If there’s ever any reason to sign up for a weightlifting class, this would be one of the most obvious: an Australian study has confirmed it: women are more sexually attracted to stronger looking men. In the survey carried out at Griffith University in Queensland, researchers found they could predict how attractive a woman would find a man based on three things – how physically strong he looks, how tall he is and how lean he is.
Whether bodybuilding’s your bag, you’re crazy for calisthenics or you’re just looking for a post-work way to shear off that beer belly, weightlifting is the best cure for lots of ailments. Although there’s stacks of medical advice recommending resistance training, we believe weightlifting is as good for the soul as it is for the body. It’s a primal feeling, but there’s enough scientific clout behind it to dispense with all the macho-sentimentality.
And beyond that, there’s longevity to consider: strength training as you age reduces your risk for death, according to a new study from Penn State College of Medicine.
Researchers surveyed people age 65 or older about their exercise habits and then tracked them for 15 years. Nearly a third of the study participants died during that period.
Less than 10 percent of the subjects strength trained, but those select few were 46 percent less likely to die during the study than everyone else.
Sure, you could say that older folks who lift must be in better health to begin with. But even after adjusting for BMI, chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, and habits like total physical activity, drinking, and smoking, lifting was linked to a 19 percent reduced risk of death.
Strength training can keep you active and independent in your golden years, says study author Jennifer Kraschnewski, M.D. Not only does it strengthen your muscles, resulting in better stamina and balance, but it also increases your bone density. Plus, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day just by having more muscle mass on your frame, which helps you maintain a healthy weight, Dr. Kraschnewski says.
With that all in mind, that’s why we headed to Triplefit to try their Barbell Club gym class, which promises to be : “A class for intermediate to advance lifters wanting to challenge and improve their lifting technique and strength. Inspired by the principles of power-lifting, Olympic weightlifting, and traditional weight training, this class will accelerate your fitness and strength beyond what you thought was even possible!”
Watch in the video below how the class went!
If you’re looking for more classes to help build muscle or lose weight fast, check these gyms out as well. You can also head down to Triplefit for their Barbell Club class here: #02-63 Millenia Walk (6255-5064)
This Australian gym concept focuses on functional training movements such as lifting, squatting, pulling and pushing to sculpt lean muscles. Each class takes 45 minutes, and combines interval, cardio and strength training to leave you sore and breathless. The exercise plans are never repeated, so each workout is a surprise. Besides the instructor, video demonstrations of the exercises are shown on screen to help you along. The high energy and positive vibes will make you forget how hard you’re working. Visit www.f45training.sg.
More than 15 studios islandwide
True to its name, its equipment is orange, and so are the lights. Orange light has been found to boost alertness and brain function, so you’ll be especially awake in this gym despite the dimness. As the workouts here are heart rate-based, you’ll need to wear a heart rate monitor around your chest throughout. In 60 minutes, you’ll do a mix of exercises that focus on endurance, strength and power to activate different muscle groups. The aim is to send your heart rate into the “orange zone” (84 to 91 per cent of your maximum heart rate) for up to 20 minutes to trigger the afterburn effect. This gym offers treadmills, rowing machines, suspension training systems, free weights and benches that cater to up to 24 people at one go, and exercise demos are shown to guide newcomers. Visit www.orangetheoryfitness.com.
#02-01 Robertson Quay (6266-1715) and #01-58 Icon Village (6224-4288)
If HIIT classes are stressful, you’ll find a good balance in this one. Still 30/30 comprises 30 minutes of HIIT, followed by 30 minutes of gentle yoga to let you cool down and stretch out sore muscles. The HIIT exercises involve various equipment, like kettlebells, TRX, battle ropes and ViPR, to keep you engaged. On weekday lunchtimes, the class is shortened to 50 minutes. Visit www.still-group.com.
#B1-04/05/06 OUE Downtown Gallery (6800-5355)
Many time-strapped office workers rely on this high-intensity interval training class to stay in shape. The workouts are done in 20 minutes, and held every half-hourly. The class size is capped at 10, which means you get plenty of attention from the instructor who goes around checking your form. Don’t worry about not being able to keep up. The exercises come with four progression levels – there’s bound to be one that suits your needs. We love that workout tops and bottoms are provided, and the class is done barefoot on a shock-absorbent floor (no shoes!), so all you need to bring is your sports bra. There’s also a fuel bar selling post-workout smoothies if you need a quick replenishment. Visit www.ritualgym.com.
#03-01 Raffles Place (6536-7291), 17b Lorong Liput, #02-01 (6463-4690), and 140 Robinson Road, #03-01 (6584-9469)
By Kelvin Tan, Editor for Men’s Health Singapore