As a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I’ve heard almost every excuse why people aren’t exercising and even more why they can’t lift weights. However, unless you have a note from your doctor, the benefits are so great ANY excuse not to lift weights or strength train can be easily busted!
The benefits of strength training are numerous, including increased muscle strength, balance, bone density, lean muscle mass, and cardio endurance—not to mention that strong, lean muscles simply look better!
So if you’ve been making excuses and opting out of lifting those weights, read on to get the kick in the “workout pants” that you need to start reaping those benefits today.
Busting 7 Common Strength Training Excuses
Excuse #1: I’m too old.
Think you’re too old to start a strength training program? Well think again! Strength training is just what your body needs to fight the loss of muscle, bone mass and strength that comes with age. Time spent on strength training can literally help you turn back the clock and feel younger each day.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) -”Research has shown that strengthening exercises are both safe and effective for women and men of all ages, including those who are not in perfect health. In fact, people with health concerns—including heart disease or arthritis—often benefit the most from an exercise program that includes lifting weights a few times each week.”
Excuse #2 I’ve never done this before so what’s the point?
If you’ve never participated in a strength training program, why start now? Here are some very important reasons strength training makes a difference in your quality of life:
Increases your ability to perform activities of daily living with ease and joy. The stronger your muscles, the easier it is to get groceries out of the car, get a package off of the top cabinet shelf, push the lawnmower, play with your kids and grandkids…..the list goes on and on!
Reduces the loss of muscle strength – if you don’t use it YOU WILL LOSE IT!
Improves your muscle mass to fat ratio and muscles burn more calories than fat.
Weight bearing exercises help improve Bone Density – as we hit midlife this is extremely important to prevent osteoporosis.
Improves posture to prevent the hunch of osteoporosis and the tummy pooch we start to get at midlife.
Strong core muscles can improve balance and reduce the chance of falling.
Reduces Pain. Yes, research has shown that strength training can alleviate low back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, etc.
Excuse #3: I don’t want to get hurt.
Moving your body in new ways and lifting weights can make you more susceptible to injury. But, if you warm up properly, lift weights using proper form, understand the difference between soreness and pain and really listen to your body (not pushing it too hard, especially in the beginning), the benefits of strength training far outweigh the risks.
Excuse #4: I’m trying to lose weight, so I need more cardio exercise.
When it comes to weight loss, a calorie burned is a calorie burned, no matter how you go about it. If you want to lose weight you have to burn calories AND reduce them through your diet. Working out with weights will burn calories AND you will build muscle which, as I said above, burns more calories than fat does.
Excuse #5: I don’t have time to do both strength training and cardio.
The best thing about strength training is that it can double as cardio if you do it the right way! Intermix lifting weights with 1 to 2 minutes of jogging or walking in place and you have a full body, heart pumping workout!
Excuse #6: I’m afraid of bulking up (most used by women).
There is no way that lifting weights for 30 minutes a few times a week will bulk you up. Most women do not have enough testosterone to build huge muscles unless they are taking unhealthy supplements and spending hours in the gym.
Excuse #7: I don’t know what to do.
You didn’t think you’d get away with that excuse did you? There is so much information out there on how to strength train and of course I am here to help. Just ask or come to one of my classes.
No Excuses: If you have your doctors OK, strength training is an essential activity for overall health.