Benefits of Strength Training
The Department of Kinesiology and Health at Georgia State University summarizes the widely accepted benefits of strength training:
- Increased muscular strength
- Increased strength of tendons and ligaments
- Potentially improved flexibility (range of motion of joints)
- Reduced body fat and increased lean body mass (muscle mass)
- Potentially decreased resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure
- Positive changes in blood cholesterol
- Improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
- Improved strength, balance, and functional ability in older adults.
It was shown that adding three pounds of muscle increases resting metabolic rate by 7 percent, and daily calorie requirements by 15 percent. At rest, a pound of muscle requires about 35 calories per day for tissue maintenance, and dramatically more during exercise. Replacing fat with muscle uses more calories all day and reduces fat accumulation. Campbell found that strength training produced four pounds of fat loss after three months of training, even though the subjects were eating 15 percent more calories per day.*
* Campbell, W., et al., Increased Energy Requirements and Changes in Body Composition with Resistance Training in Older Adults,
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 60 (1994): 167-175.