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19th June 2018

Many individuals do not consider the benefits of using weights to achieve their goals and instead choose to stick to only cardio exercises.

However, weight training is beneficial for both your physical and mental health and key for your fitness, whether that be to lose fat or to gain muscle.

Here are just some of the benefits you can gain from using weights and how to incorporate them into your workout:

Modern exercise science shows that working with weights may be the best exercise for lifelong physical function fitness.

Weight training is important for any fitness plan- it can help you to lose body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently.

Despite the name, cardio isn’t the only form of exercise with cardiovascular benefits. Resistance training has been shown to lower blood pressure, as well as improving balance and stability as your muscles get stronger and more resilient.

Adults lose between five and seven pounds of muscle every decade after age 20, therefore strength training will help to prevent this muscle loss and rebuild what you may have lost.

Building muscle has been suggested by trainer Nick Tumminello (author of Strength Training for Fat Loss) helps you lose fat more effectively that simply doing cardio.

Muscle is a metabolically active tissue where carbohydrates and body fat are burned and use as energy.

So simply having more muscle on your frames helps your body burn extra calories.

Before starting your training you want to make sure that you are using the correct weight amount- using too much weight will increase your chance of injury because your form will suffer. Then again, by not using enough weight, your muscles will not be challenged and you won’t experience the desired benefits of weight training.

You should know you’re lifting the correct weight as it should be hard to perform the last few repetitions without comprising your form.

Research shows that a single set of 12 repetitions with the proper weight can build muscle efficiently in most people.

The good thing about weight training is that you don’t need to spend hours a day lifting weights to feel the benefit. You can see significant improvement in your strength with just two or three 20-30-minute weight training sessions a week.

Give your muscles time to rest. You should wait at least 48 hours before you train the same muscle group again.

Like most physical activity, lifting can work wonders on your mental health. Strength training has been linked to reduced anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as improved self-esteem and may even give your brainpower a boost.

Strength training doesn’t have to be boring- switching up your routine to keep your body guessing is the perfect way to gain strength and not get bored. You can switch it up by using machines, free weights, bars, bands and even your own body weight.