For the majority of us, the reason we want to bulk up and build muscle is to look good – there’s really nothing more appealing than a man with ‘big guns’ and a tight six-pack! However, it’s not just our appearance and confidence that benefits from a regular muscle-building routine.
So if you hit the weights three or four times a week, you’re going to see a definite improvement in the size of your arms, however, what you may be missing is the additional benefits to your actual strength levels, coordination, metabolic rate and mental well-being.
In the earlier stages of training, you will be focussing more on achieving bigger muscles, however as you train longer and push yourself further, the body will start to respond in an additional way. When working out, you’re effectively working the muscle to the point where it becomes damaged and needs to repair and strengthen itself regularly to meet your body’s new routine. After a each session it is vital that the right amount of time is taken to recovery to allow full recovery for maximum benefit, and prevent muscles from becoming permanently damaged. It’s during this rest period that the body can really start to up it’s game. It’s having to work harder all the time to repair the targeted areas, and as you build even more muscle it requires more energy. Your metabolic rate will increase due to the increasing levels of energy your body needs to put out- and that’s just on the rest days!
It’s probably not as surprising that with the increase of muscle mass you’ll also benefit from increased strength levels. This tends to be more noticeable in the first couple of months of training, as the body is adjusting to the routine. Similar to weight loss, this improvement will eventually plateau to a more steady and sustainable increase of strength.
The focus and concentration required in weight-training will have a significant improvement on coordination. When lifting weights, you have to train yourself to complete reps at a steady rate and place focus on your breathing techniques by keeping it consistent. The workout requires a lot of concentration and discipline to be able to sync these two motions together effectively, which in turn helps to train overall coordination skills.
The ability to concentrate and focus the mind can also have a massive effect on mental well-being. It teaches you to be able to separate every day thoughts and give yourself some down time, which is extremely beneficial when dealing with stress. And of course another nice effect in weight training, is that by gaining these results, it will create feelings of accomplishment and confidence which will help keep you in the positive mindset.