This is Luke Douglas’s weekly health column. Luke runs the blog Ripped.me where he writes about training equipment, nutrtion, and fitness. Each week Luke is going to write about a new subject in the fitness field. This week Luke talks 5 of the best reasons to lift heavy weights. Enjoy.
One might say that lifting heavy is in itself reason enough to lift heavy – and one might be right. Or as the bodybuilding king Schwarzenegger once brilliantly put it: A pump is better than an orgasm. I’m not sure if I’d agree, but all of us, iron-addicts catch his drift. However, in addition to the unparalleled feeling of the pump and the burn, whichever being your preferred drug of choice, opting for heavy weights does come with a number of perks for just about anyone.
Care to discover the main set of benefits of lifting heavy? Read on and get pumped up for your next pump, because you’ll be getting your gym bag ready before the end of the first paragraph below.
Reason To Lift Heavy Weights #1 – Raw power
There is no greater victory in this world than conquering your own limitations – especially if that particular feat of courage involves physical strength. And gradually stacking more weight on that barbell is a surefire way to grow beast-like strong. The process is quite simple: The more weight you lift, the more your muscles need to adapt, grow new muscle tissue, fill up that tank-top and give you a frame that will require passing sideways through a door.
This long-lasting method also involves a whole slew of bodily processes, such as releasing testosterone and other hormones, both mental and physical. They regulate your bone health, ward off dementia and help your body burn fat more efficiently – to make more room for power-producing muscles.
Reason To Lift Heavy Weights #2 – Leaner by the plate
While we’re on the subject, muscles, testosterone and many other lifting-related processes in your body all work together to shed fat faster and better, and to keep it off. We’ve all been introduced to the concept of HIIT and other cardio-focused routines that can be your allies in getting rid of muffin-tops and love handles, but lifting heavy remains the best and most potent way to lose weight.
Simultaneously, you will define your physique with the right exercise, improve your balance and reveal a completely altered body composition. Fewer reps and more plates on the barbell is the perfect solution to get the best of both worlds, the fat-loss and the muscle-building, that is.
Reason To Lift Heavy Weights #3 – Resilience
While lifting (or running, jumping, climbing trees) to failure may give you a taste of that delicious muscle burn, endurance training can in fact run a number on your immune system when you push to such an overkill. On the other hand, lifting heavy for fewer reps may seem extreme at first on your CNS, but if you train smart and adapt slowly, your body will actually build resilience as a result of training in such controlled circumstances.
More immune power equals more days at the gym! However, never underestimate the importance of your well-distributed rest days, as each one of your cycles will deplete your energy and you risk destroying your body’s natural defense mechanism out of sheer desire to pump iron.
Reason To Lift Heavy Weights #4 – Form and function
When you stick to a heavy lifting routine consistently and devotedly (meaning for years on end), your body reaps rewards you can’t really come by in any other sport. Not only will your body gradually look better, but your metabolism, energy usage, cognitive capacity, heart health – they will all grow stronger thus protecting you and allowing you to reach your old age with grace and gains, your dynamite duo.
However, the relevance of lifting right, and not just heavy, cannot be overstated. That means that your gym regimen alone is not enough to give you results – you need proper protective gear like first-rate weightlifting shoes, magnesium chalk, straps, wraps – if you can name them, use them. Don’t allow yourself to rush into adding more weight unless your form is spot-on with the current resistance levels, and don’t let numbers be your primary guide when your body should do all the talkin’.
Reason To Lift Heavy Weights #5 – A stronger skeleton
The impact of heavy weights goes much deeper than meets the eye. It doesn’t all go straight into your bulky, mighty muscles-to-be, but it also completely alters your skeletal structure by making it much more powerful. While age is the key reason behind brittle bones later in life, due to imbalanced hormonal production and what not, lifting weights helps your body not only retain, but re-build your bones.
In time, your bones will grow in density, and working together with your durable connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments, all powered by your intimidating muscular bod, your body’s functionality will increase. That means staying mobile, independent and sturdy well into your golden years, not to mention a silver fox physique to match your unrelenting stamina and wit.
If you have any questions you would like to see answered in a future post send them to me at charlessledge001 (at) gmail (dot) com. If you found value in this post then I would encourage you to share this site with someone who may need it as well as check out my books here. I appreciate it.