The simple answer is that if your resistance training is properly executed, and the result is building of muscle, the ultimate gain to the human body is literally ‘everything’. The ‘health’ territory that muscle tissue covers is phenomenal. It includes the potential for processing waste materials, oxygenating blood, controlling insulin levels, optimizing bone-mineral density, increasing metabolic rate, reducing bodyfat levels, optimizing aerobic capacity, enhancing flexibility, and appreciably reducing the chances of injury, while at the same time allowing you to perform day-to-day tasks with far less wear and tear and stress on your body. All of these health benefits flow from building and strengthening of your muscles.
More Muscles can save your life The medical literature affirms the absolute role that increased muscle mass plays to one’s benefit during life-threatening situations. A lot of the beneficial effects of strength training come from the fact that other organs of the body increase their functional capacity to track, one to one, with increases in muscle mass. As an example, if you were to be in a severe traffic accident and had to be admitted to an intensive care unit, the “start” point from which you would atrophy all of your organs is predicated on your degree of muscle mass. In other words, how long it would take before you reach multisystem organ failure and die, is directly linked to your level of muscle mass, because all of your other organ weights are going to be proportional to that.
Strength Exercise that is performed to make your muscles bigger also makes them stronger (and vice versa). When you’re stronger, the metabolic consequence of any work that you have to do as part of your daily life becomes less significant. Having more strength benefits you in all activities; it not only makes everything you do easier but also broadens the scope of what you can do.
Gastrointestinal transit time Slow gastrointestinal transit time has been associated with a higher risk of colon cancer, and gastrointestinal transit time has been shown to increase, by as much as 56 percent, after just three months of strength-training exercise. So, again, the greater your muscle mass, the quicker the gastrointestinal transit time and, therefore, the lower your risk for colon cancer.
Resting Metabolism Muscle is metabolically active tissue. Any loss of muscle with age leads to a lower energy requirement and a reduced resting metabolic rate. Without proper strength-training exercise to intercede, the resting metabolic rate will diminish by approximately 2 to 5 percent per decade. A study conducted by Tufts University, in which senior men and women took part in a twelve-week basic strength-building program, resulted in the subjects’ gaining an average of three pounds of lean muscle weight and reducing their bodyfat weight by an average of four pounds. As a consequence, the resting metabolic rate of the subjects increased by 7 percent, on average, which was equivalent of an additional 108 calories burned per day, or an extra 756 calories per week. This study indicated that the body burns at least 35 calories a day for every pound of lean muscle weight gained. This new tissue will burn more calories even while the subject is at rest.
Glucose Metabolism The ability to metabolise glucose efficiently is vital to health. Diabetes has been associated with poor glucose metabolism, which strength training has been shown to improve, increasing glucose uptake by 23 percent after only four months.
Insulin Sensitivity Human beings require periodic bursts of high muscular effort. In the absence of such activity, glycogen is not drained out of the muscles to any meaningful degree. When this state is coupled with routine consumption of large amounts of refined carbohydrates, a level of glucose is produced that can no longer be stored in the muscles. The muscles are already full, because an insufficient number of glycolytic fibers have been tapped. Glucose therefore begins to stack up in the bloodstream, and the body’s insulin levels rise. Because the glucose cannot get into the muscle cells, the receptors on the surface of those cells become insensitive to insulin. The body then produces even more insulin and now has large amounts of circulating glucose as well as insulin. That glucose gets transported to the liver, where, in the face of high insulin levels, it will attach to fatty acids (triacylglycerol), and all future carbohydrate ingestion now is partitioned exclusively to fat storage.
Long after your muscle cells have become insensitive to insulin, your fat cells (adipocytes) remain sensitive to insulin. As a result, the system of someone who does not perform high-energy exercise will have high amounts of triacylglycerol, which is then moved into the fat cells, where it is converted to triglycerides and ends up being stored as body fat. One of the most important ways to reverse this process is to engage in strength training
Release Body Fat stores Body fat loss is another benefit that proper strength training affords the trainee. This benefit of a resistance-training program is a result of three factors. The first is that an increase in muscle mass raises the resting metabolic rate of the body, thus burning more calories in a twenty-four-hour period. The second is that calories are burned during the strength-training activity as well as being burned, and at a higher rate, following the cessation of the workout while the body undergoes replenishment of exhausted energy reserves and repairs damaged tissues. Third, as discussed, while the muscles empty themselves of glycogen, glucose is moved out of the bloodstream and into the muscle, lowering the bloodstream’s insulin levels. When this happens, the amount of triacylglycerol in the liver and in the circulation, falls. This lower insulin level translates to less body fat storage.
Improves Lipid Profile Strength training has been shown to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, improving blood lipid profiles after only a few weeks of strength-training exercise.
Blood Pressure The medical literature reveals that properly performed strength training has actually been shown to reduce resting blood pressure in mildly hypertensive adults without the risk of dangerous blood pressure increase.
Bone Mineral Density There is no shortage of data in the medical literature indicating that significant increases in bone mineral density can be derived from strength training.7 Not only will proper strength training makes you stronger, but also this strength helps to protect you from sustaining the sorts of falls that cause the types of fractures we witness in osteoporosis sufferers.
Arthritis People who suffer from arthritis will be pleased to learn that strength-training research on arthritic subjects has shown that resistance exercise may ease the discomfort of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Lower Back Pain One of the more common ailments we witness in contemporary society is lower-back pain. Fortunately, there is strong medical evidence that a properly performed resistance-training program involving direct exercise for the muscles of the lumbar spine can help to ease lower-back discomfort and to strengthen the lumbar muscles.
Flexibility In most instances, people consider flexibility to be the third leg of the fitness tripod, the other two being cardiovascular stimulation and strength building. While enhanced flexibility is desirable, you don’t have to enroll in a yoga class or stretch constantly (or at all) to safely achieve flexibility. There is widespread confusion, even among fitness authorities, between stretching and flexibility. What you want is not increased flexibility so much as enhanced flexibility. This goal is achieved by an application of resistance at the safe extremes of a muscle’s range of motion.
Cardio vascular health Cardiovascular health is often confused with aerobic conditioning, the latter of which is always specific to a particular activity, such as running or stationary cycling. Cardiovascular health, by contrast, equates to the ability of the heart, lungs, and bloodstream to supply whatever the muscles need. According to an abundance of studies, the cardiovascular system receives tremendous stimulation and benefit from resistance exercise.
Strength training stimulates growth, maintenance, repair mechanism that builds capacities and slows ageing.