Lifting weights is an empowering and fulfilling hobby that is incredibly beneficial for your health and well-being. As a form of resistance training, lifting weights helps build muscle, develops strength, improves functional movement, prevents injuries and pain, reduces the risks of several diseases, and boosts mental health and self-confidence.
Like most hobbies, the more you practice and perform it, the more skill you develop and, in most cases, the better your results will be. However, there are limitations to how much of a good thing you need or should do for the best results.
While consistency is imperative for building healthy habits and seeing progress toward your goals, it is possible to overdo it. Below, you will learn the benefits of lifting weights daily, the potential risks involved, and how to incorporate weight lifting into your daily routine.
Women Are Missing Out
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least twice weekly resistance training, with eight to 12 repetitions of eight to 10 exercises targeting all major muscle groups. However, some reports show that only 20% of women do any form of resistance training two or more times weekly, which is less than the U.S. population.
Benefits of Lifting Weights Every Day
Lifting weights has innumerable benefits, and scientists continue to discover new ways of doing things that improve health and well-being. Like all forms of exercise, lifting weights boosts cardiovascular and metabolic health, leading to less risk of developing chronic diseases and dying from any cause. Here are some benefits specific to lifting weights.
Helps With Healthy Body Composition, Weight Loss, and Maintenance
Lifting weights increases your metabolism, which is a factor in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Because lifting weights can help build and retain muscle when eating fewer calories during weight loss efforts, consistently performing it will improve calorie burning, even at rest.
This effect is due to muscle tissue being more metabolically active (burns more energy) than fat tissue. Weight lifting also increases your ability to use fat as energy (fat oxidation and lipolysis) and reduces amounts of visceral and subcutaneous fat, which means better body composition.
Muscle strength facilitates your body’s ability to perform any task, allowing you to walk, carry, run, climb, lift objects, and open pesky jar lids. But muscle size and strength begin to decline with age. Including resistance training to build muscle and preserve strength as you age is crucial.
Even without considering the aging process, being strong and capable improves your daily life. In many ways, it allows you to be independent, feel empowered, and carry out tasks with less difficulty. Stronger muscles mean better protection for your joints, too, and can even make simple tasks like walking more functional and easy.
Muscle tissue is built by creating a stimulus that forces it to adapt in order to meet the demands being placed on it. The best way to do this is by lifting weights or performing any kind of resistance training. Lifting weights is an extremely effective, efficient, and easily trackable way to build muscle. Although healthy for many other reasons, cardiovascular exercise that doesn’t include resistance training is not effective for building muscle.
Building muscle improves several factors of your health because having low levels of lean body mass which includes muscle and bone, increases your risks of chronic diseases, injuries, pain, and all-cause mortality. Lifting weights is essential for building the muscle that will improve your health and boost longevity.
Improves Bone Health
Weight lifting also stimulates bone development and increases bone mineral density. Lifting weights is a first-line treatment for conditions that affect bones and has been shown to reduce lower back pain and ease pain caused by arthritis and fibromyalgia.
A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research Plus found that specific types of training are safe and effective for improving bone health. The study examined male sprinters between the ages of 40 and 85 over the course of 10 years. Those who lifted weights throughout that time saw improvements in bone strength.
While bones typically decrease in density and strength with age, this study shows that lifting weights can not only maintain but also build bones. Conversely, those who did not consistently maintain their training habits throughout the study experienced a loss in bone density and strength.
Although that particular study was performed on active males with less risk of bone loss, other studies—including those observing women with low bone mineral density, osteopenia, and osteoporosis—show that lifting weights increases bone density and improves painful conditions that lead to bone fractures and breaks.
Prevents Injuries and Pain
Pain and injuries sideline most people at some point in their lives. Back pain alone affects up to 80% of adults during their lifetime. Lifting weights reduces your risk of injuries and pain by boosting muscle and tendon strength and functionality so you can move better, recover more easily, and be more resilient. Moreover, lifting weights can prevent and manage pain better than pharmacological treatments, like painkillers and NSAIDs, or instrumental therapies such as heat or spinal manipulation.
Hip, shoulder, and general muscle weakness, limited core strength, and inactive “sleepy” muscles are the biggest culprits for pain and injury. Sitting for long periods creates muscle tightness and weakness in the body that leads to dysfunction, muscle compensation, and becoming injury prone. Lifting weights consistently works wonders to combat these effects.
Another effect of lifting weights is improved muscular endurance. Increasing your muscular endurance or stamina reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries, improves your performance in the gym, and helps with functional performance. It even wards off cardiovascular diseases.
Potential Risks and Dangers of Lifting Weights Every Day
While a consistent weight-lifting routine is invaluable, lifting weights every single day may lead to pain, injuries, and fatigue since energy stores and your body’s ability to repair itself cannot keep up with demands. You may also end up feeling the effects of overtraining if your daily weight-lifting sessions are too intense. Overtraining leads to several health problems, including insomnia, muscle soreness, mood changes, loss of menses, increased illness, loss of appetite, fatigue, and more.
Rest and recovery are when your body heals and makes the adaptations necessary to meet demands and perform better next time. It’s also when tissues such as ligaments and joints have time to repair so pain from overuse doesn’t set in.
If you do choose a weight-lifting plan that is not too strenuous, you may be able to lift every day, but it is unlikely you will see the best results. This is because a certain amount of stimulus in each training session is best for producing muscle adaptations that lead to growth and strength. You could hinder your results by spreading your total workout volume too thin.
Lifting weights every day may also take a toll on your mental health if it takes up too much of your time that should be spent on other daily tasks and responsibilities. While setting aside time for yourself each day is admirable, spending some of that time working on de-stressing activities, personal growth, and other forms of self-care may serve you better and even boost the results of your weight-lifting sessions by facilitating recovery.
Research supports a 24- to 48-hour rest period before training the same muscle groups again. This time off from stimulus allows muscles to grow and repair, benefiting your overall physical and mental health. However, you don’t have to be inactive on rest days. Instead, choose activities supporting recovery and lowering stress, such as walking, gentle yoga, swimming, or mobility work.
How to Incorporate Weight Lifting Into a Daily Routine
To incorporate weight lifting into your daily routine, the first step is starting with two or three days of weight training and slowly building your tolerance to increasing the total volume (sets, reps, weight) over time. This can take months to do successfully in a way that will be sustainable. You also will need plenty of de-loading periods where you take it easy for a week or two to recover more fully.
If you want to focus on lifting weights every day of the week, use one or two days for very light maintenance work. For instance, if you have worked up to five fairly challenging weight-lifting sessions each week, on the other two days, you could perform some light resistance band exercises that function more as mobility and injury prevention training than true strength or muscle-building work.
Becoming consistent with your weight-lifting hobby will require goal setting and careful planning. Deciding what you want to get out of your weight-lifting routine and how much time and energy you currently have available (or can create) to be consistent also is vital to the process. To be successful, use models such as SMART goals and methods of behavior change such as positive psychology and self-determination (believing you are in control and can achieve what you want) to keep up your motivation and drive toward your goals.
Lifting weights is an excellent way to perform self-care and improve your physical and mental health. Not only will you feel the effects of consistent weight-lifting in your present daily life, but you also will reap the rewards of your dedication for years to come.
While being active every day is a fantastic choice, spending a few of those days on less demanding activities that boost recovery and other aspects of your physical and mental health is best. Seek guidance from a personal trainer for help setting up a routine that works best for your fitness level and lifestyle. It’s also wise to get clearance from a healthcare professional before starting any new activity.