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When most people think of weight training, somehow they are instantly drawn to the image of bodybuilders or male athletes “clangin’ & bangin’ heavy iron plates in sweaty, poorly ventilated gyms. 

However, weight training is not solely limited to these groups. Absolutely anyone and everyone can benefit from having some form of weight training as part of their health & wellness programme.


A recent meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that people who participated in weight train are less likely to die prematurely than those who don’t, with a 10-17% reduction in risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, total cancer, diabetes and lung cancer. 

While this is one global benefit of weight training, there are numerous other benefits that go on under the hood that assist in a longer, healthier life. 

Physical benefits of weight training include: 

  • Increased muscle mass can improve metabolism – this helps fight against excess weight gain and can also play a big role in preventing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes.
  • Increased muscle strength makes daily tasks easier, and enhances quality of life – think about all those simple things that happen in a day like moving boxes, going up and down stairs, picking up the kids or carrying the shopping in one trip!
  • Increased bone strength helping to prevent osteopenia and osteoporosis as we age – this can prevent the risk of bone fractures if we fall, something that can be a fatal event for elderly populations.
  • Improved breathing – as breathing is something we do involuntarily most of the time, in times of high stress we tend not to pay attention to how we are breathing. Weight training  changes this. It teaches us how to breathe consciously and with purpose, and allow us to retain control and focus even in times of high stress.

Not only are there physical benefits, but there are also some big psychological benefits that come with weight training. 

Psychological benefits of weight training include: 

  • Learning to get the right balance between work & rest – during strength-based workouts you are forced to rest anywhere from 30 seconds to as long as 3 minutes before going into your next set. This can go a long way to helping us understand the fine relationship between work and rest – the more intense the work, the longer the rest should be. Something to think about after you finish your next big project.
  • Ease and/or prevent emotional disorders like anxiety & depression – a 2022 meta-analysis from the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that weight training & exercise in general were equally effective as antidepressant medications, supporting the adoption of an exercise programme as an alternative to pharmaceutical treatment
  • Improved self-esteem – A systematic review from Sports Medicine – Open published in July 2019 showed that weight training in young children & teenagers has been found to have a positive effect on self-efficacy, perceived physical strength, physical self-acceptance & physical self-worth.

So we can see that introducing weight training from an early age can have long term benefits on both

To wrap up, it is pretty clear that weight training brings with it a multitude of physical, mental and emotional benefits that will only enhance our lives. 

So whether you are 16, 60, or anywhere in between, make sure to include strength training as a part of your routine. 


If you’re still a bit nervous about getting started, ABF has beginner and general level ‘PT at Home’ workouts using dumbbells that move at a slower pace and a stronger emphasis on getting your technique right. 

Or, if you’re a regular at the gym, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask the staff for some advice. 

Written by JD – Health and Human Performance Coach



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