Why we need to Lift Heavy Stuff

If you’ve ever seen me in the park with my group, we will almost always have kettlebells that we use to add resistance to our training.

The reason for this is simple. We need strong bodies. Resistance training makes strong bodies. But why is this important?

Builds muscle mass

We are losing muscle mass. This is especially true for women but applies to men too. From the age of 30 onwards we start to atrophy muscle. We could lose around 5%-8% per decade. That might sound like much but trust me it is! Obviously this is important because we need to handle children, shopping bags and live long lives, ideally without dependency on others.

At the extreme, when we’re 80+ we need good muscle mass to get us off the couch and off the toilet! (Read more about Training for Longevity here)

Ramps up your metabolic rate

As we lose muscle mass our metabolic rate declines. Our metabolic rate is the rate at which our body uses up fuel. Fuel in the case is food! So we want a body with a big engine that utilises lots of energy. Like I often say: I want to develop my engine to enable me to eat as much food as I like without gaining fat! Wouldn’t that be amazing?

So the way to achieve this is to lift heavy stuff. Give your body a very clear signal that it needs to adapt and build stronger muscles…

Because muscle is an expensive tissue that needs constant fuelling with quality calories. It burns these calories off at a great rate, even when at rest!

It may combat the symptoms of menopause

Most women go through menopause between the ages of 45-55. Many will experience hot flushes, insomnia, weight gain and slowed metabolism. While lifting weights won’t delay the onset of menopause, it can help to prevent the symptoms of menopause through decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, and better hormone regulation.

Builds bone density

Heavy resistance training helps build stronger bones. That’s important especially as we age because the menopause transition can cause osteoporosis. Up to 20 percent of a woman’s bone loss can occur during this time of life. But resistance training gives your body an excellent stimulus to keep laying down bone, hereby slowing this down.

The good news…

It’s never too late to start. And you don’t even need fancy equipment: in some cases just your body weight is enough. And as you progress you can add some bands and kettlebells. And you don’t need to spend hours in the gym – just 2-4 hours a week should be enough

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