When it comes to lifting weights, the main reason that most of us hit the gym is to build muscle and burn fat.
Resistance training is universally accepted as the most effective way to improve your body composition.
There’s simply no better stimulus to induce muscle growth than getting stronger in a few heavy compound movements. And there’s similarly no better way to get lean and maintain your muscle mass when you’re losing weight.
When you cut through the bullshit, lifting makes you look better naked. That’s why we do it. And everyone inherently understands this fact. But the benefits reach much further than these basic aesthetic changes.
Below are 6 additional, underrated reasons every man needs to be lifting weights.
1. Improved posture
While building mass and shredding fat are the primary two improvements we chase in the gym, improved posture is actually probably the biggest aesthetic benefit you’ll achieve through lifting weights.
As you strengthen your upper back muscles with exercises like bent over rows and reverse shoulder flys, you’ll begin to hold your shoulder blades back and stand up straighter by default. This will make your body appear taller, your chest appear larger, and your shoulders appear broader.
Not only will this improved posture make you look stronger and more confident, but it will also be far healthier for your spine and your lower back as carry out basic movements and tasks throughout your day.
2. A deeper voice
One of the most important aspects of any exercise – or at least doing any exercise correctly – is your breathing.
Breathing correctly will allow you to more effectively contract your abs and maintain a neutral spine, and this in turn will allow you to more safely lift heavier and heavier weights.
Correct breathing means using the full length of your diaphragm – your breaths should reach deep down into your belly, rather than remaining shallow and only making it to your throat or your chest.
When you incorporate this breathing in your everyday life, it will allow you to speak from your belly and your voice will be deeper and more authoritative as a result.
Improved breathing patterns will also lower your blood pressure and resting heart rate, and these things will allow you to better control your emotions and anxieties in stressful situations.
3. Rock solid discipline
The biggest obstacle you’ll face on your journey to getting bigger and leaner is staying consistent, week in and week out.
If you’re able to stick to a solid lifting routine for several months, that’s when you’ll begin to see changes in your body.
And if you stick to your guns long enough to see these changes, then you’ll surely have developed a strong work ethic that you can carry over to other parts of your life – whether that means starting a business, writing a book, or approaching women.
4. Enhanced sense of masculinity
One of the quickest thing you’ll notice about any gym weight room is that it’s a place where there’s a lot of men, most of them oozing with testosterone.
Getting comfortable in this setting – and getting comfortable interacting with other guys in this setting – is a quick way to get in tune with your masculine energy.
Sure, some of them might strike you as “meatheads”, but there’s value in befriending other men in this setting. It will give you an outlet to express your masculine thoughts and desires without being judged.
5. Reduced stress and anxiety
When you’re cranking out a new squat PR or driving your body through the ground doing an intense circuit, when you get after it and really push your physical limits any built up tension or stress will rapidly exit your body.
You see – as we go through our daily lives, we put up will all types of bullshit, whether it’s our boss giving us shit, our friend being a prick, or just general drama with the girlfriend.
The thing is that we often don’t allow ourselves to fully express our frustration or our anger in these trying moments. We grit our teeth and clench our fists, but we really want to throw a fit or punch a hole through the wall… And this allows tension to build up inside of us.
A grueling lifting session gives you an outlet to release this tension by fully exerting yourself, and this alleviates any tension or stress you’ve accumulated throughout the day.
6. Slowed down aging processes
Two key things happen to your body when you lift weights: you build muscle and you increase your bone density.
And these two things directly counteract two of the biggest natural aging processes of our bodies – muscle atrophy and osteoporosis.
Reduced muscle mass and bone density are the main causes of weakness and injuries as we get older. By lifting weights we can effectively delay these things, and facilitate a healthier, longer life that’s filled with less age-related problems and bullshit.
This makes lifting weights a preventative medicine that any man would be silly to ignore.
As you can see lifting weights is good for more than getting that six pack or adding three inches to your arms. Sure, I’m going to continue to strive to get bigger and leaner in the gym, but it’s good knowing that lifting weights is doing even more for me along the way.