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The Benefits of Weight Training & How To Train Properly

  • Category: Exercise
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Until the early 1980's, weight training was performed primarily by selected groups of athletes and body builders. Today, experts consider moderate weight training to be a necessary part of exercise programs for competitive athletes, children, older adults, physical rehabilitation patients, and many other individuals who desire to enhance physique and improve health. Without it, we would lose about 5 pounds of muscle and gain about 15 pounds of fat every decade! Most people are overly conscious of the fat gain and thus resolve themselves to "fad diets". Oftentimes these diets cause further muscle loss because about 25% of the weight lost while dieting is through reduced muscle mass.

Weight training is the process of exercising with progressively heavier resistance to build, strengthen or retain muscle. Muscle is a very active tissue with high-energy requirements. Even when you are asleep your muscles are responsible for over 25% of your calorie use. Therefore an increase in muscle will result in an increase in the number of calories your body will burn. Many people fear that weight training will cause them to develop bulk, whereas if properly utilized, weight training can contribute to a leaner body and more importantly, a healthier life.

It is never too late to get started as weight training is the only type of exercise that can slow or even reverse the decline in muscle mass, bone density and strength that were once considered natural elements in the aging process. Even as early as age 30, our metabolism begins to decline; however, weight training can literally reverse this process.

Many people also believe that weight training will cause strain to already sore muscles. While it is imperative that all exercises be executed properly and in moderation, weight training can actually improve lower back pain and strengthen a weak back. Consider the following guidelines when fitness training with weights:

  • Warm-up by stretching.
  • Follow specified techniques
  • Perform at least one set of eight to twelve repetitions to the point of fatigue in the muscles.
  • Perform from eight to ten different exercises to work the major muscle groups.
  • Increase the resistance as muscles become stronger.
  • Exercise at least 2-3 days a week (in addition to some other sort of aerobic exercise) and allow time for your muscles to recover in between weight training days.
  • Perform both lifting and lowering in a controlled manner.
  • Maintain a normal breathing pattern.

The benefits of weight training are no longer in question. Research continues to show that strength training plays an important role in boosting the immune system, strengthening the heart, elevating the emotions and building density in bones.

If you would like more information, please call our nutrition counselors at 321-267-1424 or learn about the program on You should also talk to your physician about your diet. If you do not have a physician, please call our referral center at 321-267-1424 or to visit our Parrish Medical Group to find a physician that is right for you.