Everyone knows that working out will get your body healthy. Yet, what kind of working out is best; running, yoga, martial arts? Actually the best way to get your body healthy is by lifting weights. Lifting weights increases lean body mass, burn calories and increases cardiovascular endurance. These sound like pretty good benefits don’t they . Lets look at each one of those benefits and see how lifting weights can improve each.
Lean body mass is more than just muscle.
I think everyone knows that having muscles is a good thing. Yet, connective tissue, bone and water also make up lean body mass which are pretty important too! Your body is about 75% water and a lot of it is stored in your muscles. So obviously water is important. When you age your body will lose muscle as well as bone density, leading to osteoporosis. So bone is pretty important too. Muscle has to attached to bone to work effectively right? So connective tissue is very valuable. By lifting weights you will obviously build muscles or maintain the muscle you already have. You will increase bone density when you lift weights because the forces applied by your muscles will trigger your bones to adapt to be able to with stand the stresses of lifting weights. Muscles are getting bigger and stronger, bones are get stronger and denser. Just like muscle sand bones, connective tissue will have to adapt and get stronger as well to deal with the increased stress.
The more you move the more calories your body will burn.
So I think everyone knows that your body will burn calories while your lifting weights. What most people don’t know is your body will continue to burn calories one, two or even three days after you’ve lifted weights. This is do the EPOC affect. Still burning calories two or three days after a worked out, that sounds pretty good right!
When you think of increasing your cardiovascular endurance you wouldn’t think of lifting weights first.
At first though you’d think of running, biking or even swimming. Yet, when you perform multi joint movements when lifting weights your body has to use more muscles. Using more muscles equals using more energy. Using more energy equals using more oxygen. This in turn will increase your cardiovascular endurance. Think about performing walking lunges or squats with medium to heavy weight for repetitions of 10-15 with minimal rest between sets. You’d be sucking wind wouldn’t you? This is because your cardiovascular system is being taxed. You can also get even more cardiovascular endurance by using circuit training or vertically loading your weight lifting sessions. This is done by simply moving from one exercise directly to another without resting. So it would go, squat and raise, squats, push ups, pull ups and finally shoulder press, then rest and repeat.
Increasing lean body mass, burning calories and increasing cardiovascular endurance just by lifting weights.
Sounds pretty good doesn’t it. Lifting weights is by far the most efficient way to workout. Obviously if you also do yoga, perform cardio training and maybe some martial arts you good get even healthier and in even better shape. But, if you have to pick just one. Lifting weights is the best way to go.
[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Josh Morrison is the owner of Optimum Performance Training in Mt Zion, IL. He has a M.S. in Performance Enhancement, B.A. in Physical Education, certified as an NASM-PES, NASE-CSSE, NASM-CPT, NESTA-CPT, Human Kinetics-Advanced Exercise Nutrition and APEX-FitPro. [/stextbox]