A solid free weight workout has a role in the fitness strategy of pretty much anyone, no matter their goals. Put aside concerns about ending up ‘like Arnold’—you don’t get like that, male or female, unless you work for it, eat for it, plan for it. It won’t happen by accident. Instead, you’ll end up with a stronger, healthier, leaner body. Not convinced?
Here Are 5 Reasons to Make Friends With a Free-Weight Workout:
1) Cardio is Life:
Unless you already have really good cardio, the science suggests that a regular free weight workout will actually do more for your heart and circulatory system than running and other traditional cardio exercises. Once you’re in better shape, the benefits taper off, but they’re still significant past that initial boost.
2) All-in-One Strength:
If you do a lot of training on fixed-path resistance machines or tools, then you’re developing muscles in a way that can be quite harmful to you down the line. Free weights require you to engage all the muscles relevant to actually moving heavy weights; the stabilizers that keep things from swaying, the muscles across your body that have to do their jobs to let you lift at all without tipping or toppling or buckling. It leads to a safer, more complete strength.
3) Burn Cals, Burn:
When you engage all those muscles for an intense strength training workout, you’re burning a ton of calories in a very condensed time frame. Yeah, you can burn more with a long run, but as far as bang-for-your-buck goes, it’s very difficult to beat a proper strength regimen with free weights. That makes it vital for people short on time, and very nice for everyone else.
4) Fast Track to Muscle Development:
Want to get strong? Want to look great? Want more muscle mass to eat calories so you can lose weight faster? If the answer to any or all of these is ‘yes’, then you need to be on a strength training regimen ASAP. Nothing else is going to build the dense, hefty muscles you want for these benefits in anything near the same amount of time. So get in there and start pumping iron.
5) Happy Joints:
By developing an overall healthier musculoskeletal system, you’ll naturally improve the conditioning of your joints as well. While you can’t undamaged injured or otherwise flawed joints, you can build a protective system of muscle and tendons that keep the wear on your joints to a minimum. Contrary to long-term popular beliefs, working your joints hard doesn’t mess them up—it makes them better. And nothing offers a purer, more complete workout of all the moving parts around your joints quite as well as a free weight regimen.
So, convinced yet? Hopefully, you’ll try slotting free weights into your schedule for a while to see how it feels. It can start out pretty rough, but the benefits are well worth the investment of time and effort—just grit your teeth and push on until it gets better, and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about.