We are thrilled to introduce a guest blog from Matthews McGarry of Ripped Me.
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and has spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for a better life. He is an all-around fitness advisor and his words are strong as an Australian Bull.
You can check out Mathews' site here.
Mainly because of the way weightlifters are portrayed in popular culture, a gym may seem like a very intimidating place, especially for the newbies who are unfamiliar with the environment. However, the benefits of strength training are far too incredible to pass up, simply because you are worried about what the “gym bros” might think. Weightlifting has the ability to change your life in so many different ways, and here are just a few of the ways you might see your life improve, when you start strength training.
1. Diminish Health Risks
In a Boston University study, researchers injected a “push-up gene” into a mouse in order to examine how strength building affects metabolism. The researchers concluded that strength exercises reduce the risk of obesity, lower your blood pressure and resolve metabolic disorders. In addition, the scientist also found out that certain strength training programs could replicate most health benefits associated with cycling, swimming and running, without extra endurance training.
2. Prevent Future Muscle Loss
Many people believe that when we get old, we automatically lose muscle mass, however, that’s not the case. Generally, the loss of muscle mass is caused by a process called sarcopenia. A study published by the American Geriatrics Society revealed that strength training is effective as a therapeutic intervention to increase skeletal muscle mass. Even though you may not notice it, muscle loss starts early (usually in your mid-to-late twenties), so the study recommends that people should start exercising as soon as they reach their full height.
3. Boost Your Brain
The idea that brain and brawn are mutually exclusive is deeply embedded in our culture, but science claims otherwise. It turns out that hitting book is not the only way of boosting your brain. Newest research from the Psychobiology and Exercise Research Center in Sao Paolo indicates that strength training promotes neurogenesis – the growth of new neurons in the brain.
4. More Muscle, Less Anxiety
A study published in Harvard Men’s Health Watch has found that in addition to physical health, regular exercising habits reduce stress, depression and anxiety. After ten weeks of weight training, a large majority of subjects agreed that exercising reduced their depression symptoms more successfully than counseling. Exercising reduces the levels of adrenaline and cortisol, and stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators.
5. You Can Train Once a Week and See Results
Most of us don’t have the time to hit the gym more than a few times a week; and is it really worth lifting weights once a week? In a recent study , researchers followed two groups of subjects – one group performing strength training once a week, the other twice a week. After a few months, scientists concluded that a once-a-week frequency could be just as effective on your strength as a more rigorous schedule. Of course, you cannot waste time on ineffective routines, so consider hiring a gym trainer to help you maximize your training.
It’s All Up to You
Despite all of the health and mental benefits, everything depends on how you perform your activities and programs. Moreover, these studies are just the tip of the iceberg, you should educate yourself even more, and as we have already mentioned, work with highly educated gym trainers and coaches. Even if your training time is limited – doing something is better than doing nothing. While training once a week will not give you a Schwarzenegger-esque physique, the small gains might motivate you to exercise more often when your schedule allows it.