Lifting Weights: Top 10 Ways it will Change your Life

lifting weights will save your life

Lifting weights is the key to solving, or at the very least, ameliorating, many of your health problems.

It is the first of many steps on the journey of taking responsibility for your life. Once you start it will go beyond the physical and start shakin’ up your life.

(I have very personal experience with this, here is my story of hope after a suicide attempt.)

Are you gonna come along with me?

In no particular order, ten ways weight lifting will change your life.

1. Confidence

Knowing you have the strength to pick up 100, 180, 250, 300lbs, imparts a kind of centered-ness and power, that can come from nothing else.

2. Decreased pain

Re-learn to move how your body was designed to move. Learn correct alignment, lifting technique, and correct movement patterns.  Get the hips, glutes, core, and back strong, and your body will begin to heal itself.  Decreased back, knee, neck, and shoulder pain. It’s amazing!(Important: Don’t load improper movement patterns or you will make your problems worse. Fix your alignment and faulty patterns or get a coach to teach you how–you’re worth it!)

3. Improved mood

For individuals with mild to moderate depression, exercise is as effective as anti depressant medications–with much better side effects!  I have personally experienced this effect, both in the short term and in the long term.*

4. Increased brain health

One study showed the benefits of lifting weights and resistance training over aerobic training.

“Those who had participated in strength training fared best: they outperformed the other groups on tests measuring attention, memory and higher-order brain functions like conflict resolution. They also showed increased function in three brain regions involved in memory. The same results were not found for those doing aerobics, though that group did improve on a memory task.”**

5. Better Sex

Okay, so this is just my guess, my opinion and–ahem–my experience. (And because I believe that ecstatic sex is one of the most important things in life.)

Less pain+confidence+increased strength+improved physique+better mood+fewer physical limitations–  what’s not hot about that?

6. Physical mastery

“No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for [wo]man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which [her] body is capable.” Socrates

Going to your grave never knowing what your body was truly capable of would be a shame. The sense of mastery, freedom, and exhilaration that comes from physical mastery is unparalleled.

7. Learning delayed gratification

Oh, do you ever learn about patience, determination, and grit under the bar. Slowly, incrementally, working toward your goals. Training session by training session getting stronger, or leaner, or mastering a particular skill. It doesn’t happen in the first workout, the first month, or maybe the first year. But you see step by step progress.

8. Heart health

No lifting weights is not necessarily aerobic, but it is “cardio”. Lifting heavy for 5 reps will have you breathing heavy and your heart rate up. Heart health without the boring treadmill!***

9. Lifting weights keeps you young

The cascade of hormones that your body produces in response to lifting weights (vs. aerobic exercise) are the hormones that keep you young, strong, vital.

“And before you ask: at present there is absolutely no solid evidence that strength training—or any other exercise or dietary program—will substantially prolong our life spans. But the preponderance of the scientific evidence, flawed as it is, strongly indicates that we can change the trajectory of decline. We can recover functional years that would otherwise have been lost. There is much talk in the aging studies community about “compression of morbidity,” a shortening of the dysfunctional phase of the death process. Instead of slowly getting weaker and sicker and circling the drain in a protracted, painful descent that can take hellish years or even decades, we can squeeze our dying into a tiny sliver of our life cycle. Instead of slowly dwindling into an atrophic puddle of sick fat, our death can be like a failed last rep at the end of a final set of heavy squats. We can remain strong and vital well into our last years, before succumbing rapidly to whatever kills us. Strong to the end.” Jonathan Sullivan M.D., Ph.D****

10. Spiritual growth

The weight on the bar doesn’t get lighter–YOU get stronger. The challenges in  your life don’t go away and they don’t get easier–

You rise to the challenge. Your internal strength grows.

I truly believe that strength training and movement practice are the keys to the universe.

It is really bigger and more encompassing than just weight lifting. It is about quality movement, body awareness, quality food, sleep, stress reduction .  Why don’t people want to take charge of their lives by starting healthy movement and eating patterns? It’s not sexy. It’s not easy. It’s not fast. It is uncomfortable. It requires (in some cases) a complete change of habits and lifestyle.

It is time to take responsibility for our problems and our lives, the choices we’ve made, and who we’ve become.  And shit, sometimes growth and change just sucks. It really does.

Deep breath. You got this. Step out of the victim mentality. You don’t need to do an hour of exercise every day to see results. In fact your results will be better if you

do a little bit on a regular basis–say 3x/week CONSISTENTLY. That is how you build a better you and a better life. One habit at a time.

So drop down RIGHT NOW and do 5 push ups. Do some kettlebell deadlifts or kettlebell swings. Or body weight squats. Or a 30 second plank. If you’re not to that point yet, and need some guidance on how to get there, talk to me or get my guide to basic body weight exercises by entering your email below.

Tell me, what are you going to do TODAY??

If you need help getting started, CONTACT ME.

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References

*3. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx

**4. http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/16/mind-those-reps-exercise-especially-weight-lifting-helps-keep-your-brain-sharp/

***8. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1612

****9. http://startingstrength.com/index.php/site/article/barbell_training_is_big_medicine#.U9f27kB-iiA

 

 

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