Strength - or resistance - training is one of the most amazing things you can do for your body and mind. No longer the reserve of grunting guys channelling their inner Arnie looking for 'dem gainz' in the gym, strength training is accessible to anyone and can be done almost anywhere.
Whether you want to train in a gym, studio, outside or at home; whether you want to train with a coach, friend or on your own, you too can reap the benefits of strength training.
So, if looking 'toned' or getting 'hench' isn't the be all and end all of strength training, what else does it provide?
Well, who better to answer that question than true students of strength? Here's 5 reasons Spark Fitness clients believe strength training is one of the most awesome things you will do for yourself this year.
1. Confidence and positive thinking
Perhaps one of the most commonly experienced benefits, this is something I hear time and time again. Strength training teaches you so many things but more than anything it teaches you that you're capable of more. Every time you learn a new skill, lift something heavier, move something better you learn a little more about yourself and gain a little more self-belief.
Which leads us directly into...
Perseverance and determination
The grit, resilience and commitment required to achieve that next PB or to master that new exercise steadily transfers into the rest of your life without you even realising; before you know it, you're making more confident decisions, taking on challenges you never expected and moving through life with more self-belief and determination than you thought possible. Strength training teaches you to never doubt yourself. You are capable of anything you put your mind and body to.
Fun and enjoyment
I'm sure they won't mind me saying that this secret of strength training came from two of my clients who are both in their 60s. Strength training is not just a pursuit for the young; in fact the older you get, the more important it is to be strength training as physical benefits include improved bone density, increased muscle mass, and reduced risk of heart disease.
However, the most important reason is one of the simplest. It's fun! Lifting heavy stuff is quite simply fun... and if you haven't tried it, you're seriously missing out!
From the mum of a toddler, this is perhaps one of the most precious secrets of strength training. Sleepless nights, early mornings and stressful days at work can mean you often feel drained, exhausted and ready for bed at 6pm. Rather than adding to this, strength training actually provides you with more energy. It gives you that vital get-up-and-go you've been looking for and is far more effective than a sugary treat or a caffeine hit... not to mention more healthy!
A peachy bum
This one made me laugh... but it's true! One of the things I hear from people who start strength training early on is 'I'm sure my bum's lifted'!
Ok, so there may well be more 'virtuous' reasons to strength train, but let's be honest, who doesn't want a peachy bum?!
Above all, what struck me the most was how strength training has provided people with a full transformation of body AND mind. Every one of my clients began with a different reason, individual and personal to them, but each of them has discovered the many secrets that strength training offers... and just to really push home how awesome strength training is, here's the full list:
- Less negative and more positive thinking
- The ability to fit into my jeans
- a peachy bum
- better posture
- stronger stomach
- smaller waist (yay!)
- More energy
What would you add to the list? Why not come and find me on Facebook and let me know your secrets of strength training?