How Resistance Training Can Improve Your Mental Health

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Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson

Plenty of focus goes on the physical benefits of resistance training, but what about the mental side? How can your psychological state improve from training?

One of the main reasons people start resistance training is for the physical benefits. Whether it is to lose body fat, lose weight, build muscle, get stronger or improve their general health and fitness, there are a plethora of positive changes that can be gained from starting a resistance training programme.

However, another area in which resistance training provides huge benefits is in the mind. Aside from the physical goals, many people continue resistance training for psychological reasons. In an era when mental health has become a huge topic within modern society, many people are realising the benefits of resistance training on the mind.

So, what are those benefits? How can resistance training have a positive impact on your mental health?

More Belief and Self-Confidence

When you begin your fitness journey, it is very possible that you are adopting a fixed mindset. You can’t do this, you can’t do that, you will never be able to achieve this, it is not possible to be successful at that. This is often why a lot of people fail, not just with getting in better shape but with any goal in life and is also commonly why many don’t even bother to start. So much about fat loss is in the mind, and it requires belief and confidence as well as discipline, consistency and routine.

However, as you progress throughout your journey, you will begin to realise that you can do more and achieve more than you thought was possible. Not only will you be losing body fat and changing your overall shape, but you will also be stronger, more energetic, more flexible and have better posture. All of this has a knock-on effect on the belief and confidence you have in yourself, which then has a huge impact on your happiness, relationships with people and overall outlook on life. This is a gamechanger if your goal is to be more joyful and inspired and gives you the belief that you can get much more out of your life.

Time To Yourself

Many people lead very busy work and family lives, meaning that they have very limited time to themselves. To be consistent and achieve whatever you want out of life, it is vital that you have time where you can collect your thoughts, refresh and have clarity. You can have this through several different methods, one of which is through training, either by yourself, with a coach or with a friend.

Of course, during your sessions, you should be pushing and challenging yourself physically and mentally, but your training session provides valuable time to switch off from work and family life and focus on improving your body, whilst also thinking about how far you have come and improve. Having that space to challenge yourself in another area is vital for maintaining a healthy balance in your life. Once you have this, staying consistent becomes a lot easier.

More Positivity

Another huge mental benefit that resistance training can bring is with your positivity. When you change your body shape for the better, you are much happier with yourself and what you have achieved, meaning that you become more positive about the future, not just with your body but also with your relationships with people, your work, and your overall outlook on life.

As mentioned before, many people enter their fitness journey with a fixed mindset of not being able to achieve something. This can also lead to a lot of negativity in your mind, resulting in a depressed, frustrated life that affects your ability to achieve more. By making progress with your body shape, your mindset changes along with that, meaning you have more positive opinions about certain situations and higher energy levels, which stems from the ‘state’ you find yourself in.

Less Fear And Apprehension

Many people start their resistance training journey with a lot of fear and apprehension. This is not only for starting something new, such as lifting weights, but also with themselves and their own body, as a result of being physically weak, unstable, and imbalanced. Therefore, there is a fear that starting resistance training will only lead to embarrassment and injury, which is a possibility if you try to do too much, too soon through being on the wrong plan.

However, as time goes on and you build up strength and stability in your body, not only does your confidence increase, but you have less fear about something going wrong, which leads to less fear, anxiety and apprehension. You don’t have to worry about being too weak to carry something or falling over a result or poor balance, and this means that you can live a happier, more confident lifestyle. These negative emotions are taken away when you build a stronger, more stable body.

Healthier Body, Healthier Mind

When you start resistance training, you should also be following a nutrition plan that is sustainable, effective, enjoyable and in line with what you are looking to achieve. If the two do not work together, you are going to be underwhelmed with your progress. As the saying goes, you can’t out-train a bad diet, and it is essential that you are supporting your training with good nutrition. Once you get into a routine of doing this, you will start to notice big differences, not only physically but mentally also.

Cleaning up your diet through adding in better quality, more nutrient-dense foods means that your body starts to function properly. It also means that you are more focused, energised and happy that you are making progress with your goals. A better body not only gives you more positivity and self-confidence, but also leads to less risk of injury, disease and poor coordination, which means that you feel better with yourself and your choices. Training regularly leads to a healthier body, and as you start to achieve that during your journey, a healthier mind follows suit.


So, despite the many physical benefits that resistance training brings, there are also huge benefits to your mental health. These include more belief and self-confidence, valuable time to yourself, more positivity, less fear and apprehension, and a healthier mind in general. Make sure you are aware of these throughout your fitness journey and appreciate how training can make you a more confident, healthy, and happier person.

Photo Credit: Envato Elements

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