14 Best Benefits of Strength Training

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Strength training should be your top priority if you want to improve your health and your physical tolerance. This type of exercise involves utilising one or more muscle groups to perform tasks like weightlifting or squatting. With a plethora of research supporting its numerous advantages, strength training has become an essential part of most workout programs. If you’re considering strength training, you might be curious about the ways it could benefit your life.

In this article we will take a look at the 14 best benefits of strength training.

What is strength training?

Strength training, also referred to as weight training, resistance training, and muscular training, involves any physical movement that utilizes your body weight or equipment like dumbbells and resistance bands to develop muscle mass, strength, and endurance.

The main types of strength training include:

  • Muscular hypertrophy. This is also referred to as muscle building, involves using weights that are of moderate-to-heavy intensity in order to stimulate the growth of muscles.
  • Muscular endurance. This refers to how long your muscles can keep going during exercise. If you want to improve your muscular endurance, you usually need to do a lot of reps with light weights or just use your own body weight to train.
  • Circuit training. This type of training is a type of full-body workout where you perform a series of exercises with minimal rest in between.
  • Maximum muscular strength. This type of training involves using heavy weights and performing low repetitions, typically between 2 to 6, in order to improve overall strength. This type of exercise is recommended for experienced individuals who have already mastered proper form.
  • Explosive power. This type of training focuses on combining speed and power to enhance power output. It is primarily used by trained athletes to improve their ability to execute explosive movements in their respective sport.

Generally speaking, people tend to focus on exercises that improve muscular endurance, circuit training, and muscular hypertrophy as part of their strength-training routine, while strength and power training are typically reserved for more experienced athletes.

You can utilise different types of equipment or opt for none at all, depending on the kind of strength training you opt for to achieve your goals. These may include:

  • Body weight: To achieve your goals in strength training, you have the option to use different equipment or none at all, as you can execute a range of movements by utilizing your body weight and the natural force of gravity. These movements may include exercises like pushups, squats, planks, pullups, and lunges.
  • Free weights: You can also make use of equipment that is not fixed to the floor or a machine, such as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, or even items found around the house.
  • Resistance bands/loop bands: Rubber bands are an example of equipment that can offer resistance when stretched.
  • Weight machines: Machines equipped with adjustable weights or hydraulic mechanisms can offer resistance and apply stress to the muscles to aid in strength training.
  • Suspension equipment: This involves the use of ropes or straps that are securely fastened to a stable point, allowing an individual to leverage their body weight and gravity to perform a range of exercises.

The objective of any type of strength training is to subject your muscles to tension, promoting neuromuscular adaptations and triggering muscle growth. Regular practice will result in increased muscle strength.

Benefits of strength training

Here are the 14 best benefits of strength training according to experts:

1. Makes you stronger

Strength training can increase your physical strength, making everyday activities like lifting heavy objects and playing with your kids easier. It can also enhance athletic performance in sports that demand speed, power, and strength, and may aid endurance athletes by preserving muscle mass.

2. Helps to burn calories effectively

Strength training can boost your metabolism in two ways.

Firstly, it increases your metabolic rate by building muscle, which is more metabolically active than fat mass. This leads to burning more calories at rest.

Secondly, research suggests that your metabolic rate remains elevated for up to 72 hours post-strength training, meaning you continue to burn extra calories for hours and even days after your workout.

3. Helps with belly fat

Excess fat stored in the abdominal region, particularly visceral fat, has been linked to a higher risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and some forms of cancer. Study 1, Study 2, Study 3, Study 4.

Fortunately, research has demonstrated the effectiveness of strength-training exercises in reducing overall and abdominal fat. Study 1, Study 2, Study 3.

4. Helps to achieve a more toned look

As you develop more muscle and reduce your body fat, you will have a leaner physique. This is due to the fact that muscle is denser than fat, which means it takes up less space in your body. Consequently, even if the number on the scale doesn’t change, you may lose inches off your waist. Additionally, when you shed fat and build more prominent and robust muscles, you’ll have more muscle definition, resulting in a stronger and more toned appearance.

5. Promotes greater stability and balance

Strength training can decrease your likelihood of falling by improving your body’s ability to support itself. Here are some studies supporting these claims: Study 1, Study 2.

Another study reviewing 23,407 adults aged 60 and above found that those who participated in a well-rounded exercise program incorporating balance exercises, resistance training, and functional training experienced a 34% reduction in falls.

The encouraging news is that various types of strength training, such as weightlifting, resistance band workouts, bodyweight exercises, and even tai chi, have demonstrated effectiveness through these studies: Study 1, Study 2, Study 3.

6. Helps to minimise the risk of getting injured

Adding strength training to your workout routine may lower your risk of injury. Strength training enhances your muscles, tendons, and ligaments’ strength, range of motion, and mobility, which reinforces major joint strength like hips, knees, and ankles for additional injury prevention.

Moreover, strength training helps address muscular imbalances. For instance, having a more robust core, glutes, and hamstrings decreases the stress on your lower back during lifting, reducing the risk of lower-back injuries.

Finally, both adult and teenage athletes who practice strength training have a decreased risk of injury. These studies are supporting these claims: Study 1, Study 2, Study 3.

In fact, a review of 7,738 athletes discovered that strength-training programs reduced injury risk by 33%. The study also found a dose-dependent relationship, meaning that for every 10% increase in strength-training volume, there was a 4% decrease in the risk of injury.

7. Helps to enhance heart function

Numerous studies have demonstrated that consistent strength-training exercises can reduce blood pressure, lower both total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and enhance blood flow by strengthening the heart and blood vessels.

In addition, strength training can aid in maintaining a healthy body weight and managing blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are a significant risk factor for heart disease.

8. Helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels

Strength training can reduce the risk of developing diabetes and aid in managing the condition to those who already have it.

It increases insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar levels by directing glucose to muscle cells. As a result, having greater muscle mass helps with blood sugar management.

Moreover, strength training may also lower the risk of developing diabetes. A study that followed 35,754 women for 10 years showed a 30% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes among those who did strength training compared to those who didn’t.

9. Enhances your overall mobility and flexibility

Many people think that strength training makes you less flexible, but that’s not true. On the contrary, strength training can actually increase your flexibility and range of motion (ROM) in your joints. This is because weaker muscles often lead to reduced flexibility and ROM.

Recent research has shown that strength training is just as effective as stretching for increasing ROM. To achieve the best results, make sure you perform each exercise through its full ROM. For example, when doing squats, lower yourself as far down as you can while maintaining proper form.

10. Improves your self-confidence

Strength training can significantly increase your self-confidence by providing a sense of accomplishment and appreciation for your physical strength. It helps you overcome obstacles and reach your goals, ultimately boosting your self-efficacy, or your belief in your ability to succeed.

A review of 7 studies conducted on youths between the ages of 10 and 16 years found that strength training was significantly associated with higher self-esteem, physical strength, and physical self-worth.

A systematic review of 754 adults found a significant connection between strength training and positive body image, which includes satisfaction with one’s appearance and a decrease in social physique anxiety (the perception of being judged by others).

11. Improves bone strength

Strength training is essential for bone health.

Exercises that involve bearing weight create short-term stress on the bones, signalling bone-building cells to enhance bone density and strength. This helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis, fractures, and falls, particularly as you get older.

Fortunately, you can benefit from strength training exercises that improve bone health at any age.

12. Improves your overall mood

Regular strength training may enhance your mental health and elevate your mood.

Several studies suggest that strength training can reduce anxiety and improve your mood. Here are some of those studies: Study 1, Study 2, Study 3, Study 4.

Strength training has various advantages in regulating mood, including increased self-esteem and self-efficacy. Additionally, exercising stimulates the release of mood-enhancing endorphins that contribute to a positive mood.

13. Enhances your brain health and function

Engaging in strength training may lead to better brain health and protection against age-related cognitive decline.

Several studies involving older adults have shown that strength training can significantly improve cognitive function, including processing speed, memory, and executive function, compared to those who do not participate in such training. Study 1, Study 2, Study 3, Study 4

It is believed that resistance training can provide several neuroprotective benefits, such as improved blood flow, reduced inflammation, and increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is associated with memory and learning.

14. Contributes to an enhanced quality of life

It has been found to improve quality of life, especially as individuals age.

Various studies have shown that strength training can lead to an increased health-related quality of life, which encompasses a person’s perceived physical and mental well-being. Study 1, Study 2

In fact, a review of 16 studies involving adults aged 50 years and above found a significant correlation between resistance training and better mental health, physical functioning, pain management, general health, and vitality.

Moreover, this type of training may enhance quality of life in people with arthritis. A review of 32 studies demonstrated that strength training significantly improved scores in pain and physical functioning.

Tips for stronger, better workouts

If you want to have stronger and better workouts out of your strength training routine, there are a few strategies you can use.

The basics

If you are new to strength training, it is important to start by mastering basic movement patterns. This will ensure that you perform exercises safely and effectively.

Starting with bodyweight exercises that emphasize balance, core stability, and basic movement patterns is a good idea. Examples include bend-and-lift, single-leg, pushing, pulling, and rotation actions.

Some exercises you can start with are bodyweight squats, single-leg stands, pushups, forearm planks, bird dog exercises, and plank toe taps.

Once you feel comfortable with the basic movement patterns, you can try adding external forces like weights, resistance bands, and machines. If you are unsure how to use a piece of equipment properly, it is recommended that you speak with a physical therapist or personal trainer.

Select the correct volume and weight for your workouts

To achieve your fitness goals, you need to choose exercises that align with them. For instance, if you’re looking to increase muscle mass (hypertrophy) or improve muscular endurance, you’ll need to select appropriate exercises.

For general muscular fitness, you should choose a weight that enables you to perform 8-15 reps for 1-3 sets while maintaining proper form. If you find it difficult to perform at least eight reps or can’t maintain good form, the weight is probably too heavy for you (except for advanced lifters with strength goals). Conversely, if you can comfortably complete 15 or more reps, you should consider increasing the weight.

To build strength and muscle, you need to push your muscles to work harder. This is known as progressive overload, and you should aim to increase the weight, reps, or number of sets as you become stronger.

Don’t overdo it

It’s normal to feel some soreness in your muscles for a day or two after strength training, which is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). However, you shouldn’t experience pain or be unable to perform your daily activities.

Contrary to popular belief, muscle soreness is not necessary to achieve results. Muscle soreness is not linked to gaining strength or muscle mass.

Instead of pushing yourself to the point of soreness, it’s better to end your sets just before failure, which means you cannot physically complete any additional reps. This will decrease the likelihood of DOMS while still adequately challenging your muscles.

Lastly, it’s important to allow your muscles to rest and recover after strength training. Most people benefit from 2-3 strength-training sessions per week.


It’s never too late to begin strength training or any type of training, as it offers a variety of health advantages, including decreased chances of heart disease and diabetes, increased bone density, better mental health and mood, and enhanced self-confidence. It also helps to maintain an active lifestyle.

Fortunately, strength training does not necessitate going to the gym and lifting weights. You can get a great strength workout by utilizing your own bodyweight, resistance bands, free weights, or even objects found in your home.

Regardless of your level of experience, strength training can benefit anyone.

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