As any fitness fan will be aware, lifting weights is an amazing way to get your body into shape, build muscle, and increase your overall fitness and wellbeing.
In a world where cardio has reigned supreme for so long, there has been a welcome return to the benefits of strength training and weightlifting in recent years, with a huge range of programs, gyms, and trainers cropping up.
There is, however, one question which has appeared time and again: with all the benefits offered by lifting weights, it is safe to carry out this exercise every day? We took a closer look at the pros and cons, to help you make a smart, safe fitness decision.
What Are The Benefits Of Weight Lifting?
Before we take a closer look at the pros and cons of daily weight lifting, it is worth taking a moment to consider the overall benefits offered by lifting weights.
Maintain Bone Strength
Keeping your bones strong and healthy is a major priority for ensuring food overall health, and this becomes increasingly important as you age. After the age of 30, you begin to lose bone density at a small percentage every year.
Just as you need to exercise your brain to keep your mind sharp and focused, you also need to train your bones to keep them in optimum condition. Women make up 80% of all osteoporosis cases, as they tend to lose bone mass more rapidly than men.
When you undertake resistance training, you create a force on the bone, and this helps your bone to get stronger. Over time, you can build your bone density and reduce your chance of injury.
According to some studies, regular exercise and activity, including strength training, decreases your chances of developing conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as a host of other chronic diseases – including cancer.
The stronger your body, the better your resistance to disease, and this can help you to live a longer, healthier life.
Long gone are the days when the advice told us to run for hours on a treadmill to lose weight – and we are glad to see the back of them! While cardio undoubtedly has its benefits, you can reach a plateau if you rely on it to boost your weight loss.
Instead, switching to strength training allows you to burn more calories as you build more muscle.
In addition, muscle, as active tissue, will burn a greater amount of energy at rest compared to fat, allowing you to enjoy faster and more sustained weight loss, even when you are not actively working out.
Over time, you can change the composition of your body, and see more pronounced results.
As a note, remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so the scales may change as you start to strength train. This is a good thing though – the benefits far outweigh the numbers on a scale.
Regulate Insulin And Reduce Inflammation
As well as helping to improve your overall general health and reducing your risk of disease, regular weight lifting can also help you to burn off glucose – this is a huge advantage if you have Type 2 diabetes, and need to keep your sugar levels well balanced.
In addition, lifting weights on a regular basis can help to reduce inflammation, and this is a factor in many unpleasant diseases. While scientists are still trying to work out why this is the case, the anecdotal evidence seems positive.
Improve Posture, Sleep, Energy Levels, And Mood
Adding a regular weight training session to your workouts can do more than just help you look great on the beach – it can also have a positive impact on your mental health and clarity, as well as the quality of your sleep.
The connection between regular exercise and good quality sleep has long been extolled, and weight lifting can take this to the next level.
With regular commitment, you will soon find that you start to “crave” your regular workout in the same way you would a sugary drink or unhealthy snack – it can literally transform your mindset.
Boost Strength And Endurance
As you lift more weights, your body will begin to grow stronger. This, in turn, has a positive impact on your endurance and abilities in other areas of your workouts.
As an example, stronger legs will allow you to run faster and further, hike harder, and improve your running efficiency. As your muscles are stronger, you will need to use less of your leg strength to run the same distance, helping to increase your long-distance endurance.
Improve Your Balance
In addition to strengthening your bones, lifting weights can also help you to improve your balance thanks to stronger legs.
You will also be able to carry out regular daily activities with a lower risk of injury thanks to an ability to lift heavier loads, walk further and remain active, and stay steady on your feet. As you age, this is something to celebrate.
Should I Lift Weights Everyday?
Ultimately, the decision to lift weights every day is a personal one, and the effectiveness will depend largely on your exercise goals.
There is no denying that weights have a positive impact on your physical and mental health, and ensure that your body gains both muscle and strength while assisting with weight loss. Overdoing it, however, can reduce the efficiency of your workout.
Pros Of Daily Lifting
Some of the pros of lifting weights every day include:
- Stronger muscles – increasing the frequency of your sessions can be just what you need to boost and increase strength.
- Healthier bones – weight-bearing exercises improve bone density, allowing you to stay active as you age, and ward off osteoporosis.
- Improved endurance – regular lifting allows you to improve the aerobic capacity of your muscles, allowing you to go for longer.
