AND WHY EVERY ENDURANCE ATHLETE OVER 30 NEEDS TO INCLUDE IT IN THEIR YEARLY TRAINING PROGRAM
There are SO many other systems in the body that are developing during weight training that does not get as much attention but are equally, if not more important, than bigger muscles.
Stimulate Growth Hormones and Reverse Catabolism
This one is a HUGE, if not the biggest, reason why everyone over the age of 30 should lift weights. After we reach 25 years (yup – that was just a few years ago…), our cells stop growing and building independently. We are now mature humans and are beginning the 2nd stage of life, where the cells break down. Exercise stimulates a chemical reaction, reversing the ageing process and stimulating new growth.
Increase Bone Density
Lifting weights is a stress on the bones. The body responds by laying down more bone, increasing overall bone density, reducing the chance of osteoporosis, and hopefully future fractures when we get older.
Increase Metabolism at Rest
Our metabolism naturally lowers, so we need to eat less or move more to maintain the same weight as we age. However, building muscle uses more energy, increasing metabolism at rest. Yes, during sleep, the body is repairing muscles that use energy and helps with weight maintenance. Weight training also increases testosterone in both sexes. Testosterone is vital in managing weight AND maintaining a healthy libido. Testosterone levels lower as the day progresses, so training in the afternoon or evening will boost
NOTE: This does not happen with endurance sports, and HIIT exercises for women may have the opposite effect and reduce testosterone levels
Train the Neuromuscular System
The first few times someone learns a new movement, the brain has to create a pathway, telling the muscles how to move as they should. The more repeated the movement, the more solid and subconscious this pathway becomes. Once the brain no longer has to tell the body to move in that new way consciously, then more weight, speed, power, or move to more complex movements.
Improve Mental Resilience and Confidence
Weight training allows for small wins throughout the overall training goal. Building strength in the gym builds overall confidence and permits the athlete to tackle more complex exercises in the gym or sport.
By pushing to “do one more rep,” you are teaching your body the difference between good pain (make you more robust) and bad pain (injury).
Boost Energy Levels and Mood
Even a short 20-minute workout will release endorphins which act as an anti-depressant as the brain releases dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
Reduce Risk of Injury
Weight training is a controlled environment where paying attention to form and working within personal comfort levels can build overall body and core strength, which will help reduce injuries during sport.
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