3 Reasons to Get Off the Treadmill and Lift Weights Instead

by Kristen Kellogg, Certified Personal Trainer, NCSF

I’m proud to say that I’m strong. I can carry all of my groceries into the house in one trip, my reusable bags stacked from my shoulders to my hands. I can easily hoist my luggage into the overhead bin. I never struggle with moving a piece of furniture or carrying as much laundry as I can fit into the basket up two flights of stairs. I am always the first to challenge my teenage children in pushup or plank contests. This is because I lift weights.

While I’m lifting (in between sets) I often see others on their way to the treadmill, passing by the weights and passing up a great opportunity. These people usually fit into one of these categories:

The Endorphin Junkie

Their ideal workout is one that makes them pant and sweat. They like to lace up their shoes and hit the treadmill, the elliptical or the stair climber. They challenge themselves to go longer and faster. But then what? Eventually they hit a wall — because you can’t run all day.

The Burn Out

I see these people for months and months and then they’re gone. They get burned out on cardio. Maybe they’re bored and filled with dread at the idea of working out. They stop for a while so they can challenge themselves again after they take a long holiday break. But they’re risking both injury and health problems with this approach.

The Risk Averse

This group won’t even glance at the weights. No interest. Maybe they’re in a hurry and they just want to do what they know. Maybe they’re insecure about starting a weight training program. Maybe they think it will make them bulk up. Maybe they don’t think about it at all. They gloss over articles about the benefits and they ignore the results of their weight-lifting friends.

Give Weight Training a Try!

A recent Harvard study found that just 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms even more effectively than standard counseling did. People who train with weights a few times a week significantly improve their scores in measures of anger and overall mood. That’s quite a benefit! However, as I mentioned above, my top reason for loving weight training is that it’s made me strong. Here are the next 3 top reasons why I love weight training for my clients (and you).

  1. Your Body Will Change:

Nothing works as quickly and as effectively to change physique than weight training. Excessive cardio will actually reduce muscle mass. Weight training builds muscles and gives people cuts and curves. Not everyone will have the time or desire to train to have a hard body, but even with a modest routine, positive changes will happen…and more quickly than you’d expect.

  1. You’ll Burn Fat Longer:

I often get clients who are frustrated with their cardio routines. They’re working harder with diminishing returns. They’ve reached a plateau. This is where weight training really shines. Studies done by the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts found that the average woman who strength trains two to three times per week for two months will gain two pounds of muscle and lose 3.5 pounds of fat.  As you increase your lean muscle, your metabolism speeds up, so you burn more calories all day long.  As a rule of thumb, for each pound of muscle you gain you burn about 50 more calories each day without doing any additional work.

  1. You’ll Be More Confident:

The mental boost weight training gives people can’t be overestimated. My clients come to me with so many different goals… to look better, to feel better, to be healthier. Weight training accomplishes all of these things. Weight training even improves your brain power. And when you’re moving in the direction of what you value, the positive impact is immense.

If you’ve been avoiding weight training for whatever reason, I’m here to urge you to give it a try!  Just find an acac personal trainer, tell us your fitness goals, and we’ll show you how weight training will help you meet them.

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