Why You Should Try Strength Training


Okay, I get it – I know what it’s like to be scared of the weights section at the gym. Growing up, I was never particularly athletic or active. I loathed gym class at school and never exercised. I saw working out as something difficult, boring, painful, and tiring. For the longest time, I had so many health issues that affected my fitness levels, and so many hobbies that I never had the time to go to the gym.

But I tired of that lifestyle. I started wanting to get active and fit and feel good about myself and my body. So I did what everyone does at that point in their lives, I started trying stuff out. I ran, I did home workouts, took classes. But I was trying to force myself into doing something I didn’t enjoy, and so my way of looking at working out remained the same, and before too long, I always gave up. Until I discovered strength training. It’s been a few years now, and I’ve completed several workout programs and trained both at home and at the gym during different periods. I’ve had ups and downs and I’ve seen results. Most importantly, I’ve found something that makes staying fit something that’s actually fun. It doesn’t feel like a chore anymore, it’s actually enjoyable!

I’ve seen the light; my salvation came in the form of strength training. Here's what to expect if you go for it too.

The reasons to strength train

It will be surprisingly fun!

I remember when I still had trouble imagining that a workout session could actually be fun, when I never thought I could find myself excited to go to the gym. The truth is, strength training can be great fun. There are so many different exercises to try and machines to use, there are different workout programs and you can target different muscle groups. When you find the things you like, stick to them. But more importantly, weightlifting never has to be boring and repetitive. Just switch it up and do something different! Do something new every time and it won’t get monotonous. Before you know it, you’ll learn to love that endorphin kick at the end of a good workout.

You will adjust it to your needs!

Hey, did I mention that there are different ways to lift weights? Well, I’ll say it again: there are so many ways! If you have any injuries or body parts you can’t use, find the exercises that work for you. If you have particular goals about which muscles you want to build or the parts of your body you want to sculpt, choose a workout program that fits. If your gym is small and doesn’t have a lot of machines, use barbells, dumbbells, and all other weights available. And if you’re unwilling or unable to go to the gym at all, do it in your own home! Adjust the sets and reps based on the weights you have at home and do exercises just with your body weight. Whatever your life looks like, you can find a way to fit some strength training in there.

You will build muscle!

Here it is, the big one. A lot of women and girls are wary of the weights because they don’t want to put on muscle and look too bulky. Well, then just work out according to the goals that you have. There’s no need to do heavy weights or heavily working out the visible muscles, you do other exercises and put on some lean muscle mass. You’ll get stronger and leaner and look more fit overall.

You will lose fat!

Which brings us on to the next point: fat loss! Believe it or not, endless cardio isn’t going to get you very far in that department. Sooner or later you’ll hit a plateau and need to eat fewer and fewer calories to get rid of those stubborn pounds. Actually, building muscle requires a lot of calories and burns a ton of fat. And not only that, but maintaining that muscle mass also burns fat. So when you’re big and strong and muscular, you’re literally always burning more fat just doing nothing! It’s ideal!

You will get strong!

As your workout gets harder and the weights get heavier, you’re going to notice some pretty awesome results, not just with your physique, but with your abilities. You are going to get so much stronger than you ever thought you could be. It’s a huge confidence boost when you’re finally able to deadlift that heavy weight you never saw yourself even touching in the beginning. Besides, it’s useful in everyday life. No more help carrying the groceries from the car or opening up stubborn jars, you got it yourself!

You will sculpt your body!

How cool isn’t it, that we can literally transform our bodies in the gym! If your goal isn’t just to lose weight and look slim, then strength training is for you. Do you want a bigger butt, nicer back, or stronger-looking arms? There are exercises and routines for everything. Pick a body part and a day of the week and then target it with the weights, and I can promise you you’ll reach your goals.

How to get started

Have I convinced you yet? Good! But I get that it’s still a bit scary and confusing what the next step is going to be. The good thing about strength training, though, is that it’s so versatile! There are all sorts of ways to start lifting.

At home

Buy a pair of dumbbells/kettlebells/resistance bands and look up some workouts online that you can follow. You don't even need the equipment, you can do it just with your body weight! It's as simple as that.

At the gym

If you’re ready to leave your house, then find your local gym. Use the internet, or maybe you see one every day near your home or your workplace. Before you sign up, make sure you've been given a tour and like the look of the place. After that, it's a good idea to ask for a session with a personal trainer who can show you how to use the machines, correct form, and the exercises you should do based on your goals. See what classes are offered for beginners and try them out. Drag a friend along with you and come up with exercises two people can do together. There’s no need to be scared of doing something wrong; don’t be afraid to ask for help, and just do your research and you’ll feel a lot more comfortable heading over to the weights section. Not that scary anymore, is it?

Emma Jokinen

Hiya! My name is Emma. I’m originally from Sweden but currently studying philosophy at university in Scotland. I love working out and staying active in all the fun ways, and I’m working hard on developing a lifestyle that’s both healthy and enjoyable, as well as a kinder, more positive way of viewing myself and my body. Join me!