A bit about strength training

The benefits of building muscle

What is strength training?

Strength training is also known as weight training, resistance training, and muscular training – improving muscle maturity and mind health.

The general definition of strength training is any physical movement in which you use your body weight endurance and mental health.

The main types of strength training include:

  • Muscular hypertrophy: Also known as muscle building, this type of strength training uses moderate-to-heavy weights to stimulate muscle growth.

  • Muscular endurance: This refers to your muscles’ ability to sustain exercise for a period of time. Training to increase muscular endurance usually involves high reps using light weights or body weight.

  • Circuit training: During this form of full-body conditioning, you cycle through various exercises with little to no rest between them.

  • Maximum muscular strength: This type of exercise involves low reps (usually 2–6) and heavy weights to improve your overall strength. It’s best reserved for experienced exercisers who have mastered their form.

  • Explosive power: This training combines power and speed to improve your power output. It’s usually employed among trained athletes to improve their ability to perform explosive movements in their sport.

Depending on the type of strength training you choose to reach your goals, you can use various equipment (or none at all), such as:

  • Body weight: using your own body weight and the force of gravity to perform various movements (e.g., push ups, squats, planks, pull ups, and lunges).

  • Free weights: equipment not bound to the floor or a machine, such as dumbbells, barbells, kettle bells, medicine balls, or objects around the house

  • Resistance bands/loop bands: rubber bands that provide resistance when stretched

  • Weight machines: machines with adjustable weights or hydraulics attached to provide resistance and stress to the muscles

  • Suspension equipment: consists of ropes or straps that are anchored to a sturdy point in which a person uses their body weight and gravity to perform various exercises

Regardless of the type of strength training you perform, the goal is to put your muscles and mind under tension to allow neuromuscular adaptations and stimulate muscle growth. With regular practice, where your mind and muscles will become stronger.

The healing power of strength training to help mental health

If you could do one thing to improve your Mental Health, strength training should be at the top of your list. It involves using one or more muscle groups and mind to perform a specific task, such as lifting a weight or squatting.

Everyone knows that weight lifting increases physical strength. But, for some, it can give psychological power, too. If you’ve ever considered strength training, you may wonder how it will benefit your life.

Psychologists have long established that exercise is beneficial for mental health, and over the past decade, research has also shown that it can be a valuable tool for addressing post-traumatic stress disorder. Now, despite weight lifting’s associations with violent bursts of brawn, growing numbers of people who’ve experienced trauma are finding that pumping iron is a balm. For many, the sport’s healing powers come down to the fact that, where trauma has left them feeling helpless, powerless and weak, lifting helps them feel strong — not only physically, but also psychologically.

People who’ve experienced trauma have long gravitated toward the weight room, drawn, in part, to the promise of increased physical strength. But these lifters have historically received little guidance on how to train in a way that supports their mental health and recovery. Lifters have also had to navigate a fitness culture that often glorifies a “no pain, no gain” approach, with a focus on performance and superficial appearances over long term well-being.

But as more people of all genders and abilities have discovered the benefits of strength training, the weight lifting community is becoming more inclusive and expansive. Mental health groups also have begun to formalize lifting as a therapeutic tool and educate trainers in how to coach clients living with physical and psychological trauma. At the same time, the scientific community is beginning to study why, exactly, some people with trauma find lifting heavy things helps them recover.

There are many benefits to strength training that can improve your Body Power and Mental Health.

1. Makes you stronger:

Strength training helps you become stronger. Gaining strength allows you to perform daily tasks much easier, such as carrying heavy groceries or running around with your kids. It helps improve athletic performance in sports that require speed, power, and strength. and it may even support endurance athletes by preserving lean muscle mass (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).

2. Decreases your risk of falls:

Strength training lowers your risk of falls, as you’re better able to support your body. In fact, one review including 23,407 adults over the age of 60 showed a 34% reduction in falls among those who participated in a well-rounded exercise program that included balance exercises and resistance, functional training and stronger mentally.

3. Lowers your risk of injury:

Including strength training in your exercise routine may reduce your risk of injury. Strength training helps improve the strength, range of motion, and mobility of your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This can reinforce strength around major joints like your knees, hips, and ankles to provide additional protection against injury and build self-confidence and improving mind set. In fact, one review including 7,738 athletes found strength-training programs reduced the risk of injury by 33%. It was found to lower the risk of injury in a dose-dependent manner, meaning for every 10% increase in strength-training volume, there was a 4% reduced risk of injury.

4. Improves heart health:

Multiple studies have shown that regular strength-training exercise can decrease blood pressure, lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and improve blood circulation by strengthening the heart and blood vessels. Strength training also can help you with stress and mental health maintain a healthy body weight and manage your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are a major risk factor for heart disease.

5. Boosts your self-esteem:

Strength training can add a major boost to your self-confidence. It helps you overcome challenges, work toward a goal, and appreciate your body’s strength. In particular, it can increase your self efficacy — the belief that you’re able to succeed at or perform a task — which can greatly improve your confidence. In fact, one review of 7 studies in youth ages 10–16 years observed a significant association between strength training and high self-esteem, physical strength, and physical self-worth. Additionally, a systematic review that studied 754 adults showed a significant link between strength training and positive body image, including body satisfaction, appearance, and social physique anxiety (the perception of judgment from others).

6. Boosts your mood:

Regular weight training may boost your mood and improve your mental health. Multiple studies have shown that strength training may reduce anxiety and boost your mood. Strength training confers multiple benefits to mood regulation, such as increased self-esteem and self-efficacy. What’s more, exercise promotes the release of mood-boosting endorphins, which can play a role in a positive mood.

7. Improves brain health:

Those who engage in strength training may have better brain health and protection against age related cognitive decline. Multiple studies in older adults have pointed to significant improvements in cognitive function (e.g., processing speed, memory, and executive function) after participating in strength training, compared with those who did not participate in it. It’s thought that resistance training has many neuroprotective effects, such as improved blood flow, reduced inflammation, and an increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is linked to memory and learning.

8. Promotes a better quality of life:

Strength training may increase your quality of life, especially as you age. Numerous studies have linked strength training to increased health-related quality of life, defined as a person’s perceived physical and mental well-being. In fact, one review of 16 studies including adults ages 50 years and older showed a significant correlation between resistance training and better mental health, physical functioning, pain management, general health, and vitality. What’s more, strength training may improve quality of life in those with arthritis. One review of 32 studies showed strength training significantly improved scores in pain and physical functioning.

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