fitness lifestyle world, unleashing a domino effect where lifting weights has become popular in gyms with your everyday woman.
As you can see, weight training has many benefits, but only if it’s done right. Like any type of exercise, weight training has its disadvantages, but these are comparatively few.
The main disadvantage of weight training is that you need to make sure that you do it right. That means that it’s hard to start weight training on your own without the help of a professional.
While a lot of weight training equipment can be purchased online and used in your home, larger machines are expensive and take up a lot of space.
As such, weight training is a form of exercise that is best done in a gym, with the help of a personal trainer who specializes in helping people to start using weights correctly.
Unlike other types of fitness training, such as running or cardio, weight training isn’t simple and easy to start. If you do it wrong, then you could injure yourself and potentially do yourself more harm than good.
Weight training offers many benefits, but it should still be included in a varied exercise plan with a selection of other types of exercise, such as cardio, stretching, and others.
By creating a varied workout for yourself, you can work towards earning the body and physical endurance that you’ve always wanted.
How Can You Get Started?
Now that you can see the many benefits of weight training, you might want to jump straight in and start lifting weights as part of your workout plan.
However, as mentioned above, weight training isn’t easy to start. You can’t just grab the kettlebells and get on with it. Weight training requires skill, knowledge and equipment, all of which you probably don’t have if you’re a complete beginner.
As such, you should consider working with a professional trainer when you first start weight training. They can use their experience to help you to plan a weight training regime that will give you the maximum benefit.
When you first start doing weight training exercises, you should always warm up first and make sure that you stretch to prepare your body for your training.
Get the advice of your personal trainer on the type of weight training that you should undertake and the weights that you start with so that you can achieve your fitness aims.
Then, as you improve and begin to achieve short-term targets, you can gradually start increasing the weights that you lift, but only if your trainer believes that you can handle it.
Whenever you’re weight training, whether in a gym or at your home, you must ensure that you rest between reps and give your body enough time to recover.
If you’re not sure about how much weight training you should do in each session or how regularly you should undertake it, then you should consult your personal trainer.
As you get better at weight training and start improving your physique, you can do more weight training sessions and consider doing some light and easy exercises at home.
Doing weight training at home, and not just on the days that you visit your gym, could help you to keep your progress up even on days when you’re not doing a full workout.
Even just short bursts of training could make a serious difference to your performance and general wellbeing, so try to set aside 10 minutes to half an hour every day to do some light weight training and cardio exercises.
To do these exercises from home safely, you’ll need some specialist equipment. Some of the items that you might need to start weight training, which can be taken to the gym or used at home, include:
- Dumbbells, Barbells, Kettlebells and other free weights of varied sizes
- Resistance bands
- Water bottles that can be filled with water and used as weights
- A stability ball
- A pull-up bar to fix between a doorframe
- Strap-on ankle or wrist weights
- Wrist straps, gloves and weightlifting belts to keep your joints and body safe
- Comfortable clothing that isn’t too tight but fits well to your body and doesn’t flap around you as you train
- Thin trainers that will keep your feet clean but will allow you to feel the floor
- A non-slip mat for your floor
This list isn’t exact: you might not want or need everything on it. Equally, you might find some items online or in a fitness store that could be useful for your weight training journey.
So, take the time to find the right weight training products to suit your needs. Check out a range of retailers, both online and in-store and read reviews of products and brands before you invest in them.
Once you’ve got everything ready and have a plan agreed with your personal trainer, then it’s time for the fun part: getting started!
As mentioned previously, you need to start slowly and ease yourself into weight training. If you jump straight in and start with the heaviest weights, then you could hurt yourself and create negative associations with weight training in your mind.
Should you notice any change in your body that doesn’t feel positive, such as a strain or ache, then check with your trainer. When you first start weight training, you can expect your body to ache and feel tired, as you’re just getting used to this strenuous form of exercise.
However, if you feel excessive pain or are worried about your body, then you should get it checked out by a medical professional. They can advise you on how to ensure that you’re safe while you enjoy weight training.
By following these tips and listening to both your body and personal trainer, you’ll be able to start your weight training journey right.
Weight training to Build Muscle
Gaining muscle may seem simple, you simply lift weights, right? In short, yes. However, if you want the most bang for your buck you want to use compound exercises.
Compound (or core) exercises maximise muscle hypertrophy; that is muscle growth. This is because compound exercises employ large amounts of muscle within a single exercise and stimulate a greater hormonal response. 
There is speculation over many different approaches to volume and intensity for maximum growth but, a study published by the Physiological Reports journal found that maximum hypertrophy was acheived from 3-5 repetitions of a weight within 90% of the users 1 repetition max (1RM). 
Best Exercises for Muscular Strength
While the type of exercise may not be that specific to become 'strong' as you will benefit from performing many exercises, however, your foundation should be built upon those compound lifts.
What is more more important is the volume and load.
Best results come from lifting 80% of your 1RM in 2-6 sets of less than 6 reps. 
Typically this may look like the following:
If your 1RM is 100kg for the bench press, you should aim to do 2-6 sets of 5 reps at 80kg.
