Why You Need to Start Strength Training Now
Make a Life Change and Give Strength Training a Try
Are you unsatisfied with yourself and looking to make a change? See how strength training could be the solution to your problems.
You’re rushing around getting ready for work when you catch a glimpse of your body in the mirror. You wish you hadn’t, because you are not happy AT ALL with what you see.
“Maybe it’s just the angle,” you think to yourself. So you start turning and posing in each and every direction—you tighten up your stomach (hoping somehow this will give you abs), flex your arms, and perk up your glutes.
But you just can’t deny the fact that your body needs some work and it’s a real blow to your self-esteem. You start feeling crummy for letting yourself get to this point and realize it’s time to make a change.
You want a makeover from the inside out—one where you achieve the body you want and create a happier, more confident version of yourself.
So let me ask you something:
Have you given strength training a try?
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking—that strength training is reserved for hardcore bodybuilders or fitness competitors who look like they could crush a watermelon with their quads or are so shredded you could grate cheese off their abs.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Because the truth is:
Strength training is reserved for people like you who want to make a life change, build a physique they can be proud of, and feel more confident about themselves.
In this post, you’ll learn about what’s REALLY in it for you to pick up strength training, we’ll go over some tips for getting started, and I’ll give you a beginner's full-body workout you can use to kickstart your strength training journey.
Let’s dive into it!
Build Muscle, Burn Fat, Look Good in a Swimsuit
Sure, the latest super deluxe cardio program filled with kickbacks on the StairMaster might leave you drenched and standing in a pool of your own sweat.
But the thing is:
That fit, athletic-looking physique you want? The one where you’re toned, have muscle, and actually look like you workout—you need strength training to create a body like that.
But in order to transform your body into a fat-burning furnace, you need muscle. Because the more muscle you have, the more fat you can burn and the more toned you’ll be.
And just a word to the wise:
Strength training alone won’t get you chiseled like those Greek god or goddess statues carved from marble. A car can’t go anywhere without gas, and you’ll need a solid nutrition plan that fuels your body with the right types of foods.
Gain the Type of Confidence You’ve Always Wanted for Yourself
Mark Twain once said:
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
Now, let that sink in and reflect for just a second on how you feel about yourself.
Are you a shy or timid person? Do you have low self-esteem and wish you had more confidence?
Even if you don’t show it right now, you have an inner confidence buried inside you. Yours might be buried deep—underneath a bunch of negative thoughts and self-doubt— but trust me, it’s there. And strength training could be your key to unlocking it.
I’m not saying that just to say it either. There’s actual science behind this. In fact, numerous studies have shown that strength training can actually help improve your body image and how you feel about yourself.
One study in particular compared the psychological benefits of strength training vs. cardio. The study found that people in the strength training group had a significantly greater boost to their self-esteem (Sorry cardio!).
So where does the confidence come from?
The confidence comes from sticking to a routine even when it gets hard and pushing through those tough workouts you didn’t think you could (especially on squat day).
It comes from getting stronger, crushing your goals, and seeing the progress you make over time.
I think you’ll find that the discipline, mental toughness, and inner resolve that comes from committing to a routine and sticking to it no matter what carries over into other parts of your life.
Think of strength training as your metamorphosis from a shy, timid little garden gnome into that chiseled marble statue that says to the world “I’m here and I’m a force to be reckoned with.”
This might sound cliché but, YOLO.
Strength Training Makes You Healthy on the Inside Too
Ultimately, strength training is an investment in your health. And I can’t think of any bigger investment than that. Can you?
So how does it impact your health? What are some of the benefits?
The health benefits of strength training are literally endless but here are a few of the heavy-hitters:
Improves Heart Health
Strength training isn’t just about building muscles—it can make your heart stronger too, as well as lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. One study found that strength training for less than one hour per week can decrease your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (like a heart attack or stroke) by between 40 and 70 percent.
Boosts Your Mood & Gives You More Energy
Strength training helps your body release endorphins (codenamed “happy chemicals”) that can boost your mood and give you more energy. There’s a ton of research out there that shows regular exercise can help with depression.
Increased Range of Motion, Flexibility, and Stronger Bones
Strength training can help increase your range of motion, flexibility, and even help strengthen your bones. The key to increasing your range of motion is to NOT be an ego lifter*.
Focus on muscular tension and make sure you’re getting the full range of motion with each exercise.
* Ego lifter: Someone who sacrifices form just to use a lot of weight.
How to Get Started With Strength Training
All the info out there can be a little overwhelming and intimidating, especially if you’re just starting out. But the most important step you can take is the first one.
Here are some tips to help you get started on your strength training journey:
Start off slow: Think of something you do really well. Now, if someone came to you for advice, what would you tell them? You’d probably tell them to start off slow and not overdo it, right? Be sure to take your own advice and ease into things.
Form, form, form: Prioritize form in your workouts and perform the exercises correctly over anything else. Don’t worry about how much weight you’re using or stress about how you think you should be lifting more. Strength training is just like anything else in life—practice makes perfect. And the more you strength train, the stronger you’ll become.
Accept the fact that you’re going to make mistakes: At the end of the day, know that you’re likely to make some pretty common gym mistakes just starting out. But please please please don’t be one of those people who overload the bar and relies on complete strangers to sprint across the gym to help them get the weight up. It’s not a good look.
Total Body Strength Training Workout
Looking for a workout to get you started?
I would recommend keeping your rest times on the longer side (between 2-3 minutes) just starting out.
And to keep things nice and simple, aim for 3 sets of between 6 to 10 reps on each exercise. If you can’t hit all the reps of a certain exercise, try modifying it.
For example, if 3 sets of 10 push-ups are too much for you, scale things back and go for push-ups on your knees. If you’re still unable to get all the reps, just hold yourself in a plank position for 10 seconds.
Before you know it, you’ll have the strength to complete all the reps of every exercise and probably even be able to increase the weight too.
Make a Life Change and Give Strength Training a Try
Strength training isn’t just for the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s of the world—it’s made for people like you who are looking to make a life change.
So if you’re tired of looking in the mirror and feeling unsatisfied with your body, wishing deep down you had more confidence, or know that you’re unhealthy and need to make a change...
Then get out there, take the first step, and give strength training a try.
About the Author
Chad Richardson is a freelance writer from Cincinnati, OH. It’s actually been rumored that Chad came out of the womb doing bicep curls, so it should come as no surprise that he enjoys creating content to help others get in shape and live healthier lives. When he’s not in the gym impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger, you can probably catch Chad at a local bar with some friends, frustrated with his hometown Red Legs’ inability to stay above 500 for a whole season. His philosophy on life? Take action starting TODAY on that thing you’ve been putting off...Not tomorrow, next week, or whenever you feel motivated...A small step might not seem like much right now, but even small steps add up to a mile eventually.
Website: Chad’s Business Website
LinkedIn: Chad’s LinkedIn
I have been doing resistance 2x/week for several years (as an add on to my heavy cardio - bike, swim in summer, xc ski, skating, swimming in winter), and love this article, as well, there are many publications out there that note for the 50+ crowd (as myself, 67), the benefits of added muscle for conditioning, bone density, stability, and lowering depression as we age is very important. As well, when meeting new people, I'm constantly deemed to be 10 years + younger than I am!