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You can’t expect a massive change in results when you follow the same routine with the same weights. You need to constantly challenge yourself and lift heavy weights so that you can shock your body into behaving the way you want. However, lifting heavy can do a lot more than simple muscle growth. Let’s check out some of the benefits of lifting heavy:
- Improved bone strength - You may have heard how astronauts lose a tremendous amount of bone mass after a long mission in outer space. In space, their bones don’t have to work as hard due to lack of gravity and hence the body tries to lose it as much as possible. Weight training puts you in the opposite scenario. When you lift heavy weights, your muscles are stressed out and that stress is carried over to the bones that support your stronger, denser growing muscles. So, when you lift heavy you can increase your bone density quickly. In fact weight training is especially good for post-menopausal women to combat low bone mass.
- Improved intramuscular coordination - Intramuscular coordination is a few sections of your muscles working together in harmony to create a movement. With proper intramuscular coordination fibers that make a muscle work optimally to generate force. When you lift heavy, more force is required to contract your muscles and that can improve your intramuscular coordination.
- Your muscles can grow stronger without adding volume - Your muscles increase in size as you change the weights from moderate to a heavy load with a higher number of reps. Instead, if you lift just heavy weights with fewer reps you can strengthen your muscles and make them denser without adding volume. When you lift the right amount of heavyweights you won’t be able to perform more than a few reps while maintaining good form. That helps you gain stronger muscles without bulking up.
- You perform better in endurance sports - It’s hard to believe that strength training is the norm for athletes today when they didn’t need to do any a few decades ago. The advantages of lifting heavy are very clear even when your favorite sport is endurance-based. For instance, if you are a biker, runner, or swimmer, lifting heavy can be beneficial since it adds muscle strength and lean mass that helps you burn more calories and keeps you energized. Your endurance increases significantly and since your muscles can move more efficiently you are able to perform better.
- Relief from chronic pain - Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that leaves your whole body in pain along with issues of memory, sleep, and fatigue. Lifting heavy can bring you relief from that pain. Stressing out your muscles for relief from chronic musculoskeletal pain may sound ridiculous and counteractive. However, research suggests otherwise. Several studies on women suffering from fibromyalgia show how it brought them relief from their pain and it makes sense when you learn that lifting heavy can reduce inflammation throughout your body in the long run.
- Enhanced mental health - Resistance and strength training can improve your mental health by a significant margin. Several studies show that lifting heavy can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. For depression, trials have been conducted over thousands of subjects and researchers found that lifting heavy weights can lift your mood and helps you to counteract the symptoms of depression.
When you lift heavy you also get a boost in confidence and self-esteem. As you shape your body with heavy weights, you develop a positive body image and have more faith in your physical abilities.
- Better cognitive functioning - As you age there is a natural decline in attention, memory, and other cognitive abilities. However, you can slow that decline by lifting heavy weights. If you can make it a part of your regular routine and combine it with brain training, you can reap long-term benefits.
- Promotes liver health - When you lift heavy, AST and ALT increase in your body by a great amount. Along with that you also experience elevated levels of myoglobin. So you get increased liver activity due to weight training and that can boost your immune system and also bring other benefits. Moreover, it helps you combat fatty liver that is slowly becoming a common problem throughout the world.
9. Torch fat - While aerobic exercises can help you increase your stamina and burn a lot of calories during the exercise, strength training with heavy weights helps you to increase your body’s calorie-burning ability throughout the day. You burn more calories and hence more fat even while you’re sitting on the couch or sleeping.