Regular weighted work is a great addition to your training routine – I usually try to film a live Facebook weighted workout per week or one for my YouTube channel as this keeps me accountable. If you train at home, you can invest in some adjustable dumbbells from somewhere like Argos.
1. Shift more fat – the more muscle you have, then the more fat you will be burning at rest. Using weights will boost your metabolism, helping to shift fat and build lean muscle for a leaner physique.
2. Improve posture – lifting weights can help to improve posture and better posture will lead to improved mobility. Exercises which target the posterior chain (back of shoulders, back and lower back), are a common area of weakness/poorer posture where people end up rounding their chest. Weighted moves will help to correct this and improve day to day functional movement.
3. Strengthen bones – regular resistance/weighted exercise helps to improve bone density, keeping your bones strong will help to prevent potential damages in the long term. It is particularly important to keep weights in your routine because as you age, your bones naturally become less dense and weight training can help to counteract this.
4. Build lean muscle this is the obvious one and often one which puts people off of weight training. You won’t suddenly look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, building lean muscle will help to shape the body and keep you feeling strong.
5. Fit in clothes better – muscle weighs more than fat and so muscle takes up less room, meaning that you can fit into your clothes better. Having something you would like to fit in to as a goal will be a good way to monitor progress.
6. You will reduce the risk of injury – regular weighted work helps to strengthen the muscles surrounding and supporting your joints. This can help prevent injury by helping you maintain good form, as well as strengthening joint integrity.
7. Improve running (or general endurance) – a strength and conditioning program can help to make your running more efficient. You can use weighted work to also develop better core stability, which can help make your running more efficient.
8. Better balance/co ordination – weighted training and particularly using free weights can help improve your balance. The core muscles have to work harder with free weights and the body has to then work a lot harder to keep you stable by keeping good posture throughout exercise. You can add in a unilateral element (isolating one side with a single leg squat for example) as a progression.