8 reasons to lift weights (beyond muscle)

What’s up, Fringe Fam?! Today, we’re bringing you the 8 benefits to strength training beyond just muscles. We know, we know. Big muscles are the number one benefit to strength training, but there are others that are worth mentioning. Here we go:

1. Strength training helps with all functional movement in your life

This is kind of obvious, but often overlooked. Think about the grocery store scenario: you do your shopping (for meal planning and prep for the week, right), load up your car, drive the load home, and if you’re a strong man or woman (cliche, but who doesn't try to do this?) you’ll take all of the bags in both hands in at one time, only making one trip (while you may or may not be pretending that all those groceries are heavy kettlebells in your hands)

If you’re strong, this becomes significantly easier. You’ll be the strong person your friends call to help them move (not sure if this is a good or bad thing), the person on the airplane to help others put their luggage in their overhead bin with ease, and the person who’s able to help the people in your life with their heavy tasks.

2. Strength training helps avoid diabetes

There are a few types of diabetes, and obviously this doesn’t have anything to do with preventing the child onset type, or Type 1 diabetes. But, adult onset diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, is a real and debilitating disease.

Studies show that regular strength training minimizes the risk of the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

3. Strength training increases bone density

PK is 41 years old. While that isn’t terribly old, it’s older than he’s ever been. As people age, especially females who might experience osteoporosis, you’ll start to see decreased bone density, which leads to a huge problem as you age even older because it decreases the youthful span of your life. It’s easier to break bones, harder to be active, and generally harder to live with decreased bone density.

Again, studies show that strength training is almost like magic for increasing bone density, or at least making sure that bone density does not decrease.

4. Strength training increases endorphins, and reduces stress

This is our personal favorite reason, and we can probably guess that this is why a lot of you dabble in strength training too. We know you know the feeling: when you line your hands up on a heavy barbell and lock in, then put in some fight against mean ‘ol Mr. Gravity, you can’t help but have a smile on your face afterward.

You might have some days, like PK does sometimes (we all do), where you’re just so frustrated or pissed off and your significant other throws you out into the garage to do some violence against iron, work out those emotions, and change your mood around. They’re right more often than not, right? You’ve likely never come from a lifting session feeling worse than when you took yourself out to get a lift in.

5. Regular strength training reduces your risk of neurodegenerative disease

If you regularly strength train as you age, you’re at a lesser risk of developing neurodegenerative disease. Again, we’re coming back to the extension of youthful life. This is something that’s wildly important to PK (and the rest of us). 

In a previous blog, PK talked about “How strong is strong?” and “How strong should you be?” For PK at 41 years old, he’s actually more interested in increasing his youthful life, his ability to enjoy time with his kids, and eventually his grandkids and even great-grandchildren, than he’s interested in having absolute maximum strength at this point in his life to be able to lift some wheels in his garage gym.

Part of what PK needs to fulfill those goals above is to keep his wits about him and keep his brain and mental strength intact. Continuing to strength train as he ages is going to help him, and you if you take part in it, reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease.

6. Strength training has been connected to decreased risk of cancer

We’re sure that every one of you has had your life affected by cancer in some way, and it’s never for the better in any regard.

Studies show a correlation between strength training and reduced risk of cancer.

7. Regular strength training leads to increased mobility and flexibility

This is interesting, because PK has a confession to make: he cannot, and never has been able to, touch his toes. However, if you ask him to hang out in the bottom of a squat, he can do it all day. A two minute squat hold, while terrible for the majority of us, is nothing to PK. He squats quite a bit in his training, and it shows in his mobility range.

In terms of functional training, while he can’t touch his toes, he has great mobility for strength and functional fitness. You’ll have increased mobility and flexibility if you’re training strength and functional movements regularly.

When you think of mobility and flexibility, you might think of athleticism. PK loves to play soccer, and used to be a runner. When he used to run, and strength train hardly ever, PK was fast, but he wasn’t very athletic in terms of being able to juke, turn at speed, jump high or far, etc because runners are generally used to running in one plane, and usually (if not always), forward. 

8. Strength training often leads to better sex

Ahh! We said it! (And it’s true). If you and your significant other are in a regular strength training routine, you’re not going to say that the sex is worse (unless it’s after leg day LOL). You’ll be stronger and more confident, and that’s always a good thing.

How many of these benefits did you know about before reading this? What other benefits are there to strength training? Strength training is hugely important for a great quality of life as we age, and gaining big muscles is pretty cool too.

Have questions? Let us know below, send us a message in our chat, or send our team an email at team@fringesport.com. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss a video from PK. 

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As always, lift heavy, lift happy :)

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