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Weightlifting is often associated with physical fitness and strength. It definitely helps in building strength, endurance, stamina, and balance but at the same time, weight training has a psychological angle to it. It can help elevate mental and emotional health. Just like compound movements force different muscles and joints to work in tandem, the combination of different movement patterns in a single motion ensures you end up forcing your brain to focus all its energy behind finishing the given task.
Other than that, physical exercise also provokes a variety of positive changes in the concentration of multiple hormones which are often related to stress. Exercise also provides a holistic environment for brain cells to grow by improving blood flow.
Below are some of the psychological benefits of weight training.
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1) Confidence Booster
The best part about weight training is that it’s infinitely scalable for any levels of physical fitness. In principle, weight lifting is totally functional and you perform movements that the bodies have been designed to perform. For someone who doesn’t have any experience in weightlifting, it works as a huge confidence booster to be able to start lifting with the right form and with time and effort you see yourself getting stronger which definitely has a positive impact on the mind.
The concept of personal best in weightlifting gives that feeling of achievement and satisfaction which helps in improving confidence levels of individuals. Every time you hit a personal best, it gives that much-desired dopamine boost helping in a multitude of psychological factors. Also, by design weightlifting is measurable, observable and repeatable and any change in the lifting capacity results in achieving a sense of accomplishment and skyrocketing self-esteem.
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2) Improves Sleep
Strength training has been known to improve sleep quality and pattern significantly. Sleep definitely helps the muscle tissues to repair, good sleep, in general, is also associated with well-being, productivity, and happiness. Improper sleep cycle and duration increases levels of cortisol in the body, a hormone generally associated with stress and fat gain. Sleep also controls the release of hunger controlling hormones such as Leptin and Ghrelin, which result in stress eating, a common disorder found in young adults today.
A decent shut-eye also helps in clearing harmful toxins that help in better cognitive function. Beyond this, deep sleep also releases appropriate levels of testosterone which results in a general sense of well-being.
3) Sense Of Happiness
When you exercise your body releases a burst of happiness hormone called Endorphins. This is a hormone which triggers a positive feeling in the body. Endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain that increases the feeling of happiness. Being happy has positive effects on the mental well-being of self and also the people around you, which in turn creates a more conducive environment to be in.
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4) Better Focus
Weight lifting is majorly compound, which means movements that involve multiple muscles and joints together. When your body has to perform multiple tasks at the same time, your brain is more focused. In fact, to put it the other way round, if you don’t concentrate only on the movement completely, there are chances that you won’t succeed at it. The idea is that weight lifting forces your brain to leave out all the external thoughts and focus only on the movement.
Along with training the body, it’s an amazing way of training the mind because it’s also easier to concentrate your thoughts by giving it a target rather than doing it without anything to focus on. When you do it repeatedly, the brain gets used to keeping the thoughts together and leads to better mental health.
Rishabh Telang is a master trainer at cult.fit. He specializes in strength and conditioning training and is a renowned name in the fitness industry. Rishabh has worked closely with multiple celebrities and stars to provide training and help them achieve their fitness goals. Rishabh has also worked closely with celebrities like Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff to customize workouts for member of CULT. An alumnus of Indian Institute of modern management, Rishabh has worked as a business analyst with Wipro Technologies in the past.