- Improved body composition – looking to ignite your metabolism? Lifting weight allows you to burn a huge number of calories and helps to induce post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. This means that you will be burning calories even after your workout, aiding weight loss and honing your body.
Cons Of Daily Lifting
As with any form of strenuous physical activity, caution should be exercised before you start lifting weights on a daily basis.
There can be some risks that can seriously delay your progress, and cause long-term damage and injury. Some of the main cons of daily lifting include:
- Inhibiting recovery – lifting weights on a daily basis means that your body will have minimal time to recover from each session. This can result in injuries due to muscle overuse, or muscle imbalances if workouts are not carefully planned and carried out. While split workout routines can help to address this, the best thing for your body is sometimes a full rest day – never feel like you are “cheating” by taking the time to rest.
- Persistent injury and soreness – delayed-onset-muscle soreness (DOMS) is a real risk that can come with working out every day if you are not allowing your body to recover between workouts. This can mean that your muscles take longer to recover and result in persistent soreness.
- Diminishing returns – in some cases, lifting weights every day results in you hitting a plateau, meaning that you stop making progress. You need to ensure that you are manipulating variables such as range of motion, load, and volume to keep making progress.
- Boredom – ultimately, you can get bored if you perform the same workouts time and again.
How To Get The Most From Your Workouts
If you do decide to lift weights every day, it is important to do everything you can to enhance your workouts and maximize your results. There are a number of ways to achieve this:
As the old adage goes, a large part of your physique is made in the kitchen. While this applies to weight loss, it is also true for weight lifting. Just as you fill your car with gas, so you need to add fuel to your body in order to achieve the results you desire.
This means eating enough of the right foods to give you the energy you need. Returning to the car analogy: would you be happy to fill up your prize vehicle with cheap fuel? It is unlikely, so give your body the same courtesy.
This does not mean that you need to spend a fortune on expensive foods, rather that you should focus on fresh fruits and veggies, as well as slow-release carbs such as sweet potatoes, porridge, and rice, clean, lean protein, and keeping junk food to a minimum.
When you move to lift every day, you will never succeed if your body does not have the fuel it needs to complete the workouts – and this means that your progress will always be limited. By making small, simple changes in the kitchen, you can see amazing results in the gym.
The importance of sleep cannot be overestimated, and this is particularly true when you are lifting weights on a daily basis.
While working out, you are pushing your body to the limits, encouraging it to grow, evolve, and adapt – and this means that you need to also ensure that it has plenty of time to rest and recover.
It is only during periods of rest and sleep that your body will start to repair any damage to your muscle fibers, causing them to grow thicker, and therefore increase muscle growth. If you are not getting enough sleep, then all of your hard work is essentially for nothing.
In addition to ensuring that you are getting enough hours under the duvet, you also need to ensure that the sleep you are getting is of the highest quality.
Get into a good sleep habit, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – even on weekends and your days off – and maintain excellent sleep hygiene.
Treat your sleep with the same dedication, commitment, and reverence as you do your training – it is just as important as the actual strength training sessions, and neglecting it will only harm your progress.
When it comes to workouts, quality is always more important than quantity. There is absolutely no point in heading to the gym for a four-hour session if you spend the first three hours taking selfies or chatting with a mate.
Make a commitment: when you are at the gym, you are working out, and not updating your social media, picking up a date, or admiring yourself in the mirror. Put all of your efforts into every move, and every rep of every single set.
Make sure that your form is perfect, that you are pushing yourself to the limit, and that you break a sweat with every single session. In addition, you should be constantly changing things up – even if you are lifting every day – to allow your body to be challenged and forced to adapt.
Rather than go heavy with a maxed-out deadlift, bench, and squat every single day, mix things up with lighter weights for part of your weekly routine. It may seem counterintuitive, but this will see you make steady progress more quickly and effectively.
Ultimately, the decision to lift weights every day is a personal one and should be based on your unique training plan, desires and requirements.
If you are lifting weights on a daily basis, there are other changes that you need to make to your diet, sleep pattern, workout routine, and general lifestyle to allow you to make the most of this.
It is not enough to simply go through the same routine day after day; you need to be constantly changing and challenging yourself and your body to enjoy the best results.
Whether you decide to add weights to your daily routine or keep them as an occasional challenge, there is no denying that adding resistance and strength training to your workout routine only offers benefits for your body, health, and general well-being both now and in the future.
If you are considering adding weights to your regime, then this is your sign to stop considering, and start training!