Lifting heavy weights is for everyone, not just the elite.
Pushing yourself in a resistance training session can be one of your most rewarding experiences. As you grow stronger and more confident with lifting that weight or going higher than what was comfortable before, it will also carry over into other aspects of life.
It doesn’t matter if someone wants to lose fat from their midsection, so they have toned abs. Or if someone wants to jump higher than they ever have before, to dunk a basketball or catch the winning touchdown.
Heavy resistance training can benefit you in all walks of life!
Here are seven great reasons why everyone should lift heavy weights!
#1 Lifting Heavy Weights Gives You Better Definition
One fairly common myth in the fitness world is being able to “tone” your muscles by doing high repetitions with a light weight.
You actually have to stress your muscles for them to get thick, lean, and defined.
This will supposedly cause the fat surrounding this muscle group to burn up and give more definition and tone to the area.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that since we don’t control where our bodies burn the fat.
That’s why doing 100 sit-ups a day won’t give you six-pack abs. Granted, your abs may get very strong but a layer of fat will still cover them.
You need to lower your overall body fat percentage if you want visible abs.
The only two things we can do are grow those muscles to give them more definition and lower our overall body fat percentage to show those more defined muscles.
Luckily there’s an excellent method for achieving both of those goals; lifting heavy weights in a range of five to ten reps.
Exercising our muscles this way is the most efficient way to make them grow, and growing our muscles is the best way to make them chiseled and defined.
Lifting weights in this manner will make our bodies burn more calories throughout the day and build and repair the muscle we are working on.
Lifting heavy, along with a proper diet, will ultimately help us create a caloric deficit that we will need to lose body fat.
This makes lifting heavy weights one of the greatest ways to achieve the toned and fit look that many people want.
#2 Lifting Heavy Helps Release Human Growth Hormone And Testosterone
One of the most overlooked benefits of putting your muscles under the stress of heavy resistance training has been shown to stimulate your body to release human growth hormone (HGH) along with testosterone.
HGH is a key component in building muscle, and it also acts as a powerful anti-aging agent.
While testosterone causes males to pack on more lean muscle mass than their female counterparts, both men and women benefit from the release of this powerful hormone which also helps sexual function for both genders.
By maintaining healthy testosterone levels, you are helping to keep your lean muscle mass and stave off extra unwanted body fat.
Lifting heavy weights also enhances your mood by stimulating brain chemicals that improve your disposition.
#3 Lifting Heavy Increases Bone Density
Another benefit of lifting heavy that is often overlooked and many people don’t realize until it’s too late is that stressing your bones through resistance training actually increases their density.
Your bones are living, growing tissues and they respond to the stress you put them under much in the same way muscles do.
As such, by regularly putting your bones under the stress of proper weight training, you can significantly increase their density over time.
This will help reduce your risk of fractures and other bone-related problems and arthritis in your later years.
Skeletal strength isn’t just important because it keeps you upright and mobile, though. Even if you never break a bone in your life, skeletal strength plays a significant role in supporting your internal organs and minimizing the risk of problems such as hernias.
#4 Improved Longevity And Quality Of Life as We Age
The benefits of lifting heavy do not stop once you leave your teenage years and enter the realm of adulthood.
In fact, by maximizing your strength and muscle mass as early as possible, they can improve both your longevity and quality of life in old age.
When you lift heavy weights, you dramatically increase how both your muscles and bones strengthen. This ensures that when you are older, those strong bones will be there to support you during periods of illness or injury when getting out of bed becomes difficult, if not impossible.
Besides just benefiting from a stronger body, the mental fortitude that goes along with regular lifting also helps combat feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression, which affect many older people every day. Getting out to the gym and working out regularly provides you with an activity that can help ward off such negative feelings. It also gives you the motivation and strength to go out and live your life instead of just vegetating in your home.
By pushing yourself to lift heavy weights today, you are helping ensure longevity and improving the quality of life.
#5 It’s Easier To Measure The Gains and Stay Motivated
One of the biggest reasons people often give up on a diet or training program is that it’s difficult to measure results.
If you aren’t seeing the kind of gains in weight loss or muscle mass that you want it can be very easy to get discouraged and just quit altogether, especially if your starting point is lower than where you want to ultimately end up.
However, by lifting heavy weights, you achieve significant physical benefits and ones that are much easier to measure.
When you lift heavy weights, what gets measured is how much weight you have gained because the size of each muscle fiber increases, making them larger and denser. The number on the may not go down as fast as it does if you are losing fat, but what will happen is that as you continue to work out you will see the number on the scale go up week after week.
This happens because when you lift heavy weights, your resting metabolic rate goes up, which causes your body to burn more calories. Not only do those larger muscles need more energy, but they actually require a lot of it to function correctly. When you combine these two things and train regularly with heavy weights, not only will your body transformation be dramatic but also much easier to measure, allowing for greater motivation over time.
#6 Improved Diabetes Control And Reduced Risk Of Heart Disease
In addition to increasing muscle mass and bone density, many other health benefits are associated with lifting weights.
Lifting heavy not only provides you with increased insulin sensitivity which is crucial in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. It also reduces your risk for heart disease by lowering both LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride (blood fat) levels while at the same time increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
Combine these benefits with regular cardio training to increase your cardiovascular health, and you have an overall good approach to keeping yourself healthy, fit and free from common diseases like heart disease or diabetes!
Even if you already suffer from either type of condition, there are huge advantages to using resistance training rather than just diet & cardio alone to keep control over them.
Not only does lifting help build lean muscle mass through improved protein synthesis so that your cells are better able to absorb the glucose they need. It also helps improve metabolism, which is crucial in preventing or treating insulin resistance. Lastly, by strengthening your muscles, you can prevent injuries like falls which often affect people with both conditions who may suffer from poor balance or coordination.
#7 Improved Balance And Reduced Risk Of Injury
While there are many physical benefits to lifting heavy weights, such as increased strength, lean muscle mass, and bone density which prevent osteoporosis, it’s not just your bones that benefit but also your ability to balance and coordination.
As we get older, our balance naturally decreases over time because the sensory receptors in our muscles are damaged, leading to decreased joint stability.
However, by regularly training with either free weights or specialized “core” machines, you can help delay this process to maintain better balance for longer, allowing you to live a more independent life as you age.
Additionally, these same tools will help keep your joints safe from injury by strengthening connective tissue within them while at the same time improving your muscles’ ability to sense forces placed upon them.
Lifting heavy weights provides you with all kinds of benefits.
When you see your weight go up instead of down from week to week, it’s not a bad thing! As long as you are eating right and training regularly, these weight increases should be occurring because your muscles are getting bigger and denser, which means they require more energy to do the same work before.
Not only that, but by using resistance training over cardio alone, you significantly increase your metabolic rate while at the same time strengthening muscle fibers which improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk for both heart disease and diabetes. The net result is good health, increased strength & lean body mass, better balance, and fewer injuries when performing day-to-day tasks.
Ryan is a former college wrestler and lifelong fitness fanatic. He has run half marathons, done mud runs, placed in body transformation contests, coached wrestling and now coaches girls soccer. Not to mention he has also tried literally hundreds of supplements over the years and has a vast and thorough supplement knowledge. He has written for Muscle & Strength, Testosterone Junkie, The Sport Review and other publications. He is also the editor in chief of this website. Feel free connect with him on his LinkedIn page below.