Really, it comes down to your fitness goals.
Depending on your fitness goals, is where weightlifting will fit in. Like anything in the fitness world, its thorough execution is imperative in order to prevent injury and see results.
In the fitness journey we are entitled to learn the advantages and disadvantages of any type of fitness practice.
Weightlifting is a valuable and effective form of building muscle mass, losing fat, and toning up your body; nonetheless, it has its disadvantages. Be cautious, because done wrong, can cause serious issues for your body. Before reading this article, it is crucial to ask yourself: what are my fitness goals?
The Bare Necessities
Weightlifting requires access to equipment such as free weights, squat racks, benches, and barbells.
Most people attain this type of equipment by joining fitness centers, gyms, or simply buying them for personal use. What is the common factor in all of these avenues for obtaining gym equipment?
In my experience at the gym, there is a large expense required to progress one’s fitness journey by weightlifting.
Gyms have a high cost for the first-class weightlifting equipment and machines and the motivational environment.
The ability to pay and be a part of one is truly a privilege that might be hard in realizing for others.
A college student may not be able to provide themselves this luxury.
A couple with multiple children might not have the flexibility of leaving the house to get a workout in.
It can be difficult to replicate the practice of lifting with calisthenics in your own home.
Of course, gym membership and weightlifting is an investment in yourself so it is fundamental to decide what the best option is for you.
What about injuries?
When helping train individuals at a popular gym, I was constantly asked to show members how to use the equipment and how to perform certain exercises.
I would happily show them exercises to grow their glutes or strengthen their hamstrings with and without the machines.
The questions asked were extremely valid.
They wanted to know how do I perform exercises and use equipment without getting injured!
Unfortunately, if weightlifting is not done right, it’s an easy route to a muscle injury.
A prime example of this is the deadlift.
If you don’t know, a deadlift is done with a barbell- strengthening your hamstrings and glutes.
As shown below, the deadlift is done by crouching down to lift up the barbell.
It essential to keep your back straight making this motion or else you will strain your back. You should feel this in your butt and hamstrings, not your back.
Weightlifting requires proper technique and without this, weightlifting becomes a major disadvantage to you and your fitness goals. Unfortunately, weightlifting exercises often pose the risk of injury! If you are committed to the practice it might be the right choice!
Weightlifting is NOT a Form of Cardio
When I first began my fitness journey, I knew what my goals were.
- Lose Fat
- Tone Up
- Increase Stamina
I made the mistake of leaving my passion for running long distances and decided to focus on the weightlifting portion, and this caused me some serious distress when I didn’t see the results I wanted.
Conditional to your fitness goals…that is where weightlifting fits in.
Whether you like it or not, weightlifting should always be paired with some form of cardio.
Cardio helps burn fat and is great for your heart.
Most people require the loss of some portion of fat to attain their goals and weightlifting alone will not satisfy this.
On the contrary, weightlifting too heavy or weightlifting too often will help you build mass. If that is your goal then that could be advantageous to you but if you’re like me, building mass was not my thing.
Lesson learned, don’t hinder your fitness endeavor.
To a certain extent, cardio is vital to your fitness, weightlifting may not be. Bodyweight workouts will help you tone your muscles and if not, purchasing dumbbells to add a challenge will do the trick. There are numerous methods to reaching your fitness objectives and with the proper commitment, weightlifting does not have to be integral.
To bring things full circle, the disadvantages to weightlifting are solely dependent on your personal fitness ambitions.
Weightlifting is costly, it does pose a risk of injury, and by itself, it does not promote weight loss.
Nonetheless, like anything in life, there are also numerous advantages to weightlifting.
Though it is costly, it is an investment in you and you need to decide if your goals are worthy of one.
It does pose a risk of injury, but will learning the safety and proper movements in weightlifting going to be more beneficial than not?
Lastly, though it does not promote weight loss on its own, will it benefit you most if you pair it with cardio? It is essential to make the decision on your own, weigh the benefits, weigh the disadvantages, and match them with your fitness goals. I firmly believe that any goal you have is worth the time and investment. Most importantly, I think fitness is an incredible privilege we all have and in order to make it as enjoyable as possible, you need to find the practice that pleasures you most. That is something you will commit to for the long term.