Weight training makes your muscles grow by increasing the size of your muscle fibers and storing more glycogen in the muscles. (Two factors contribute to hypertrophy: sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which focuses more on increased muscle glycogen storage; and myofibrillar hypertrophy, which focuses more on increased myofibril size). Because of a man’s hormonal make-up, they can usually develop larger muscles than women. Women simply don’t have the same levels of testosterone as men do but, with hard work, they can all increase the size and shape of their muscles. With increased muscle tone and definition, we can all be leaner, more fit and more youthful.
Increases Muscular Strength and Endurance
Weight training builds strength, which means, the amount of force you can exert. Strong muscles stabilize joints, help improve athletic performance, and let you do daily activities like carrying groceries, going up stairs, or pushing a wheel barrow, with more ease. Weight training even rebuilds strength and endurance when muscles have atrophied, as a result of injury or illness.
Helps Burn Fat
If you want to get leaner, start weight training, now! Studies show that for every pound of muscle you gain, you can burn 7-10 more calories per pound, per day, at rest! Muscle is your metabolically active tissue. Excessive fat tissue is just baggage (2-3 calories per lb.). A 135 lb. female, who has 30% body fat has 40 pounds of fat and 95 lbs. of fat free mass (which included muscle). Another 135 lb. woman has 15% body fat, 20 pounds of fat and 115 lbs. of fat free mass. Who burns more calories per day? It may not be a huge difference but it is an advantage, just the same.
Increases Bone Density
Weight training develops bone mass by stimulating bone cells to produce more bone. Osteoporosis is an age-related disease that “thins the bones”. Women are more prone to this than men due to pregnancy, breast feeding and restrictive dieting (low calcium). Hip, spine and wrist fractures are common in women over 45 years of age, due to low bone density. Studies show that bone density is higher in both weight-trained men and women, compared to those who don’t lift.
Postpones Old Age
As we age, we begin to lose strength and muscle tone. This whole process can begin as early as your late 20’s unless you are involved in a regular exercise that includes weight training. Working with resistance (body weight, aqua exercise, free weights or machines) is the only form of exercise, regardless of age, that will rejuvenate muscle tissue.