Why everyone should do resistance training

5 June 2018

‘Resistance training will make me bigger and I don’t want to be bigger.’ 

‘Strength training will make me less flexible.’ 

‘I will have to hit the gym and use all those daunting machines and barbells.’

‘Resistance training takes too much time if you want to see any real results, and I don’t have it.’

With so many myths and misconceptions about resistance training going around, it is important to know your facts. That is why here at Think Sport, we have decided to put together this short crash course about resistance training and its many benefits.

What Is Resistance Training?

Resistance training, also known as weight training or strength training, includes all exercises that make your muscles work against a weight or a force. This includes free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, medicine balls and even your own body weight.

Planking in the gym resistance training
A woman planking

While it is true that a lot of people who lift weights do so to build muscle or, simply put, ‘get bigger’, the benefits of resistance training go way beyond that.

What Are the Benefits of Resistance Training?

You Will Get Healthier

And this doesn’t simply mean you will finally get rid of those few remaining pounds for good or improve your muscle tone. Weight training can also:

  • Increase HDL - High Density Lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and decrease LDL - Low Density Lipoprotein (bad cholesterol)
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes and insulin needs
  • Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Lower your high blood pressure
  • Lower the risk of breast cancer by reducing high estrogen levels linked to the disease
  • Decrease or minimise the risk of osteoporosis by building bone mass
  • Reduce the symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) 
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Decrease colds and illness

You Will Get Stronger

Don’t worry, you won’t all of a sudden bulk up and go around looking like a bodybuilding champion. It simply means you will be able to tackle everyday tasks, such as lifting and carrying things or even going up the stairs, with greater ease.

Weight lifting to build muscle resistance training
Lifting weights

You Will Age Gracefully

You might not want to hear this, but right after puberty, you started losing about 1 percent of your bone and muscle strength per year. And unless you do something about it, the process will continue at a rapid speed after you reach 30.

Once you hit 40, the lack of physical strength will become even more obvious and will show in your reduced ability to lift heavy objects, difficulty maintaining balance, persistent fatigue or simply the way your muscles will start to sag.

This loss of muscle mass is called sarcopenia and is defined by medical professionals as the natural age-related loss of muscle mass, strength and muscle function. But don’t let yourself be fooled. The loss of muscle mass and strength doesn’t have to happen and it certainly shouldn’t happen as soon as you hit middle age. 

Weight training at old age
Weight training is possible at any age

Numerous studies have shown that resistance training can help you maintain and increase your muscle function, regardless of your age. That's because keeping strong and healthy muscles, ligaments and bones plays a huge role in the process of ageing.

Should I Hit the Gym or Work Out at Home? 

While building your own home gym can be quite an investment, working out in the comfort of your own home, without even having to leave the house, is worth it. Hitting the gym might enable you to keep your spare room clutter-free, yet having your own personal work out space will make sure you'll never have to wait in line to get that barbell you need again.

If you decide to make use of that extra space in your house and work out at home, there are a few essential pieces of equipment you will need to get you going.

Whichever option you choose, don’t forget to check out our awesome collection of gym essentials at ThinkSport.

Are you a fan of resistance training? Tell us about it in the comments below or get in touch on Facebook and Twitter!