Three Benefits to Weightlifting
City University Seattle
Numerous studies have been done on the subjects of weightlifting and exercise. Arnold
Schwarzenegger said, "Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and
thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body." (Shaw)
Weightlifting has many benefits including the promotion of lean body mass as well
as a decrease in body fat. (Hendrick 2008). Adults are recommended to engage in physical
activities that achieve the most favorable changes in body composition, such as a loss of fat mass
while preserving lean body mass. (Mekary2015). Weightlifting is a strength exercise and a major
element of a well-rounded exercise routine. (Mayo Staff). A well-rounded exercise routine
consists of five different types of exercise including: Aerobic, Strength, Core, Balance and
flexibility. (Mayo Staff). Weightlifting as little as 20 minutes per day has been proven to lower
the chances of heart attack or stroke by 40 percent. (AJMC).
Weightlifting has been proven by scientist to aid in the production of lean body mass this is
done by hypertrophy. According to Wikipedia Hypertrophy is (the increase in volume of an
organ or tissue due to the enlargement of its component cells.). As this occurs the cross-sectional
area of a muscle increases, enhancing muscle force producing capability. This increases lean
body mass in the weightlifter. (Hendrick). Other benefits of weightlifting include: increased
testosterone, increased balance, increased coordination and increased flexibility.
It is a common misconception that weightlifting has no cardiovascular benefits. But it has
been reported that individuals that train with weights have a larger VO2 max than individuals
that do not train at all. (Hendrick). According to research in Medicine & Science in Sports &
Exercise A study that included more than 12,500 participants between 1987 and 2006.
Participants who reported doing any resistance exercise or weight training demonstrated a 40 to
70 percent decreased risk of cardiovascular events including heart attack, stroke and all cause
mortality. This association remained present even in participants who didn’t meet the standard
150 minutes per week for aerobic exercise. (AJMC).
Weightlifting as little as 20 minutes per day has been proven by scientists to lower the chance
of heart attack, stroke and all-cause mortality between 40-70%. (AJMC) Adults who performed
between 1-59 minutes one time per week of weightlifting regardless of meeting the aerobic
guidelines for health (150 minutes per week) had lower risk for cardiovascular events and
cardiovascular disease (CVD) (AJMC). Spending more than an hour in the weight room did not
yield any additional benefit, the scientist found. “People may think that they need to spend a lot
of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than five minutes could
be effective.” Said DC Lee, associate professor of kinesiology.
Weightlifting aids in lean body mass production and has a positive effect on the V02 max
when compared to individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Weightlifting does not need a big
commitment to be effective results can be achieved in as little as 20 minutes per week. Lifting
weight has been shown to reduce the chance of heart attack, stroke and all-cause mortality
between 40-70 percent in adults. Other benefits of weight lifting include: increased testosterone
production, increased balance, increased coordination and increased flexibility.
Hendrick, A. & Wada H. (2008) Weightlifting movements: do the benefits outweigh
the risks? CSCS.Strength and Conditioning Journal; Lawrence Vol. 30, Iss. 6, pg. 24-
Stoppani, J. (2004) Combo-train away the fat. Joe Weiders muscle & fitness; woodland hills
vol. 65, Iss 1.
Mekary, Rania A & Grontved, A. & Despres, J. P. & De Moura L. P. & Asgarzadeh, M.;(Feb
- et al obesity; Weight training, aerobic physical activities, an d long-term waist circumference change in men
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Mayo Clinic Mayo Staff December (2018) Retrieved from
AJMC Staff (2018) A little weight training can do a lot to cut cardiovascular risk, study finds
Liu Y, Lee DC, Zhu Y, et al. Associations of resistance exercise with cardiovascular
disease, morbidity, and mortality [published online October 29, 2018]. Med Sci Sports
Shaw, S.(n.d.) 64 Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes on bodybuilding, motivation & success
Retrieved from: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/arnold-schwarzenegger-quotes- bodybuilding-motivation-success