“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.”
― Mark Rippetoe
One of my favorite quotes from Rip. If nothing else, lifting weights makes you more useful.
1) Men Who Lift Weights Are Smarter.
A study led by the University of Sydney showed that increased muscle strength leads to improved brain function in adults with MCI.
MCI defines people who have noticeably reduced cognitive abilities such as reduced memory but are still able to live independently, and is a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.
Participants were asked to carry out a mix of weight lifting and brain training.
Findings from the Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) trial show, for the first time, a positive causal link between muscle adaptations to progressive resistance training and the functioning of the brain among those over 55 with MCI.
On the basis of this, researchers recommended people should lift more weights so that the world would have a healthier ageing population.
“What we found in this follow-up study is that the improvement in cognition function was related to their muscle strength gains,” said Yorgi Mavros, researcher at Sydney University in Australia.
“The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain,” said Mavros.
2) Strong Men Live Longer.
The secret to a longer life may be a barbell: Strength training as you age reduces your risk for death, according to a new study from Penn State College of Medicine.
Researchers surveyed people age 65 or older about their exercise habits and then tracked them for 15 years. Nearly a third of the study participants died during that period.
Less than 10 percent of the subjects strength trained, but those select few were 46 percent less likely to die during the study than everyone else.
Sure, you could say that older folks who lift must be in better health to begin with. But even after adjusting for BMI, chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, and habits like total physical activity, drinking, and smoking, lifting was linked to a 19 percent reduced risk of death.
Strength training can keep you active and independent in your golden years, says study author Jennifer Kraschnewski, M.D. Not only does it strengthen your muscles, resulting in better stamina and balance, but it also increases your bone density.
Together, those factors reduce your risk for falls and fractures—major causes of disability for older people.
Plus, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day just by having more muscle mass on your frame, which helps you maintain a healthy weight, Dr. Kraschnewski says.
3) Men Who lift have more energy.
You wouldn’t think so, but a brutal squat session or a nasty METCON will actually give you more energy in the long run. Spend a few hours quickly bossing the weights each week and you'll have 20% more energy all day long, according to researchers at the University of Georgia. Why? Weightlifting deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to hit the gym again.
I.E. You need to start working out to have more energy and feeling better..... Not the other way around.
4) Weightlifters Sleep Better.
Lifting weights routinely can help to ease stress and insomnia, according to the Training Station website. Strength training provides many health benefits and helps regulate important functions in the body, such as resting glucose metabolism, metabolic rate and blood pressure, which contribute to stress reduction and more restful nights. Strength training creates constructive physical changes in your body that also help you cope better with daily stress and help you get a better night’s sleep. Overall, your coping mechanisms are stronger; therefore, you sleep more peacefully.
5) Men who lift are more confident.
Sure, your last big lifts workout will have maxed your T-levels and revved your mirror muscles, but will crafting a perfect body actually hand you inner-confidence outside the gym? In short: hell yes. According to 40 trials published in Archives of Internal Medicine, clocking over an hour a week in the weights room is enough to raise your confidence levels and quell symptoms of worry by 20%. Need more convincing? Another study from the Journal of Health Psychology found that the act of weightlifting alone is enough to make you feel much better about your body image.
6) Men Who Lift Have Higher Testosterone Levels.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: weights beats running. And you don’t even need to imagine a fight between Mo Farah and Schwarzenegger to work that out; a study from the University of Alberta found testosterone levels were actually lower in male athletes who ran at least 64km a week compared to those who did absolutely nothing at all. So what? Well, a lack of testosterone can lead to fatigue, depression, height deficiency and erectile dysfunction.
The cure? You guessed it: your trusty weights bar. A study published in the journal Sports Medicine found strength training is the most effective at boosting your manliest hormone, particularly if you introduce compound moves – exercises that target several muscle groups at once – into your training.
7) Weightlifters Can Lose Weight Faster.
Weightlifters know that you never have to resort to jogging round the park donning skin-tight lycra to burn your blubber. A study from Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found incorporating at least two days of strength training for every one of cardio will burn through significantly more calories than an entirely steady-state cardio regime alone.
The reason? While endurance training mainly targets type I muscle fibres, strength sessions target larger type II fibres, which use up more of your energy, raising your metabolic rate as it raids your fat stores. Bottom line: if you’re looking to lose weight then follow the single-digit body fat of a weightlifter.