A common misconception surrounding weight lifting is that lifting weights makes you bulky and large; however, this is not always the case.
It is true lifting weights can help you achieve greater muscle mass and define your physique. However, weight training can also strengthen muscles, improve balance and metabolism, preserve bone mineral density, and support healthy fat loss.
How it works:
Resistance training causes tiny tears in the muscle as the components within stretch and contract to cause movement. The body will respond by eliciting a recovery response consisting of acute inflammation. This inflammation is followed by the rebuilding of even stronger muscle. Over time, with proper recovery, muscles can grow in size through a process called hypertrophy. Even if attaining larger muscles isn’t your goal, you will still benefit from an increased amount of lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass consists of tissue that is more metabolically active, meaning it uses more substrates and burns more calories daily. With the addition of cardiovascular training and proper nutrition, the two exercise components combined can result in fat loss, revealing a more toned physique.
There are other benefits to gaining lean muscle mass from weight lifting that is less visible in the mirror. Weight training that involves multiple muscle groups of the body increases stability and core strength. This is vital when performing most daily activities. In addition, lifting weights preserves bone mineral density. Bone mineral density naturally declines with age but is important in preventing osteoporosis and maintaining overall bone health. Exercises that involve weight bearing movements such as running and lifting weights stimulates deposits of newer, stronger bone. As a result, your body can better support the load on its joints and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, arthritis, and other related conditions.
Weight training is also beneficial for athletes seeking to improve performance, speed, and power. Establishing a strong foundation is key to enhancing performance and avoiding injury. Exercises such as squats, lunges, planks, and back strengthening movements contribute to the development of a strong core and overall framework. For example, exercises that target the core and glutes are crucial to a runner’s form, as the glutes provide power for a strong, efficient stride.
Weight lifting and training also has the capacity to correct muscular imbalances that result from daily patterns of activity such as prolonged periods of sitting or slouching. Improving posture through weight training can reduce chronic pain and prevent further injury.
Whether your goal is to build lean muscle, lose fat, increase performance, or get out of pain, our training team at Santa Cruz CORE can help you get there.!