Why you should be adding weights to your workout

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Jaime Cooke, founder of SPN.fit explains why it’s important to add weights into your workout routine

Let’s talk strength training. Avoid those hand weights at your peril because strength work is a fantastic and quick way to strengthen your bones, help you lose weight, improve your balance and above all make you�look and feel better. Lifting weights in any form provides a great foundation for shaping and toning the whole body and you won’t ‘bulk up’! Interested? Read on

Here’s the science bit. Strength training is designed to improve your muscular fitness by exercising a specific muscle or muscle group against resistance whether, that’s your own body weight or hand weights. Basically, you need to overload your muscles with weight and resistance so they will adapt and get stronger. Even holding a 1kg weight in each hand during a workout will benefit your muscular fitness.

It’s a fact that as we get older our bone density decreases and it’s important that we protect and restore it. This is especially true for women over 40 as we become more at risk of osteoporosis. Don’t just think of it as spending hours in the weights room at your local gym. Yoga, Pilates and boxing all have elements of strength training. We even add hand weights to our spin classes at SPN and do at least two ‘arm’ tracks in a 45 minute session.

And believe it or not, the rumours are true – by incorporating strength training into your exercise routine you will burn calories even when you’re not exercising. This happens because with more lean muscle your ‘resting metabolism’ increases, which is the rate at which your body burns calories during your normal day even after you’ve worked out. So, if you’re looking to achieve weight loss, then do strength training at least twice a week. While it’s true that cardio workouts get your heart working and help burn calories, it’s strength training that’s going to give your weight-loss goals that extra boost. What’s not to love?

My top tips:

  • Add some hand weights to your routines
  • Don’t underestimate body weight exercises like press ups
  • Strength train at least twice a week
  • No need to go heavy – light weights will do


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