Strength isn't just a stat that adds to your fantasy character's melee attacks, it is extremely important for living a healthy, functional life. Obviously strength is something I emphasize a lot in my programming, the word is even in my business name: Bull's Strength.
And if you're a lady and "afraid of getting too bulky," then you've been mislead by people who have no idea what they're talking about. Lifting weights will not make you bulky. Lifting weights while taking steroids will make you bulky.
My former client and current girlfriend, Rachel Kendrick, lost all of her weight from dieting and lifting weights, heavy weights. The center pic is of her lifting 270 lbs in competition, where she won first place in her division. Still think lifting heavy will make you bulky?
Anyway, to the point. Why is strength training good for everyone?
1. Strengthens bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
Being strong is generally important for a healthy lifestyle. Not only will you be more functional in daily life, but a stronger body will lead to less injuries overall. And did you know that strength training can also help prevent age related degeneration of your bones, connective tissue, and muscles?
One of my core principles as a trainer is not just to get you in shape and live a better quality of life, but to ensure that your body is fully prepared to take on the negative aspects of aging. Longevity is paramount.
2. Faster results.
One of the major benefits of strength training, especially involving compound movements, is an increase in your base metabolic rate (BMR). In other words, you will burn fat more quickly. When you damage your muscles, connective tissue, and bones through resistance training, your body requires a lot of extra energy (calories) in order to rebuild them.
The reason why I stress on the use of compound movements over isolation movements when performing resistance training is because compound movements require the use of multiple joints and muscle groups to move the weight. This will naturally lead to faster and more efficient results with less time spent in the gym.
Examples of compound (multi-joint) movements: Deadlifts, squats, overhead press, bench press, pull ups, bent over rows, kettlebell swings. All of these movements require a great deal of muscle activation and will get you results much more quickly.
3. Better cognitive function.
Strength training, and physical exercise in general has been proven to improve memory, the ability to learn, and cognitive functions. This is from a number of different factors including reducing inflammation, stimulating growth hormones, and growing new blood vessels in the brain.
Optimizing your brain is a wise choice as you continue to age. Choosing to improve it's function now will keep it healthier for longer and can stave off debilitating disorders like dementia.
4. Fights anxiety and depression.
Training has been shown to relieve the negative effects of certain mood disorders. This is due to many factors including endorphin release, increased dopamine (reward hormone) production, decreased cortisol (stress hormone), and the general sense of accomplishment that you get after every workout.
Getting started isn't always easy, as it takes time for these benefits to fully come into effect. Set goals, watch inspirational youtube videos, hire a trainer, do whatever it takes to get your body and mind healthy.
Training, in general, has tremendous effects on your hormone balance and is a great weapon for you to use to help combat depression.
5. Stronger Heart.
According to the American Heart Association, weight training can significantly lower your chances of cardiovascular related conditions including heart attack and stroke. A stronger heart will help keep your arteries from building up plaque and setting you up for something catastrophic.
Not only that, but you will have better endurance in general. That flight of stairs that you dread every day? You will dread it no more!
6. More Energy.
Increasing your strength stat will also raise your constitution score. To translate from geek into layman's terms: you will be more vital. You'll have more energy throughout the day and will make you more mentally resilient when taking on life's challenges.