Enhanced muscular strength and endurance can lead to improvements in the areas of:
- Physical performance – mobility, flexibility, speed, cardiorespiratory fitness.
- Injury prevention
- Body composition
- Muscle and Bone health (including bone density)
- Metabolic health (blood pressure, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol levels, obesity levels)
Most importantly, greater muscular strength and endurance reduces the risk of premature death, regardless of age and family history.
Improved Physical Performance
Muscle quality and endurance ensure continued ability to perform everyday tasks with ease and enhance your performance at sports, to an advanced level. Resistance training improves your VO2 max (oxygen uptake), resulting in increased cardiorespiratory fitness.
Increased muscular strength and quality helps to ensure good spine alignment, prevent lower back pain, protects tendons, ligaments and cartilage and maintain good posture and proper body mechanics during walking, running and lifting. Progressive resistance training ensures the building of all major muscle groups.
Improved body composition
Strength training improves body composition by increasing muscle mass and increasing fat metabolism since the metabolic rate is related primarily to muscle mass. The greater the muscle mass the higher the metabolic rate. Resistance training can boost metabolism by up to 15% and fat metabolism continues after you train for up to 90 minutes.
Improved muscle and bone health
Resistance training prevents muscle and nerve degeneration that can compromise the quality of life. Muscle mass degeneration can be reversed through strength training, even in later life as can bone density loss be mitigated through regular training and a healthy diet.
Metabolic and heart health
Resistance training can prevent and manage cardiovascular disease and diabetes through:
- Improving glucose metabolism
- Increasing VO2 max
- Reducing blood pressure
- Increasing HDL and reducing LDL
- Improving blood vessel health
Stronger muscles reduce the demand on the heart. Eccentric training, in particular, has a lower demand on the heart and the uptake of oxygen.
Resistance training, insulin sensitivity and muscle function in the elderly
This review discusses the evidence supporting the fact that resistance training can not only improve strength in the elderly but also improve blood sugar control and dramatically decrease their risks of falls and fractures. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1714488)
Effects of Exercise Training in the Elderly: Impact of Progressive Resistance Training on Skeletal Muscle and Whole-Body Protein Metabolism
This review examines the evidence supporting the fact that the best possible exercise to slow the aging process is resistance exercise. Strength training rebuilds lost muscle, restores lost strength, and renews lost vitality. Even the elderly, unable to perform any “aerobic” training, were able to improve their insulin response, enhance their bone density, increase their cardiorespiratory capacity, and lower their levels of inflammation using only resistance exercise. (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAb- stract?from- Page=online&aid=789776&fileId=S00296651950 0069)
Growth hormone and testosterone interact positively to enhance protein and energy metabolism in hypopituitary men
This study shows the impact of GH and testosterone and its benefits to metabolism and muscle growth. (http://ajpendo.physiology.org/con- tent/289/2/E266.abstract)
Strength Training Early After Myocardial Infarction
This study showed that resistance exercise, when compared with “aerobic” exercise, is completely safe even for middle-aged men who have just had heart attacks. In fact, 30 of the 42 men in the aerobic group suffered further heart problems during the study, while only one of the resistance training group experienced similar problems. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3600238)
Comparison of Combined Aerobic and High-Force Eccentric Resistance Exercise with Aerobic Exercise Only for People with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
While minimizing cardiovascular energy cost, eccentric training can still maximize lean muscle gain. (http://www.ptjournal.org/cgi/pmidlook- up?view=long&pmid=1880185)