Benefits of Weight Training

One of the most apparent changes from a progressive resistance training program is improved physical appearance. An enhanced appearance helps some people to be more self confident and have higher self esteem. Along with increased muscle size and strength, research has found that resistance training improves the strength of connective tissues, such as ligaments and tendons. It has also been found to increase bone density, which can counteract osteopenia (weakening of the bones) and osteoporosis (loss of bone tissue). Resistance training also improves the ability to perform short-term, high intensity work.

Resistance Training and Coronary Artery Disease

Resistance training has not consistently or significantly been found to improve maximum aerobic output (VO2 max). However, the efficiency of the heart has been shown to improve with weight training. This means less oxygen is required to perform the same amount of work (as measured by a reduced rate of oxygen consumption for the heart muscle). Experienced bodybuilders have lower heart rate and blood pressure responses to exercise than novice weight trainers or sedentary individuals, when performing resistance exercises at the same relative or absolute workloads.

High-density lipoproteins increase and low-density lipoproteins decrease after training with weights. These changes in lipoproteins are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Weight training, similar to endurance training, improves insulin sensitivity.

Blood pressure will increase during weight training exercises, and resting blood pressure has not shown to elevate in normal or hypertensive individuals. Overall, studies suggest that resistance training can reduce cardiovascular risk factors following training.

Summary of Physical Changes in the Body as a result of Weight Training

  1. Increased efficiency of joint action and protection from injury
  2. Increased efficiency of joint action and protection from injury
  3. Increased fuel storage reserves (ATP and glycogen) for short-term, high-intensity work
  4. Increase in proportion of fat free mass
  5. Increase in muscle mass (hypertrophy)
  6. Increase in strength of muscle and connective tissue
  7. Improved capacity to perform short term, high-intensity work
  8. Increase in bone mineral content8. Increases in high-density lipoproteins and decreases in low-density lipoproteins

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