Over time I have heard so many myths about strength work in females, many of which stem simply from miseducation. The benefits associated with strength work are numerous, some of which include:
- Preventing bone loss and improvement in bone density
- Improvements in mood, anxiety and confidence for physical activity
- Improved stress management and decreased symptoms of clinical depression
- Reduction in heart disease risk factors (eg. reduced waist circumference, decrease in blood pressure and glucose levels)
- Improvements in balance and co-ordination which can assist in activities during daily living
- Weight loss
Over the coming months, I will publish a series of blogs, each focusing on a different component of the benefits of strength work. Today’s blog will focus on the weight loss benefits from incorporating strength training within your exercise routine. All of the following information is evidence based and scientifically researched.
What is strength training? Put simply, strength training is a form of exercise where you use your body to push against different forms of resistance, such as resistance machines, free weights and body weight. Generally, a good strength training program will consist of 3 – 5 sets of 3 -10 repetitions of a heavy weight. The exact number of sets and repetitions will depend on your fitness levels, experience and goals.
The latest evidence has shown that inactive adults experience anywhere from 3-8% of muscle loss every 10 years. This correlates with a reduced resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy used by the body) and increased fat accumulation around the body.
One study showed that after a 10-week strength training program, resting metabolic rate increased on average by 7%. This increased resting metabolic rate of course means that you can burn more energy at rest. Strength training produces this change because muscle has a high rate of metabolism. The more you train your muscles through strength training, the greater the changes in your metabolism. By incorporating strength training into a program, this can result in a higher resting metabolic rate which in turn contributes to weight loss.
A separate study also displayed that strength work also assists in preventing weight gain, especially in visceral fat (around the abdominals and internal organs) and fat around the thighs.
For optimal results from a strength training program, it is recommended to complete strength work in conjunction with aerobic exercise and healthy eating. Ensuring that you use correct technique and weights when commencing a strength training program is vital to prevent the risk of injury. Therefore, it is recommended to commence a strength program with professional guidance.
Over the coming months I'll be releasing more blogs regarding other benefits from strength training, so if you've found today's blog interesting, please check back! If you have any questions, please feel free to get in contact.
Happy training and stay healthy!