Getting stronger can only ever be a good thing. Here are 25 benefits to getting strong and staying strong.
- Increased strength – this is kind of obvious.
- Increased muscle mass – strong can lead to increased muscle mass, which gives the “toned” look so many people want.
- Stronger bones – more stress = thickening of the bones around muscle attachment sites = stronger, less breakable bones.
- Stronger connective tissues – muscles connect to bones via tendons, bones connect to bones via ligaments. Both get stronger with training.
- Improved fitness – Strength is the bucket that all other physical qualities go into, a bigger bucket (more strength) equals more capacity to improve other fitness qualities. Yes, even running.
- Improved power. Power is the rate of doing work. Increasing it makes a constant load move faster. You can throw, jump, hit and recover faster.
- More confidence – building strength in the gym has an interesting way of building confidence there, which carries over outside of the gym.
- Improved self esteem – You get the results you work for in the gym, nothing is handed to you. You come to realise you do deserve your results because you put the work in. This too carries over out of the gym.
- More humbleness – no matter how strong you get, there’s always someone stronger. You brag less and focus more on working on you.
- More resilience – Getting strong is easy to start, but eventually it plateaus. You have to keep grinding away, improving your approach and knowledge, and keep working until you get a breakthrough. Then you have to do it all over again. And again.
- Improved metabolism – more muscle burn more calories. I may be pretty small increases, but burning more calories either equals eating more food (win!), or burning more fat and getting leaner (also win!)
- Better sleep – because you’re tired. Also there is a proven link between physical activity and improved quality and length of sleep. Research also shows that strength training early in your day help you fall asleep up to 45 mins earlier.
- Improved mood – Research into the effects of strength training on mood showed a significant improvement in training groups compared to non-training groups.
- Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression – The same research showed significant improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety amongst those who weight train.
- Improved focus – study after study has shown a clear link between getting stronger and improvement in cognitive function.
- Better able to handle day to day activities – literally everything you do on a daily basis, from climbing stairs to standing up from sitting, gets so much easier. Maybe with the exception of the day after leg day…
- Less aches – Stronger muscles, better stability and improved mobility mean less general aches and pains.
- Improved physical performance – want to get better at your sport? Get a little stronger.
- Reduced injury risk – from stronger bones and connective tissues to more power (more quickly able to catch yourself when you lose balance or get knocked), to faster recovery times, stronger wins.
- Reduced risk of disease – exercise decreases the risk of some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and more.
- Improves your length of life. – It’s basically the fountain of youth.
- And makes that longer life of higher quality – muscle loss as we age has nothing to do with anything other than lack of use. As we age we tend to get more settled and more inclined to sit and watch TV than continue exercising. Training to stay as strong as you can for as long as you can not only lengthens your expected lifespan, but means you can stay active and more independent as you age.
- The key to improved body composition. – Improved insulin sensitivity, better use of carbs and fats as fuel at the right times and more muscle mass all improve your body composition.
- Improved posture – As you age you tend to get tight in our hip flexors, pecs, biceps and hamstrings, leaving you stooped and curled up. You weaken through your glutes, mid-back, triceps and quads. Working on stretching the first lot, and strengthening the second lot helps you maintain good posture. Not just as you age, mind you, but also if you’re stuck at a desk 8+ hours each day.
- You can carry your own stuff.