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What is Weight Lifting?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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Weight lifting is the process of lifting items of great mass in order to increase the muscle size and strength of a person. This is typically done in a number of different ways to target muscle groups in different parts of a person’s body, and can be done specifically for the aesthetic effects it has on the body. It can also be part of a physical training or therapy regimen intended to increase body strength or recover from injury. Weight lifting is also a competitive sport in which people train to be able to lift weights of extremely great size and weight or as part of bodybuilding.

Also called weight training, this sport typically utilizes special equipment such as dumbbells and similar items. These are often designed as a simple bar with weights at each side of the bar. The bar can then either be held in one hand or with both hands, depending on its size and the nature of the training. Different quantities of weight can then be placed on each end of the bar, allowing a person to increase the amount of weight he or she uses while weight lifting over time.

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The basic effect of weight lifting is the increase in muscle mass and physical strength of a person. This is done by a person using weights to cause himself or herself physical pain and minor damage to his or her muscles. When the muscle is repaired by his or her body, it is made slightly stronger than it was prior to the injury. The process is then repeated to create stronger and stronger muscle. This process makes sense, from a physiological stance; the body of someone straining his or her muscles to survive a dangerous situation repairs itself to make him or her more likely to survive a similar situation later.

Weight lifting simply tricks the body into thinking that a critical situation has occurred, resulting in minor muscle damage, and the body repairs this injury accordingly. Rather than making the body stronger to survive, however, it is done to produce larger and stronger muscles for aesthetic and health reasons. This is why most weight lifting equipment is adjustable, since the repaired muscles are stronger and greater weight is needed to produce the same minor damage. Competitive weight lifting often sees people compete by lifting extremely heavy weights, and many bodybuilders use weightlifting to increase muscle mass and “sculpt” their bodies.

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elizabeth23
Post 2

@Catapult- I took an individual fitness class in college, and our teacher made it very clear that weight training was important; however, like you, he did stress that it doesn't have to be really complicated or time consuming to work. You just need to do something every day or at least a few times every week. Fitness is really not as hard as a lot of us might think, at least not after we try it.

Catapult
Post 1

I was always skeptical of weight lifting, mainly because I was lazy. But last year I started just doing a few simple exercises, like squats with weights and pushups, and I really think it has made a difference- my arms are more toned than they have been before.

I don't think it can replace aerobic exercise, but if you want to get stronger, even a little bit of lifting can be really helpful.

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