The Downside to Strength Training
Sure, strength training’s great. But what are the downsides?
Short answer: none
Long answer: there are none
There’s literally no downside to being strong! Who wouldn’t want to be able to do press ups, chin ups or squat with a friend on their back?
Okay, they’re all pretty cool party tricks but what about real world application?
Well, to me personally, the key factor is longevity. When we think of getting older we imagine ourselves becoming less mobile. We see ourselves sitting down most of the day, using a walking stick and maybe even having a hip replacement. Most of us accept this, taking the attitude, ‘Well, that’s just how it is.’
But does it have to be?
Problems like the above mostly stem from muscle degeneration. As we get older our ability to maintain and build muscle becomes more difficult. So yes, if not cared for, our muscle will waste away… We’ll be stuck, lounging the day away in our big, comfy armchairs. Oh wait, I’m supposed to be trying to deter you! Probably shouldn’t have said, ‘big, comfy armchairs…’
Anyway, back to my point. Regular strength training helps our muscles stay strong and last longer; allowing us to avoid the typical, sedentary lifestyle of the elderly. Now, you might be reading this thinking, ‘Dude, I’m like 21, I’m in my prime. Why should I worry about that?’ I’m not saying you need to, but integrating something like this into your lifestyle now, will certainly give you a head start.
Aside from the longevity factor that I’ve been harping on about, there are also plenty of other benefits.
So, what are they?
– Increased muscle mass (Who doesn’t want to be leaner and healthier?!) –
Increasing your muscle mass means you’ll expend more calories doing your usual daily tasks. This gives you greater potential to utilise stored body fat for energy.
– Prevention (Say goodbye to those aches and pains!) –
Having strong and healthy muscle surrounding a joint keeps it stable and healthy.
– Improved cardiovascular system (No more struggling up those three flights of stairs at work) –
Strength training not only makes your muscles stronger but also enhances your heart and breathing mechanisms.
– Benefits your emotional and mental state (Relax and let go) –
Training can be a release or a getaway for some people. I don’t know anyone that trains consistently and dislikes it. It can be fun, social and a huge confidence booster.
I’m not saying strength training is a miracle cure for all your ailments, but it can, if done correctly, vastly improve your quality of life.
By Mason Tustin