3 min read
Many people lift weights to look fitter, healthier, and stronger. But lifting weights doesn't just strengthen your muscles and make you look good. It also helps to improve your bone and joint health. Having strong bones and joints is important to fight the natural weakening of bones that occurs as we age. Lifting weights also can reduce your risk of injury. Muscles form the foundation for all the movement, balance, and coordination of your body. So, a body strengthened through weight lifting may be less likely to suffer injury. Lastly, you might not associate weight lifting with your heart, weight training also has significant cardiovascular benefits that can improve your long-term health.
Light weights are a great solution for people who are new to strength training, or for those working to build muscle stamina. But just like you wouldn’t want to stick to one class type (no matter how much you love it), using only light weights could eventually cause a fitness plateau. By occasionally swapping in heavier weights, you can work toward becoming stronger and developing more muscle mass. By continually increasing the loads and demands on the body, you will gain muscle size, strength, and endurance.
Heavy lifting gets even more vital as we age as it helps with bone density. It's also great if you are looking to lose weight or tone up because it increases your resting metabolic rate, which means you burn more calories even when you're not working out.
Aim to lift heavy weights one to three times a week. Keep in mind that you may need a few different sets of heavy weights for your workout. You'll be able to lift much heavier with your legs using a leg press machine, than what you can lift with your biceps. And remember, "heavy" will be different for everyone! If you're used to doing 8 reps with a 10-pound dumbbell, aim to do 8 reps with a 15-pound dumbbell at least once a week, and slowly increase as you get stronger! Make sure you’ve got the form down for the basic strength training exercises first before you start working with heavier weights.
Think you're ready? Try incorporating one to two heavy lifting sessions a week, with two rest days in between to properly recover! Let us know if you notice a difference in your progress!