Excited to announce that I am launching my 10 – Week Gym program Super Simple Super Sets through Friday May 13th. This program is designed with simplicity in mind, using supersets to progressively challenge the body, to maximize results over the course of 10 weeks, and beyond. Learn how to exercise smarter, get results, and stay sane.
You hear it all the time. Lift weights to lose weight. Lifting heavy will not make you bulky. It is not just for guys. Women can lift weights too. Lift something heavier than your purse weighs.
And I bet sometimes you wonder why. Does it really make a difference? Do I really need to lift weights? Do I really need to pick up something heavier?
You never have to do anything. I get that not everyone enjoys weight lifting, feels comfortable in that area, or is simply not into lifting at their maximum heaviest potential. Yet the benefits of weight lifting go beyond a certain type of look, fat loss, and simply being a workout.
Today I want to share with you a few you benefits you don’t always think about and why you might want to bump up the intensity in the gym and pick up a few more pounds, or ten, or fifty.
Improve your insulin sensitivity.
Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas and when we eat a meal, for example, it responds by increasing blood sugar levels. It shuttles glucose (carbohydrates/sugar) from our bloodstream into our cells and is likely to be stored as fat if our liver and muscle supplies are full. It often is referred to as the storage hormone.
At optimal levels insulin has important functions but when it stays constantly high we run into trouble. It simple terms too much insulin release can lead too much storage in body fat which is seen by eating way too much and moving way too little .
In other words you want high insulin sensitivity and this is accomplished by having more muscle mass and doing activities that promote more muscle mass, aka strength training. When you lift weight you increase you insulin sensitivity and that is why it is recommended to eat close to post workout because you food will be shuttled to replace glycogen in your muscles first and not be as likely to be stored.
What we were meant to do.
Weight training mimics what we were meant to do. Labor. As humans, physical labor is part of what we have always done. Until the industrial and technical revolution slowly came in to play and we began to move less and less over time and rely on other people and things to do our work. From cars, to garage door openers, to tv remotes, to washing machines and jobs that require us to sit most of the day.
We need to labor, we just don’t in our everyday lives anymore so we need to create bouts of intense physical labor regularly. Not just a moderate jog on the treadmill or picking up 5 lb dumbbells. Use weight that feels challenging and makes you want to put it down.
Keep your metabolism humming. I’m not just saying that ….
When we go through steady state cardio it can potentially strip our muscles and raise our cortisol levels, aka stress hormone. That is the last thing we need right? Chronic stress on our body after chronic stress in everyday life. Bouts of raised cortisol are normal and have their place but the more you keep stress high and do things that wear on your muscle mass, the less place you will have for storage of carbohydrates and the more likely it will get stored as fat.
Again find activities that promote muscle mass and keep your metabolism high. In article by Alwyn Cosgrove The Heiarchy of Fat Loss he discusses how to maximize leanness with time being a limited factor and said that the best activity was this.
“It’s fairly obvious that the build of calories burned are determined by our resting metabolic rate or RMR. The amount of calories burned outside or our resting metabolic metabolism (through exercise and the thermic effect of feeding) is a smaller contribute to overall calories burned per day.
We can also accept that RMR is largely a function of how much muscle you have on your body – and how hard it works. Therefore, adding activities that promote or maintain muscle mass will make that muscle mass work harder and elevate the metabolic rate.”
To be stronger everyday.
There is nothing I enjoy hearing more than a client of mine who is a grandma and was able to get up and down on the floor to play with her grandkids. Or a 75 year old client who felt she could climb every step on her European vacation. Or the new mom who felt stronger and more balanced when carrying around her baby. Or my own personal experience of carrying in 10 grocery bags at once or picking up my own heavy stuff and when a guy offers to help I just respond, “No thanks, I got this.”
Strength is life. Healthiness is life. And the more we can contribute to being independent and doing activities we enjoy or need to do, the happier we will be. If you want to see change you must challenge yourself physically and mentally.
You can do hard things.
Physical strength translates into emotional and mental strength. You can do hard things. You can overcome the unthinkable. You can push yourself to do more than you think you are capable of.
Physical strength translates to emotional strength and the cycle continues to feed itself. You get stronger, become your confident, get even stronger and have even more confidence. And now because you have more confidence you push yourself more in your workouts, and build confidence again. The cycle continues and has a ripple effect in other areas of your life. Grab a heavier weight. Challenge yourself. Work exceptionally hard.