Last week I asked the question “Why do we lift heavy in FitCamp?” and you all had some great answers you posted to comments. This week I wanted to give you my top 5 reasons we lift heavy and an explanation (for all you believers and skeptics) of why it’s so good for you.
1) You Gain Lean Muscle – When you lift heavy weights, gaining lean mass (muscle tissue) happens naturally. When your body is stressed by this new heavy weight, it adapts to the heavy weight by adding muscle.
Why do you want to add new muscle tissue? I could write a hundred and one reasons, but here are just a few:
- You get stronger, therefore being able to do things in your life that you have not been able to do before. Everything you do is easier. Does that sound like something you want?
- When you gain muscle, your body’s metabolism increases, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day, just by having the added muscle.
- You protect yourself from injury. The stronger you are and the more muscle you have, the more “injury resistant” you become.
- You look better! When you gain muscle, you get more “toned”. Muscle does not cause you to look “big”, it is the fat on top of the muscle that causes any unnecessary size. This extra fat will be depleted for some of the reasons listed above (increased metabolism). Take this to heart ladies, YOU WILL NOT GET “BULKY”! Only a very small percentage of the female population has the natural ability to gain the size that all females are “afraid” of, and the only other route is steroids.
2) Neuroendocrine Response – This means that your nervous system and your endocrine system is stressed, and elicits an effect on the body that produces a boost/ increase in both nerve function (everything from better coordination to being stronger) and testosterone levels. You need testosterone to build muscle, and yes, both males and females produce it, so the more you “boost” your testosterone, the more lean muscle you will build.
3) Increased Bone Density – Ever heard of Osteoporosis? The more you stress your bones NOW by loading them with more weight than they are used to, the more your body will super-compensate (build stronger than before), giving you stronger and higher density bones. The stronger and greater density your bones are now, the stronger they will be when you are older.
4) Increased Sports Performance – No matter if you are an endurance athlete or a college football player, lifting heavy will increase your performance! Endurance athletes will be able to get stronger and faster! Heavy lifting will help you avoid overuse injuries due to the muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons being strong enough to handle the constant pounding or repetitions that you put on your body. The stronger you are, the easier every step is….which means running, step by step, will be easier, even during a marathon.
5) Better Quality of Life (QOL) – Quality of life is everything we do on a day to day basis; from how we feel about ourselves in the morning, to how easy it is for us to walk up stairs. If we are stronger through heavy lifting, everything in your life will be easier for you to achieve on a day basis, therefore increasing the quality of YOUR life.
There are even more reasons that are not listed, but this should help you conquer any fear you have of lifting too heavy. When done with proper form, there is no such thing as “lifting too heavy”. Everyone benefits from getting a higher one rep max back squat, wether you are 13 or 73 years old, football player or marathoner, male or female, we all need it!
Thanks for reading and be sure to leave a comment with any questions you’d like to have answered on training and fitness in upcoming posts.
-Nick (featured below, lifting heavy)
L-Sit/Rest/Static Hang/Rest – 30sec/round x 4
10 OHS (95/65)
10 Rounds for time
30 min CAP
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