Why Strength Training should be part of your Fitness Routine

Mar 28, 2024

 by Abby McCoid

In the quest to become more lean and healthy, many of us focus solely on cardio- running, biking or stair climbing. Cardio is undoubtedly important for heart health, it misses a crucial component of fitness: strength training. Not only does strength training build and define our muscles, but it also plays a vital role in elevating our metabolic rate and protecting us from disease.

Strength training increases lean muscle mass. Unlike fat, muscle is metabolically active tissue– it’s expensive to grow and maintain and requires energy (calories) to sustain itself even at rest. By incorporating strength training into our fitness routine, we stimulate muscle growth, leading to a higher proportion of lean muscle mass in our bodies. This increase in muscle mass subsequently elevates our basal metabolic rate (BMR), the number of calories our bodies burn at work and at rest. Essentially, the more muscle we have, the more calories we burn throughout the day, even when we're not actively exercising.

But! If you want to grow muscle (and you do!) you need to do more than just lift.  Nutrition plays a pivotal role in optimizing muscle growth and metabolic function. A high-protein diet is essential for supporting muscle. Protein provides the building blocks (amino acids) necessary for muscle tissue repair and growth, ensuring that our bodies have the resources they need to recover and adapt to the demands of strength training. We like to recommend folks eat .8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. That’s a lot more than the 0.36 grams per pound recommended by the RDA for survival. Spoiler alert- we’re looking to thrive, not just survive!

Beyond getting stronger or sculpting a toned physique; strength training has a host of other proven benefits: 

  • It improves cognitive ability (i.e. our ability to think and reason)
  • It improves metabolic health
  • It lowers our risk of all-cause mortality (dying from any cause. ANY cause!)
  • It helps us recover more quickly from injuries and illness
  • It helps us maintain our independence as we age (want to carry your own groceries and get up the stairs alone? Lift!)

The bottom line? There are a host of fantastic reasons to prioritize strength training in your fitness routine. Try to add two or three days each week. Click here to get a free, 8 week program to get you started. Better yet, get started with us for hands-on coaching and guidance. We’re invested in your success!