However, this is merely a guide as strength adaptations may vary between different people, but this guide does work best amongst the core exercises.
Another consideration is the rest period. It has been observed that for the best strength gains are acheived using core exercises and having rests of 3 minutes between sets rather than a rest of less than 1 minute.
Again, if you are new to weight lifting, the foundation should be built on compound/core exercises.
All that changes to increase muscular size is the volume and load.
In this case, you may wish to reduce the load to around 70-85% of your 1RM, so if we take the case of the 100kg 1RM bench press, reduce your weight to about 75-85kg and increase the volume to 6-12 repetitions.
If you are looking to improve your muscular endurance, perhaps for events that will require a higher level of aerobic fitness, you need to reduce the weight, so less than 67% of your 1RM and increase the volume to over 12 reps.
Best Exercises for Back Muscle
Best Exercises for Chest Muscle
- Bench press
- Cable Fly
Best Exercises for Leg Muscle
- Front squat
- Back squat
- Leg curls
- Calf extensions
Best Exercises for Arm Muscle
- Dumbbell alternating curl
- Triceps pushdown
- Barbell biceps curl
- Laying triceps extension
Best Exercises for Shoulder Muscle
- Overhead seated press
- Military press
- Push jerk
- Lateral shoulder raise
- Shoulder shrug
Best Exercises to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat
The holy grail that many people are looking for...
As already mentioned, to lose fat we need to be in a calorie deficit, this means either eating less calories than we are burning through exercise or burning more calories by being more active.
To increase muscle mass we need to acheive a positive 'net protein balance'. This means that you need to consume more protein than is being broken down by the muscle as a result of weight training to promote muscle growth. 
Research suggests the best way to lose fat and encourage muscle growth is through concurrent training. 
That can be acheived by incorporating both aerobic training such as jogging or cycling which burns lots of calories and resistance training accompanied by consuming around 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight to induce muscle protein synthesis and maintain lean muscle mass. 
What Solutions Can You Use To Improve Your Performance?
As you start weight training, you’ll notice some of the physical benefits if you do it right. Over time, you’ll find that you need to take more time and do more work to make improvements.
That’s because, after initial weight loss and muscle toning, you might find that you have to do more work to achieve significant gains.
It’s the same for everyone; initially, you see an improvement when you start exercising, but after a while, you’re simply maintaining your current body mass and strength. To improve it even further, you’ll have to train even harder and work more to ensure that you keep getting better, faster and stronger.
A professional personal trainer will be able to advise you on how to set and attain realistic fitness goals, but there are also many ways that you can improve your performance and make the most out of your workouts.
There are many ways that you can make the most out of your weight training regime, including:
- Optimizing every aspect of your workout regime
- Making sure that your goals are realistic and that you don’t overwork yourself
- Using high-quality weight training equipment
- Getting enough quality sleep
- Eating a balanced diet with all the nutrients, you need
- Drinking enough fluids, particularly plain water
- Make sure all of your other needs, such as sexual contact, are met
- Improve your mental health because anxiety and poor mental wellbeing can result in a lack of motivation and drive
Many of these techniques, such as making sure that you get enough quality sleep and that your body has all the nutrients it needs, can be helped along by taking a supplement such as Military Muscle.
Military Muscle is a unique combination of a range of different ingredients, vitamins and minerals. These nutritious ingredients include Ashwagandha, Fenugreek, Zinc, Iron, Boron, Urtica Dioica and Mucuna Pruriens.
Our supplement also contains vitamins A, K2, and D. When combined, these ingredients, vitamins and nutrients can help to improve your body’s natural production of Testosterone and Dopamine.
Each ingredient is included in the right amount and has scientific evidence to back up its inclusion in this top-quality supplement.
That’s why many athletes of all levels, bodybuilders, and general fitness fanatics, choose Military Muscle to enhance their diet and get the most out of their workouts.
Incorporating Military Muscle into a balanced diet can help you to feel more motivated, boost your libido and allow you to get the most out of your exercise regime.
The product contains no animal by-products, which means that it’s safe for anyone who’s on a plant-based diet. It can also be incorporated into any diet, as long as it contains a balanced mixture of fruits, vegetables, legumes, protein, grains and carbohydrates.
With help from Military Muscle, the guidance of an experienced personal trainer and a lot of hard work, you can use weight training to improve your fitness and, ultimately, your whole life.
Weight training is a great way to improve your muscle mass and make the most out of your workouts. It can give you all of the benefits listed above, so it’s a great way to spice up your exercise regime.
If you want to start weight training, then you need to do it right. Start slowly and work with professional personal trainers to ensure that you incorporate weights into your workouts safely.
Use these tips to optimize your training and ensure that you get the most out of every workout you do. Remember that it takes time to see physical evidence of your weight training, such as increased muscle mass.
Our team love weight training, and all undertake a rigorous workout regime. If you want to get more tips on how to improve your health and fitness, then consider following our blog.
On it, we share a range of tips and articles about different types of fitness techniques and nutrition. So, we can help you to achieve your fitness goals and improve your general health.
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