I love this aspect of training; it offers diversity, is appropriate for many people and helps to achieve so many different things.
Most people when they think of weightlifting will immediately think of bodybuilding training made famous in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Ask a CrossFitter what weightlifting is and they will generally think of the classic Olympic-style lifting. For me though, weightlifting is FUN. It’s also a great way to optimise health and performance and when properly practiced, weightlifting is beautiful and powerful.
I use weightlifting with a wide variety of people for many different reasons, whether it is to help slow the ageing process, improve posture, rehabilitate injury, increase strength and power or just simply help people change their aesthetics.
I would like to share with you why YOU should be doing some element of weightlifting despite your different backgrounds. When used correctly it can be very powerful, but like all things if you don’t understand it or you abuse it you can encounter problems.
Weightlifting can reduce the side effects of ageing!
As we age we lose the ability to gain muscle as easily as we could when we were younger, I’m not talking about gaining muscle to look like an Adonis on the beach, I’m talking about having enough muscle to get yourself up and down the stairs. The muscle mass you will need to help you get the shopping home on your own and keep you self sufficient as long as possible into your old age. Think of muscle as a pension plan. The more, healthy, strong, lean muscle tissue you can build and keep through your 40’s,50’s & 60’s etc. the more you will ensure a better quality of life for as long as possible. You will still able to go out and adventure rather than become dependent on other people’s help. For me, I’m training to ensure I can keep active right through my 70’s and much further!
Reduce Injuries and help prevent them.
I deal with a lot of people day to day with chronic pain. Let’s take back pain for instance, through the use of of load bearing exercises I can provide your hips, back muscles and core the ability to take the pressure of your lower back. This will give you the confidence to be able to go through ordinary life without the the fear you may break. It’s certainly not a cure for all but more often than not it helps to alleviate the problem and your body thrives on movement when done correctly.
Weightlifting can also be used with a lot of sports that don’t even require you to lift a weight. Endurance athletes such as triathletes or runners can often suffer from knee and back pain. Through the use of weightlifting to specifically strengthen the glutes and muscles around the hips and encourage them to work in unison it’s possible to achieve a significant reduction in pain. Weightlifting can also help compliment and improve many sports when undertaken correctly. Even if you just play 5 a side once a week adding a little weight training into your weekly routine could massively help you keep playing the game you love for longer without constantly needing to take a week off as you’ve pulled or hurt a muscle. I’m not saying it’s a miracle cure but its much better to be a lot stronger and robust than breaking down your body week on week.
Changing your physique.
A lot of people aspire to lose weight and change their health which is fantastic and with the help of training with weights you can see a dramatic impact on your appearance.
The more, healthy, lean tissue you can attain the more your body can burn excess calories as your body requires more energy to get through its day to day activities giving you what most people would call a “toned” body. This can be achieved by building a lean solid base of muscle around your skeletal frame, not only helping with athletic performance but also giving you the look that your body is strong and healthy.
Weightlifting can also help re structure your body posture which is often compromised by sedentary jobs which require a lot of sitting, driving and staring over IPad and phones etc. Your posture can eventually lead to back and neck problems which can be very painful over time but can be prevented by a good resistance based program.
Overuse problems and lack of understanding.
Weightlifting sits at the top of the Health and Wellness pyramid, all the lower layers must be addressed prior to reaching this stage. If the lower stages are skipped, people encounter problems. By trying to lift too much weight without the right ranges of motion or simply not being physically ready to lift those loads people can seriously injure themselves. This gives weightlifting a bad press which puts others off doing it. Through proper tuition and balanced bodies athletes will reap the benefits of this discipline and hopefully encouraged more of their friends and family to take part.
But I don’t want to get massive!
Through the use of aides such as performance enhancing drugs some athletes will massively build their bodies past the capabilities of the human body. Images of these abnormal athletes skew opinion on what the results from weightlifting can entail. It’s important to consider the weight training program you put yourself on. Many of my female clients are mistakenly given the impression that they will put on gargantuan proportions of muscle, when in fact their training is going to leave them looking athletic, strong and lean which is what most people want to attain from their training anyway.
So in closing, find yourself a great coach who can tailor a plan specifically for you. CrossFit 3D trainers are all skilled in this area and will help you reach your goals. Remember weightlifting is fun, enjoy it and realise the benefits that can be had from this amazing way of training.