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Benefits of weight [resistance] training

Huge health benefits from weight training

Resistance [weight] training and health

Many benefits that aerobic exercise cannot provide

Weight training for any age offers massive health benefits

That the importance of resistance training to maintaining long-term health is gaining increasing medical acclaim and consensus.

  1. The NutriDesk: Weight Management Diet
    Exercise needs to be supported by an optimal diet. Without expert guidance, your aim to look good, feel good, stay strong and age well is unlikely to become a reality. 
  2. Resistance training
    This is a program of resistance training ideally suited for lives in the 21st century. You will be in the gym just once a week and out of the gym within 45 minutes. All of this being backed by science. This will be a match made in heaven for many.
  3. The Golden Hour
    [Post-Exercise Nutrition]
    Nutrition immediately after exercising can make all difference between success and failure it is that important. Research has shown that hormones such as cortisol are triggered off by intense exercise and this can lead to muscle loss. Having a special drink as outlined in this section in a specific 1:1 ratio for gym users, will result in protein synthesis and muscle gain.

Keep fat levels low

  • Want to get that figure you dream of?
  • Lose fat and keep trim

  • Your brain comprises only about 2% of body weight and yet has an energy expenditure of 19%.
  • Your muscles comprise 50 - 75% of your body weight and these muscles have a total energy expenditure of 18%.Small in comparison to the brain.
  • So in comparison to your brain the metabolic rate of muscle is small and has been estimated to be around 10 to 15 kcal/kg body weight per day.
  • Thus if you add 5 kg of extra lean muscle mass this will mean a maximum of 75 calories burnt in a 24 hour period.
  • This  doesn't sound like much but 75 calories per day is 27, 375 calories a year - this means that if you added just 5 kg of muscle mass, you would burn off 3 kg of fat per year without any extra dieting or exercise. This is passive fat loss due to the extra energy demands of the body.
  • Hormone adaptations noted below can add to this metabolic advantage and this positive adaptation in hormones affects the whole body [see below].
  • So staying lean is an added benefit as long as you are on an optimal diet such as the NutriDesk:
    Weight Management Diet

Keep tendons and ligaments  around joints strong

Result in not only increased muscle strength but also increases in strength of the tissues surrounding the joints [tendons and ligaments] as your body reinforces bone and soft tissue to handle the heavier loads you are imposing on them.

Muscles, Bones, Tendons & Ligaments

  • Joint injuries and degeneration often occur in individuals because of poor support around the joint.
  • When you train with weights, you not only strengthen your muscles but you also strengthen all the other soft tissues involved in lifting such as tendons and ligaments around joints.
  • A multitude of studies attest to the benefits of weight training and bone health.

Back pain

  • Poor muscle tone in the abdomen and in the paravertebral muscles surrounding your spine is a common cause of back pain.
  • Many studies have shown the benefit of strength training on improving back pain.

Osteoporosis - 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 training17,33,35."
  • Strong muscle support is critical to stabilize the spine so that it can perform its normal physiological functions17,34.
  • "..a twenty-year-old human spine devoid of its supporting musculature would collapse under the weight equivalent of a can of soda17."
  • Resistance training can help to increase the strength of bones but also to increase the strength of the 'scaffolding' which includes the muscles, ligaments and connective tissue in and around bone.

Diabetes Control

  • Resistance training can help improve type-2 diabetes mellitus [T2DM] in many ways.
  • Regular training will increase muscle mass which is a very active tissue requiring glucose as energy helping to control blood glucose levels as a result.
  • Resistance [weight] training helps insulin function more effectively by helping GLUT4 receptors to not only increase in number but by more efficient GLUT4 receptor translocation a process where the receptor is moved to the plasma membrane which is the location they need to be in to function effectively and allow glucose to enter muscle cells for use as an energy source or storage as muscle glycogen. 
  • Abdominal fat can produce many inflammatory chemicals [chemokines] that worsen insulin resistance. Regular resistance [weight] training can help to decrease this dangerous fat and improve blood glucose control.

