Authors of a meta-analysis (a statistical technique that allows researchers to look at numerous studies on the same topic and look for themes) published this month in the journal, Psychological Research, provide continuous scientific support for the robust (and surprising) “saw sharpening” benefits of strength training. The researchers analyzed studies that looked at the cognitive benefits of strength training. They concluded, “The results of this meta-analysis revealed an overall effect of resistance training on cognition, on screening measures of cognitive impairment, and on executive functions (ability to plan, focus attention, and shift between tasks)… This shows promise for the use of resistance exercise as a way to improve cognition and/or stave off cognitive decline.”
The take home message: The benefits of strength training (not simply exercise; but strength training) are far more robust than we have previously assumed. Furthermore, perhaps the major drivers (the true “why”) of our strength training are benefits that the vast majority of trainees are completely unaware of.