WHAT UP FRAAANDS! I’ve been feeling re-invigorated about my fitness routine lately- especially about strength training. Obviously I love the fact that lifting weights has helped me decrease my body fat, protects my bones, blah blah blah. But putting aside those (wonderful) physical results, lifting weights and feeling strong has had a crazy wonderful impact on my whole life, and I want YOU to know why you should be adding strength training to your weekly exercise routine:
It pushes you outside your comfort zone
Comfort zones are a wonderful thing- so cozy and safe, like curling up in sweatpants on the couch on a cold winter night (or if you’re like me, a hot summer night- my beloved sweatpants are on no matter the season). As humans we’re wired to seek comfort- but nothing great is ever achieved by staying nestled inside your comfort zone.
Change is a very, very good thing. And if you want to change, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable! Lifting weights requires you to do just that: get comfortable being uncomfortable. Every time you try something new, every time you push through the last couple of reps when you’re muscles are burning, you accomplish a feat; you gain confidence. You open yourself up to new possibilities both in and out of the gym. Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and see how much bigger your life gets.
Strength training comes with the obvious benefits- you’ll get stronger, burn more fat and calories, and look more toned. But beyond the physical benefits, strength training has an amazing ability to make you feel more confident in your own skin.
You’ll start to look at food as fuel
For years, I saw exercise as one thing: a way to burn off the calories I ate. Images like the one above promote the idea that you have to “earn” your food with exercise. I say this is BOGUS.
We NEED food to function (yes, I know, that is science coming at you). There were days when I thought eating 900 calories a day was the way to obtain the body I wanted, but in reality I was simply tanking my metabolism. I should have focused less on calories, and more on quality. And when I started strength training, that’s exactly what began to happen. My motivation for working out began to shift. Instead of thinking about how many calories I was burning during a workout, I became more focused on getting stronger.
When you start lifting weights, the effects that food has on your body begins to be SUPER amplified. You’ll start to notice how great your workouts feel when you eat chicken and veggies, and how sluggish they feel when you eat donuts and cookies. You’ll start choosing the chicken and veggies over take-out pizza (okay not every time, but sometimes), not just because it’s “healthier”, but because you know how much better your body is going to feel the next day- how many more reps you can do, and how much further you can push yourself. It really is a beautiful thing!
Simply put- you’ll start to see food for what it is- fuel.
You learn the value of discipline and consistency
Results from strength training don’t happen overnight. Consistency is key if you want to see progress. It took four months of lifting and gradually cleaning up my diet before I started to actually see visible results of my hard work. Six months in people at the gym were suddenly telling me how lean and “cut” I looked- I had people asking how I did it. So often during those first months, I resigned myself to the fact that my body just wasn’t meant to have abs or defined muscle. Despite that, I loved how strong I felt, so I kept at it. And wouldn’t you know- the results eventually came.
So get out there! Pick up some weights, focus on getting strong, and watch your life change.