Strength or weight [resistance] training

  • Keep your heart strong throughout your life and help to prevent a heart attack.
  • Safer than aerobic activity after a heart attack28
  • Significant benefits in blood pressure
  • Strengthens your hearts safely
  • Discuss when to start strength training after a heart attack using the method outlined in NutriDesk with your Cardiologist and GP

See what the American Heart Association has to say

  • The safety of resistance training and the benefits can be seein in this in-depth assessment of resistance training for cardiovascular - heart health. Click here

Technically Speaking

  • Muscle contraction leads to increased venous return [blood returning to the heart from the veins in the body]
  • Catecholamines released during intense exercise causes gastrointestinal vasoconstriction [tightening of the blood vessels] but muscle vasodilation [opening up of the muscle blood vessels].
  • Opening up the blood vessels in this large vascular bed in muscles thus decreases peripheral resistance. It is like making the diameter of a water hose bigger allowing more water to flow through at lower pressures yet delivering larger amounts of water to the destination.
  • Remember the main role of the heart is to pump oxygen and nutrients to organs and muscles.
  • The combined venous return with decreased peripheral resistance will enhance cardiac output [more blood being delivered to the body by the pumping action of the heart].
  • Increased end-diastolic pressure during resistance exercise enhances coronary artery perfusion.
  • Evidence of these benefits comes from the American Journal of Cardiology30.

Heart & Blood Vessel Benefit

  • Traditionally more aerobic activity has been recommended post heart attack [a heart attack is termed a myocardial infarction technically].
  • However, many studies have shown the benefits of mild - moderate strength training from 6 weeks post-infarction.
  • In fact one study showed more complications in those doing aerobic exercises than those doing strength training28. The authors stated:
    "30 of 42 subjects had one or more cardiovascular complication (arrhythmias, angina, ischemia, hypertension, hypotension) during the aerobic exercises as compared to only 1 subject with complications during the resistive [weight or strength training] exercises (P <.01)"
  • Significant benefits have been found with regard to high blood pressure29:
    " both systolic and diastolic pressure were significantly reduced 9 mmHg (p <.02) and 10.5 mmHg (p<.005), respectively."

  • Keeping you strong as you age
  • Helping to prevent falls as you age
  • Increases bone density


  • One of the worst things you can do is allow your muscles to wither away.
  • Stay strong throughout your life by doing resistance training.
  • See the many other causes that can lead to muscle loss and try to rectify these:
    NutriDesk QuicGuides: Sarcopenia
  • Don't forget the
    Acid Alkaline Food
    story as you need to offset the acid load of modern day diets by having copious amounts of multicoloured vegetables and vegetable juice.
  • Acidic foods can result in amino acids being taken from your muscles and other soft tissues and bone to try to neutralize these organic acids from food. This can lead to the loss of muscle mass over time.
  • A good book to read is:

  • Falls in the elderly - a great risk to life and limb

  • One of the great tragedies of aging is the weakness that accompanies this process.
  • Falls in the setting of weak bones [osteoporosis] may just mark the end of an individual's life. This is a tragic but avoidable end. 
  • Many studies have shown how muscle can respond to the challenge of weight training by becoming stronger.
  • Weight training can keep you strong and can help you to maintain your balance as you age.
  • The program  as described in NutriDesk is well within the capabilities of the vast number of people of all ages as it allows you to exercise within your capabilities.

  • Positive hormonal adaptations can occur with resistance training helping you turn back the clock.


  • Marked hormonal benefits may occur due to positive adaptations resulting from resistance training. 
  • Brief, intense workouts have the advantage of increasing Growth Hormone and Testosterone Levels31.
  • This is why the exercise routine described in Resistance training can be a powerful stimulus to hormone signaling.
  • Levels of growth hormone [GH] could be raised from 3 - 5 fold in the elderly and young respectively with a single high-resistance training session31.
  • Libido may improve, and lean muscle mass may increase if exercise is carried out in an optimal way.
  • Prolonged steady-state exercise may actually cause a drop in testosterone levels.
  • The system as outlined by McGuff and Little in their book Body by Science and outlined in Resistance training once-a-weekhas the advantage of stimulating the orderly recruitment of all motor fibres from the endurance Type-1 muscle fibres to the strongest Type-IIBs.
  • Important anabolic hormonal adaptations occur when you stimulate these Type-IIB muscle fibres from increased androgen receptors in the newly formed muscle [hypertrophy] to increases in testosterone and in particular Growth Hormone [GH]
  • Insulin sensitivity is also increased and you can take advantage of this in the post-exercise period by having The Golden Hour carbohydrate-protein-BCAA and D-Ribose drink to help you recover and grow.

Link to Exercise Topic References

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References: Exercise References