There are many awesome weight training benefits that will better you and your life, and here are 10 of the best and most motivating. Sometimes it's easy to forget the reasons why you're sweating it out in the gym and making good food choices day after day, week after week, month after month. Losing sight of the big picture is especially typical once you lose that initial spark of motivation when you start off on a new training program, so it's important to always note of the compelling reasons WHY the hard work is worth it. Without further ado here are 10 of the best weight training benefits in no particular order.
1. More Confidence and Self Esteem
Building your physique, whether it's building a decent amount of muscle mass, becoming super ripped, or both, requires you to develop hard work, consistency and discipline and you'll gain much more self-confidence and belief in yourself. Not in an arrogant way, but in an inner-respect-for-yourself kinda way. When you look yourself in the mirror you'll feel proud of what you're accomplishing or have accomplished. This boosted self-esteem will bleed into other areas of your life, and it's a core confidence that lasts and that nobody can take away from you.
2. Stronger Immune System
These days I very rarely get sick, and when I do it's really not so bad. Back when I never used to train I would literally always get sick. Of all the great weight training benefits I cover here, this is my personal favourite because I HATE being sick with a passion (I'm a lover of life, what can I say). Of course, it's not just the weight training specifically that does this, but the improved diet that's required to build muscle mass.
3. More Effective Fat Burning
The more muscular you are, the more fat you burn at rest. This is one of the best weight training benefits that many people don't realize. Once you've built a decent amount of muscle mass, stripping off the extra fat and getting ripped actually becomes slightly easier. Just make sure to avoid putting on too much excess fat when on a muscle gain program though, otherwise it will be tougher to lose fat later on. In other words, do a clean bulk and not a dirty one.
4. Increased Testosterone Levels
One of the most well-documented weight training benefits that comes from both a good diet and performing regular weight training sessions (especially with compound exercises) is that you will increase testosterone within the body. Healthy testosterone levels are crucial to good health as a guy for many different reasons. Besides working out consistently, there's other ways to boost testosterone naturally.
5. Have More Energy
Being fit, building muscle, and increasing your testosterone will make you a more energetic person in your day to day life. Also, directly after a good workout you'll feel a natural high thanks to the endorphins that your body releases (known as the feel-good chemical). You'll be motivated to continue smashing out whatever else you need to accomplish for the day.
Although I must also add that if you cram TOO much in the one workout this can have the opposite effect where you're completely drained and destroyed physically and mentally for the rest of the day. To avoid this and to promote that energetic, natural high after a workout, I suggest not going overboard with your workouts and making them shorter (yet still intense enough) - you don't need long-ass workouts to build your physique anyway. Quality over quantity.
6. You'll Look Way Better
A big reason many guys hit the gym is of course to look better, more attractive, and to attract more women. Does building a muscular physique actually help you with getting girls? Well, let's just say I've been skinny, and I've been fit and muscular, and without question once I transformed my body I did receive more attention from the opposite sex. Whilst not ALL women like ripped and muscular guys, especially not if you go too far with it and adopt a huge bodybuilder look which is polarizing and not everyone's cup of tea, many do and getting into great shape can only improve your success with the ladies overall.
7. Makes You Healthier
Of course becoming fit and strong will make you an overall healthier person, and a big part of this is due to the fact that you're forced to adopt healthier eating choices when you start lifting. Countless studies have shown that those who weight train vs those who don't tend to live longer and reduces their risk of serious diseases like some cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
8. Makes You Happier
When you're sweating it out in the gym and pushing your body and mind it's impossible to feel down and depressed. Plus, the discipline required to stick to a weight training program and diet will build character and you will feel proud when you look in the mirror every day. Nobody can take away the achievement of transforming your body and the stronger, more focused, more healthy person you have become because of it.
Sticking with weight training as a regular habit can make you a happier person and will keep depression at bay. If you're ever feeling down, go hit the gym and you'll feel much better. Just remember, stay humble once you see success and help other kindred spirits along their journey. Share the knowledge, share the success and share the love.
