5 reasons to use heavy weights

18 May 2014 by
First published: 10 April 2014

What makes you stronger, leaner and healthier? Lifting weights! Here are 5 reasons to use heavy weights

We absolutely love the fact that way more women are using free weights in the gym in a bid to build muscle, burn fat and tone up. Slowly but surely, we’ve busted the myth that weight training bulks you up the way it does men. Hopefully we’re all now well aware of the fact that women simply don’t produce enough testosterone to build mass the way Arnie does. With that in mind, check out our top 5 reasons why you should be hitting the heavy weights in your next gym session:

1. You’ll burn more fat
Many people often associate fat-burning exercises solely with cardio. While cardio in the form of high-intensity interval training certainly does play a part in getting lean, heavy weight training has its own huge role, too. When you use heavy weights, your body uses up plenty of calories during exercise. But thanks to the after burn effect heavy resistance training creates, your body also burns plenty of calories after exercise, too. So you can sit back and burn fat smugly on your way home from the gym (and all night long!). Providing you really loaded that barbell up, that is.

2. You’ll strengthen your bones
As we get older, we’re at a higher risk of osteoporosis, especially after menopause. Bone breakages and fractures are more likely, and also tougher to bounce back from. Weight training is low impact and boosts bone density, but also gets the surrounding muscles stronger so injuries are less likely to occur.

3. You’ll keep diabetes at bay
Of course, staying active in general is a must when looking to prevent type 2 diabetes. But the powers of strength training are known to boost your insulin sensitivity, reducing your chances of becoming insulin resistant and potentially diabetic.

4. You’ll live more comfortably in your old age
Building strength through heavy weight training will make everyday chores much more manageable. When sticking to functional exercises, though, the benefits are huge. Liken your exercises to everyday movements that you often see older people struggle with. Trouble getting out of an armchair? Do squats. Sore back when picking something up? Get deadlifting. Shopping bags too heavy? Try farmer’s walks. Simple, but effective.

5. You’ll ward off heart disease
The markers of heart disease – being overweight, holding fat around your midsection in particular and having high blood pressure – can all be tackled with heavy weight training. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that those who lift weights were less likely to have these markers, and so were less at risk of developing heart disease.