10. Add spice to your gym life. Get off those big machines and try mixing it up with exercises that work your whole body synergistically. Weight training has a new face. It’s just not pumping iron. Using your body away from the machines can be more fun and uses balance and functional movements like bending and squatting.
9. Can be done with minimal equipment…a small set of hand weights, a few props and your own body weight.
8. A variety of equipment can be used to change it up. Just one exercise like the row can be performed with hand weights, bands, TRX/Rip 60 straps, cable and stationary machines sitting or standing. Rows can be performed kneeling on a bench, from a plank position, standing in a bent row, or lying over a Swiss ball. Balance and core muscles can be challenged from instability by standing on one leg, rowing single armed, standing on a foam pad, a Bosu, a single leg or in a deep squat.
7. No time for boredom. You only have to do 8-20 repetitions of each exercise then you take a break or move on. Beginners start at a low intensity weight with more reps (12-20) to build endurance and gradually progressive overload is applied where the weight is increased and the reps decreased (8-12) so that the last rep is performed only with effort.
6. Workout plans can be designed in many ways, depending on your training goals, and easily changed as your fitness changes. Two examples to begin with are: vertical loading, performing each exercise set (of 8-20 repetitions, see above) in a circuit style then repeating each exercise set two to three times or horizontal loading, performing each exercise set, two or three times, then moving on to the next exercise.
5. Can be done with just a few exercises. As few as four basic exercises based off the squat, row, chest press, and plank can build overall body strength, core stability and improve balance. (Not counting stretching done before and after each workout.)
4. Gets results. Your body will change visibly. Twice a week great results, three times a week amazing results, add cardio two or three times a week and you are strong and buff (if you are lean enough to see the muscle). Don’t worry, ladies, you won’t bulk up, you’ll firm up.
3. Burns more calories. Muscle burns calories so the more muscle you have the more calories you burn. From Women’s Fitness Magazine, “..the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who completed an hour-long strength-training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than they did when they hadn’t lifted weights.” (April, 2009)
2. Makes you stronger in everyday life. It’s proven to never be too late to start weight training. Being stronger helps you lift and move and carry and bend and squat and reach and do whatever you do and to keep your balance while you’re at it.
1. Fights aging. Really. Mentally, physically Best exercise modality to do so. Science says so.
Read more about the benefits of strength training in this Mayo Clinic article on fitness.