Tip: 3 Great Things About Lifting Weights

Sure, you'll build muscle and strength, but there's more. Here's what non-lifters just don't know.

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1 – Building Muscle Makes You Better at Life

Your entire body becomes more proficient. It's phenomenal. Heavy things feel lighter, hard tasks feel easier, big meals get used instead of stored. Moving your own body around becomes a natural, simple thing.

You don't even realize your own physical capability if you've had muscle for a long time and have been taking it for granted. But when you go from not lifting to lifting, your body turns into this unrecognizable machine.

My very first taste of this was in high school when weight training made me go from the slowest girl on the cross country team to the fastest in a couple years. I didn't know the science behind it, but when everyone on a hill was slowing down, I could shift gears and pick up speed. It was a dramatic athletic transformation. And when it happened, I knew that building muscle was the key to living in the body I'd want.

2 – You Become More Authoritative

Not in a domineering way, but in a way that simply keeps you from being a doormat. The more you struggle under the iron and master it, the more you realize your own potential.

This can embolden people differently. You might gradually become more self-reliant in the gym, more forthright in daily interactions, or just more of a "go-getter" all around... as hokey as that sounds. You start thinking that bigger things are within your reach.

One of the most stressful times of my life was when I was hired for a news job right after college. I felt stretched yet undervalued, and my paycheck would've been bigger flipping burgers. I had stopped lifting for a year or so when I took the position. But getting back under the iron gave me the impetus to look for better opportunities instead of living with this feeling of being stuck. It was scary to quit, but it was exhilarating to get back in the captain's chair and decide what to do with my life.

3 – It Makes You Socially Competent

Building muscle makes you more self-assured. It's just easier to talk to strangers when you're somewhat jacked. Maybe that's because you become comfortable with yourself and you project that feeling outward. But the more comfortable you are around others, the more enjoyable the gym (and everything else) is.

And if someone snubs you when you say hi, no biggie. You're still somewhat jacked. What are they gonna do? Sigh loudly? Roll their eyes? Snobby people are usually just insecure people.

Bonus: When you focus on building strength and muscle, you attract people who are into the same stuff, and having like-minded friends is powerful. These connections can open doors, keep you motivated, and improve your health all around.