9. Better Sports Performance
The stronger and fitter you are, the better you'll likely perform at a large variety of different sports. Contrary to what some believe, building muscle mass can actually make you faster too (not slower), with more explosive energy and sprint speed. You'll also increase balance and hand-eye coordination, and reduce chances of injuries in contact sports too since you have some padding.
10. Self Defence
Having a strong physique is a natural self-defense mechanism, and potential attackers or bullies will think twice before messing with you if you're well built and appear stronger than the average person. When you're in shape you will feel much more at ease in all types of environments because you're a much less likely target; bad apples prey on the weak.
Depending on where you live and your personal situation, this may not be a factor at all to you, but for me growing up as a teen and in my early 20's I lived near and around some areas in my home town that weren't the most classy, and there was trouble every now and again (especially at local bars). A huge motivating factor for me to hit the gym was purely to increase both my ability to defend myself should something happen, and also to increase my confidence so that I would feel less threatened and more at ease when going out to a bar or club at night.
Anyway, that's 10 reasons why you should take up the gym habit and never let it go. You don't need to spend your life in the gym - if you do it right, you literally only need a few days in there a week for an hour or so. That's it. But the effort will pay you back in spades in various ways, and it'll make life just, well, better. Good luck and don't quit, friend.
If you want to be on the fast-track to consistent results with a solid program you can simply execute on week in and week out without having to think about it, there are 3 ways to get there:
Path A: Plan Your Own Bulking Program
If you're the patient type who likes to know how every little detail works and have the time and interest to learn all the important principles and strategies around building muscle mass, you can strategically piece together a well-balanced, properly structured, effective program yourself.
Just make sure you cover all your bases in planning a program that is well suited for the long-term, otherwise you could be creating bad habits such as overtraining certain muscles groups over another etc (which can cause postural issues or muscular imbalances, a common example being rounded shoulders from focusing too much on chest workouts).
You also ideally want someone more experienced to look over your program to weed out any potential issues, as there's a fair few things that can go wrong with planning a program. To get started see our introduction to building muscle along with our main guides on training and eating for gains that will set you off on the right foot.
Path B: Follow a Proven Pre-Made Bulking Program
If instead of creating your own program from scratch you'd rather follow an already-made complete program that has been proven to work for others in your shoes (ie skinny hardgainers) this is the path for you. Spending a few bucks to get your hands on a well-crafted, respected program that's specifically been designed with skinny guys in mind can save you time and effort having to design your own program and ensures you don't miss out on all the important details that goes into making an effective program that will get you results week in and week out.
This is what I'd recommend if you're just starting out or quite inexperienced in the gym, as you'll get off on the right foot to kick-start some solid results, so long as you choose your program wisely from someone who has been in your shoes before and understands the science behind building muscle. Sean Nal's Body Transformation Blueprint is currently the most comprehensive, effective bulking program for beginners on the market right now, and has been for a while, and is the program that personally helped me the most when I first started out too.
There are other good premade mass gain programs out there that were created specifically (and scientifically) for hardgainers, but there's also a lot of overpriced, overly-marketed and low-quality programs that you should avoid out there so be on your toes when looking for a program to follow to avoid wasting your money. I've personally tried out a fair few different programs over the years and I compiled the best ones I can comfortably recommend in the recommended programs guide.
Path C: Find a (Good) In-Person Trainer Who Understands Strategic Bulking
This isn't for everyone as a quality trainer who knows what they're doing - and most importantly has got great results themselves - can be quite costly. If you value results, you don't just want any random trainer, as the truth is that many don't understand all of the science behind effective muscle building and structuring good programs (in my opinion based on experience having met a lot of trainers in my time). There's some good ones though if you know where to look.
This is the path you should also definitely consider if you have any type of injury or health problem, or if you are worried about potentially injuring yourself during important, semi-risky exercises like deadlifts or heavy squats (especially when just starting out). But that's not to say these exercises can't be learned on your own if you take it real careful and slow.
Whichever path you choose, never forget the single most important thing: never give up, and keep going no matter what until consistently training and eating well becomes such an ingrained habit that you don't even think about it (and hitting the gym and sticking to your meal plans becomes second nature and takes almost no effort). When you get to that stage of momentum, your success is inevitable. Good luck and train hard.