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Top Ten Reasons for Weight Lifting

By Garrett J. Braunreiter, GHF's Success Coach

Why do some men and women, in the effort to improve their fitness, still resist weightlifting? Here are some motivating ideas for building weight-room confidence and helping you understand why this method of exercise is so very important to your success…

1. Weight lifting helps lose fat: One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting an exercise and nutrition program is not including a weightlifting program with their cardiovascular exercise and low-fat eating regimen. This is unfortunate because when we cut calories without exercise, we can lose muscle as well as fat. And when you lose muscle, your body becomes a lot less efficient at burning fat. However, when you gain muscle, you can actually condition your body to burn fat more efficiently...24 hours a day!

2. You feel strong and fit: It's a great feeling when you look in the mirror during your workouts and see your back muscles, biceps, shoulders, and legs flexing. If you're unsure about proper lifting technique, hire a personal trainer for a few sessions. The money you invest is well worth it, as is the time and energy you put towards an effective program. And weightlifting can definitely increases your confidence. It's a wonderful feeling to feel strong, especially after a workout. You look forward to looking in the mirror, and actually like what you see.

3. You have more energy: Even if you're just starting out with a few basic weightlifting exercises, very quickly you won't believe how fantastic you'll feel. Instead of making an excuse to skip your workout, you'll make excuses to do just one more set. Plus, with the excess fat you're going to lose, there will be less of you to lug around and therefore less fatigue.

4. You’ll finally see the results: Knowing what to do makes all the difference. Many people go to the gym for months – even years – and wonder why they're not getting any results. Well, it's because they're doing the same darn workout every time.

This is a critical point: you can either quit out of frustration, or you can become a sponge for knowledge and get some help. Get your hands on fitness magazines, books, the trainers at the gym, ask other successful exercisers, or hire a coach. Learn what you need to do to make your program successful. Acquiring the knowledge and getting help is all you need to get hooked.

At first you may question what you're doing: are you going to get too big, are you wasting your time, how do you know this will work? But then you see other men and women who have been weightlifting for years and they look terrific. Here's the telltale sign that your program is working: you start to see definition and feel firmness in muscles you never thought you had.

5. You won't get bored: I suspect many people don't lift weights because they think it will be boring. Just remember to change your routine every 3-4 weeks to keep things fresh and your body responding to your training. Change the reps, the sets, the weight, the rest period, the exercise order, etc. Training only gets boring if you allow it to.

6. You have everyday, functional strength: Weight training does wonders to help you with activities of daily living: Housework, yard work, moving furniture, and carrying bags of groceries without gasping for air and pooping out within minutes. If you have a medical condition such as arthritis or multiple sclerosis, lifting weights can be a godsend. You can rely on weightlifting to keep you strong where once all your strength was gone.

7. You have a stronger back: Juggling a 30-pound toddler and a few bags of groceries while pulling out the stroller can put your back in a compromising position. When you lift weights, you strengthen your upper and lower body, which reduces strain on your back when you're forced to lift heavy loads. Plus, don't you think it would feel really good to walk around knowing that your back is as tight and toned as your legs?

8. You can train at home: Have you been putting off getting started with your weightlifting program because you felt you had to belong to a gym? You can implement a very effective weightlifting program no matter where you are. Invest in some dumbbells and an adjustable bench and you're set. Get some exercise videos or books that focus on strength training; now you can lift weights on your own anytime you like.

9. You can get rid of pain: Do you have limited range of motion in your joints? A bad knee? A wrenched neck? Bum shoulder? Weightlifting promotes strength in your joints so you have ease of movement. That old knee problem improves enough for you to can go hiking in the mountains for days without pain. No pain, more endurance. You can do more outdoorsy things - and have fun while doing them!

10. You build stronger bones: Bone responds to weightlifting the same way that muscles do, by becoming stronger and denser. Building strong bones can be the best defense against osteoporosis. You're more active, more mobile, and without lower back pain. And age doesn't matter; you can start when you're 65 and still experience tremendous benefits from a weightlifting program. IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO START A WEIGHTLIFTING PROGRAM!

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