I want to start this off with a quote from one of the fitness industry's leading experts on muscle building, as I very much agree with it...
"Resistance training is, in my opinion, the most important activity for overall health and wellness; if you could only choose to do one things, I'd say lifting would provide the greatest benefits" - Brad Schoenfeld, PhD
Now there are a multitude of reasons why you should include strength training into your life, and you may already know some obvious benefits of it, but I wanted to outline just 7 of these below...
1. Body Composition - Strength training is amazing for burning calories to drop bodyfat, with an 'afterburn' effect where your body continues to burn calories for up to 3 days after. It also builds lean muscle, which is 'metabolic tissue', meaning more muscle in your body also helps to naturally burn calories at rest. Your body shape also changes so that clothes fit you better, you look great as that definition starts to come through, and also improving posture (especially if you mostly sit at a desk).
2. Confidence & Empowerment - Learning to lift weights can seem daunting to begin with, but after learning correct technique, improving your ability and seeing your progress, confidence grows massively, lifting weights helps you to become a more confident person, and really empowers you when you can do more and lift more.
3. Injury/Pain Management - Issues with areas such as lower backs, knees and shoulders are common, and I've worked with clients past and present helping with these. Strength training will always be the go to in managing/ridding of pain. Getting certain muscles stronger that are currently weak, to start working properly and support the body/that area, so that joints aren't over stressed or other muscles doing too much work.
4. Stress Buster - When we get very stressed, unhealthy levels of Cortisol rise, which can lead to poor sleep, uneven energy levels and snacking. Weight training combats stress by reducing Cortisol levels, and instead boosts levels of endorphins which make us feel good. Lifting weights in the gym can help to forget about the outside world, rid of the day's frustration, or set you up better for a day at work.
5. Improved Mindset - Lifting weight's gives you more of a focus on yourself, positively looking at improving how you look, how you feel and improving your diet to fuel your body. It helps you to deal with life better, to have a more 'can do' attitude, push yourself harder, grow as a person and become more determined to achieve the goals you set yourself.
6. Better Physical Function - Increases your ability to perform and do daily tasks - picking things up, pushing things, pulling things, carrying things, getting up, walking up stairs etc. And doing these things with better movement and posture from learning correct techniques with lifting weights and getting those muscles stronger. A stronger body is a more functional one.
7. Decrease Sarcopenia - 'If you don't use it, you lose it'. Muscle mass decreases with age, unless you are working hard to build it of course. This process begins in the 20's, but you probably won't notice until the 40's, and then speeds up in the 60's age. So weight training is critical to prevent this muscle atrophy (wasting away).