BLOGS | PEAK ZONE FITNESS
“Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.” - J.K Rowling
Weight training strengthens more than your muscles. It also builds a key part of your nervous system.
Lifting weights develops a primitive and ancient part of the neural network called the reticulospinal tract, which carries information from brain to peripheral body parts.
The reticulospinal tract is critical to movement, posture control and orientation in space.
So all those reps actually beef up the neural pathway to your muscles.
These cutting-edge findings were revealed in a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in June 2020 by scientists at the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University in England.
They trained two female macaque monkeys to pull a weighted lever with their right arms to get treats.
Throughout three months of research, the monkeys’ right-side nerves sent progressively stronger signals to the muscles while the left was static. In fact, the nerve impulses grew more powerful before the muscles got bigger. Monkeys obviously aren’t people, but all primates, including humans, have fundamentally similar nervous systems.
So when you weight train, you are also boosting an all-important neural network.
With that said, here are 4 reasons why weight trainings is important when working out! 👊
Weight training helps you become stronger. It helps improve the strength, range of motion, and mobility of your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This can reinforce strength around major joints like your knees, hips, and ankles to provide additional protection against injury. Furthermore, it helps improve athletic performance in sports that require speed, power, and strength, and it may even support endurance athletes by preserving lean muscle mass.
2. Can help you appear leaner
As you build more muscle and lose fat, you will appear leaner. This is because muscle is more dense than fat, meaning it takes up less space on your body pound for pound. Therefore, you may lose inches off of your waist even if you don’t see a change in the number on the scale.
While you might not associate weight lifting with your heart, weight training has significant cardiovascular benefits that can improve your long-term health. One of the biggest benefits of weight lifting is lowering the probability of life-altering heart attacks and strokes.
4. Maintaining Muscle Tissue
Around when you turn 30 years old, growth hormones decrease dramatically in the body. Because of this, you could lose about 8-10% of your muscle tissue every decade. Muscles are the basis of your metabolism, so if your muscles decrease by 8-10%, your metabolism will also decrease by 8-10%. By strength training twice per week you will change that 8-10% to ONLY 1-2% every decade. That means if you simply strength train twice per week, at age 80 you will be 5-10% less of the person you were when you were 30!!
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