The potential benefits from performing resistance exercise, whether it is calisthenics or lifting weights are immense. These benefits are rather well known yet most still shy away from pushing themselves in the lifting area of the fitness arena.

Research shows that not only can resistance training improve your body composition and give you a toned appearance; it’s actually the best type of training to achieve these goals. Weight training is commonly thought of as workouts for men and women who simply want to body-build but there are a huge range of incredible benefits. Building lean tissue makes you stronger, decreases your risk of diabetes, fights osteoporosis, prevents back pain, makes your joints more stable, and even helps you fight depression. I want to talk about five less or unknown benefits of resistance training:

Be A Better Mover

Lifting weights should reinforce correct posture and movement patterns.  It teaches you to control your body parts, movements and positions when under load. A great resistance programme balances strength ratios of muscles and counters poor posture. Resistance training also improves the strength of joint stabilisers, protecting you from injury as well as improving dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.

Lean Tissue Fights Fat

Resistance training develops type 2 muscle fibres. Research shows that type 2 muscle fibres improve whole-body metabolism and can reduce body fat without changes to diet. Want to eat that extra piece of cake without feeling guilty? Do some squats and push ups.

Insulin Management

To achieve optimal health and body composition you must aim to be as insulin sensitive as possible. World leading strength and conditioning coach, Charles Poliquin, states “for every 10% increase in muscle mass you’ll get an 11% reduction in insulin resistance. Even when you’re not working out, muscle consumes the majority of glucose that is in the blood (70-90%)”. This means you’ll be less likely to store carbohydrates as fat when you have more muscle

Ladies; The Key Word Is Lean

Body tone means seeing the definition of muscles. We must have enough muscle mass for that and in order to make them visible we must have lower percentage of body fat. The only thing “bulky” on a human body is fat. Therefore, don’t fear resistance training, as lifting weights is not going to turn you into a muscle-bound monster. Building huge muscles takes a huge amount of work. Resistance training will more likely build a fit and lean looking physique.

Strengthen the Mind & Will

Resistance training doesn’t just condition the body, it also strengthens the mind. Overcoming resistance is tough and therefore teaches you persistence and resilience, the ability to embrace discomfort and challenge yourself. Lifting weights requires focus and concentration. Testing your limits under load builds inner confidence that will crossover to help you deal with tough situations in all parts of your life.

The gains you can experience and develop from lifting weights are exceptional. Don’t shy away from lifting heavy things if you want optimum health and body composition.

Phil Kelly is a health practitioner and expert in body transformation. His services are available at Star Fitness (starfitnesssaigon.com).