Using free weights is important if you want to create the body of your dreams. Machines help build muscle, but if you want to build a body that can perform as well as it looks, free weights is what you want to use.
Benefits of using free weights:
- More muscle means more calories burned
- Reduces depression
- Builds muscle density
- Increase athleticism
- Improves mobility and ability to move
- Lower diabetes risk
- Improved heart health
- Better blood sugar control
- Prevents and fixes lower back pain
- Improved balance
- Improves mental strength
- You’ll look and feel better
The list goes on. I wanted to show you a small snippet of what benefits lifting free weights has.
Let me go over some of these points below.
The importance of building strength
Building functional strength is one of the most important by-products of lifting free weights. Being able to improve your ability to do daily activities is paramount to going to the gym.
Many people think going to the gym is vain and only useful if you want to get better at lifting weights; quite the opposite is true.
Muscles burn calories and increases metabolism
The more muscle that your body has, the more calories it will burn. This is very beneficial to anyone who is wanting to get lean and tone up.
Using free weights builds confidence
Being afraid to use free weights and conquering that fear is one step in your process to becoming more confident. Once you are comfortable with the exercises, push yourself to lifting more weight and building more strength.
So how much exactly is too much?
This is a subject that varies from person to person and needs to have an honest assessment if you want to prevent injury.
Using free weights over machines helps build muscle and build strength because the weight is not on a fixed path and assisted to help you move in a specific way. Free weights burn more calories, build more muscle, and require you to use your body as it was intended.
Using “too much” weight generally only happens when the following things happen:
Form breakdown: Regardless if you are doing curls, squats, or dumbbell shrugs, your form needs to be safe. Pushing yourself the last 2 reps is fine, but using so much body english and “cheating” to get the rep means you are using too much weight.
Injury: Small strains and other nagging injuries can happen when you start to use too much weight. Unless you are reckless about what weight you use, you won’t throw your back out or have a major injury but you can pick up many strains quite easily.
Fatigue: Often known as “over training,” being fatigued outside of the gym is a sign that you are starting to stress your body more than it can recover. Don’t let one day of fatigue keep you from getting to the gym but if you find yourself getting worse or steadily remaining fatigued, take a break from the gym.
What happens if you use too little weight?
On the other hand, using too little weight is a problem as well.
If you can go for hours in the gym doing many sets and reps per exercise, you are not using enough weight.
There is some merit to using a lot of volume at a light weight for building muscle but this is not going to help you achieve your goals.
It sounds confusing having to find a balance between using too much weight and too little. This is not as hard as you think, listening to your body will help keep you healthy and get you closer to your goals daily.
Lift heavy, get strong, progress steadily, and don’t be afraid of the weights. The more consistently you go to the gym and start conquering your fears, the sooner you will start to see amazing results.