4 min read

Versa Gripps pro series being used in the gym

While researchers are still trying to work out the link between exercise and cognitive function, regular exercise has been shown to clear mental fogginess and boost thinking, memory, and reasoning skills.

Research in animals has been promising. One study found that rats who “lifted weights” (with tiny ladders and taped-on weights) not only gained strength, but also experienced cellular changes inside their brains that improved thinking.

But do these findings also apply to humans? The answer seems to be yes.

A study by researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia found that strength training showed benefits for people with mild cognitive impairment. Specifically, more muscle strength led to better brain function in the study participants. “The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain,” said the lead author of the study.

Below we explore the link behind resistance training and cognitive function and offer tips on how to start a weightlifting routine, including choosing the best weightlifting grips to aid your workouts.

The Science Behind Weightlifting and Brain Health

How does it work? The science is complicated, but one theory is that consistent weight training may help regulate blood sugar levels, which in turn helps prevent inflammation in the brain that can lead to cognitive impairment. 

A single session of resistance training has been shown to lower insulin and glucose levels, and other research shows that resistance training improves A1C scores (which measure blood glucose levels over the previous three months).

How well the body handles glucose and insulin isn’t just a concern for people with diabetes. Nearly 4 in 10 adults in the US have prediabetes, which is when you have higher than normal blood sugar levels. It occurs when the body doesn’t respond to insulin as well as it should.

Whatever the underlying mechanism for the link between resistance training and cognitive health, the fact is that strength training already has well-established benefits, as we’ve discussed in previous posts.

There’s nothing to lose in starting a weight training routine and everything to gain.

Weight Training for Better Cognitive Function

The Australian researchers found that high-intensity resistance training, where participants worked to at least 80 percent of their peak strength, led to the best results. So don’t be afraid to challenge your body.

However, if you’re new to lifting weights, start off slowly and work your way up. The most important thing is to master your form. Here are some tips for getting started:

Start with light weights.

When beginning a strength training routine, go with light weights to start. This helps you learn the movements and understand how your body responds to different exercises. Focusing on lighter weights initially ensures you build a strong foundation before moving on to more challenging lifts.

Increase weight and intensity gradually.

As you become more comfortable with the exercises, gradually increase the weight and intensity. This progressive overload helps your muscles adapt and grow stronger over time. Make sure to listen to your body and avoid pushing too hard too quickly to prevent injuries.

Get the right gear.

Happy female weightlifter working out

Investing in the right gear, like Versa Gripps, can enhance your performance and protect your hands and wrists. Versa Gripps help you get a better grip on your weights, so you can focus on mastering your form. This is what weightlifters call “mind-muscle connection,” and it’s the key to maximizing your workouts.

Master your form.

Prioritize perfecting your form before increasing the amount of weight. Proper technique is crucial for maximizing the benefits of resistance training and minimizing the risk of injury. Consider working with a trainer or watching instructional videos to ensure you’re performing each exercise correctly.

Don’t ignore pain.

Pay attention to any pain or discomfort you experience during your workouts. Pain can be a sign of injury or improper technique, so it’s important not to ignore it. If you feel persistent pain, take a break and talk to a trainer or healthcare professional to address the issue before continuing.

Give your body time to recover.

Your body needs time to recover between workouts. Rest days are essential for muscle repair and growth, preventing overtraining and burnout. Aim for at least one rest day between resistance training sessions and listen to your body’s signals. Pushing beyond your limits can lead to injuries.

Seek variety.

Incorporate a variety of exercises into your routine to target different muscle groups, including your arms, legs, back, core, and flanks. Mixing up your workouts keeps your muscles guessing and promotes balanced strength development. Trying new exercises also keeps your routine more engaging.

Get Versa Gripps and Train Better

Versa Gripps Xtreme series

Whether you’re new to strength training or an experienced lifter, a good grip will help you get the most out of your weightlifting workouts. Versa Gripps help you grab the bar while supporting your hands and wrists, so you can focus on your form.

Versa Gripps are designed with proprietary no-slip grip technology and a quick-release safety feature to help you train safely. They’re made for all pushing and pulling exercises, helping you flow from one exercise to the next—no stopping to change gear.

Find your perfect pair of Versa Gripps and train better.