Does Lifting Weights Make You Smarter?

Smart people are confident, influential, and live happy lives because they know how to understand their feelings as well as the feelings of other people. As you probably know, smartness does not come by a sudden flight; it is a result of regular behavioral practices that improve one’s brainpower.

This assertion brings the question: does lifting weights make you smarter? And the answer is emphatic Yes. Indeed, people who lift weights are smarter than those who don’t. This is not a far-fetched idea. It’s backed up by research. A study published in 2016 by the Clinical Interventions in Aging Journal found out that weightlifting has a significant positive effect on the cognitive performance of elderly persons.

When you do weightlifting exercises, you stimulate a change in your brain that improves your memory and thinking capacity. A sharp cognitive function gives you the ability to handle different matters and navigate through diverse circumstances of life with ease. It’s assuring to know that you can become smarter by simply developing a healthy habit of lifting weights.

The question that lingers in the minds of many people is the frequency that one should maintain to improve his or her brainpower significantly. Well, regular exercise will give positive results. Again, most people who are excited about this subject express their desire to know whether there is a relationship between muscle gain and brain growth.

This is an imperative sphere of exploration in regards to the effect of lifting weights and the improvement of one’s level of smartness. Of great importance still, what is the correlation between a slowly aging process of the brain, as a result of lifting weights, and cognitive functionality? All these are pertinent and imperative aspects related to lifting weights and the level of one’s smartness.

Regular Lifting Of Weight Is Paramount

Regular lifting of weight has a tremendous effect on one’s cognitive ability. Just like in any activity that bears fruits after maintaining consistency within a time, boosting your memory and thinking capability through weightlifting will manifest if you do regular exercises. This might seem a challenge to many people, especially those who are not used to lifting weights.

But, it’s the right path to take if you are to realize the outcomes you are seeking. Being smart does not happen in a flash. So, how frequent should you lift weights for you to become smarter? This is a question that many people seek answers with respect to the effectiveness of weightlifting.

According to the Gentleman’s Journal, a study by a team of researchers from Sydney University found out that men should do weightlifting workouts at least two times a week, in six months before they begin to see results. The study involved 100 participants who were tested within six months to ascertain whether there were any significant changes to their brain function after doing weightlifting exercises.

To have a reliable point of reference, the brains of the participants were scanned using an MRI machine. The participants had to do weightlifting workouts twice per week in six months. After the six months were over, the scientists observed significant changes in the participants’ brains.

The changes were an indication that the regular weightlifting exercises contributed greatly in making their brains’ functions better. The most important thing to point out here is that the participants maintained consistency in their workouts; hence, they were able to improve their level of smartness to a great extent.

The Relationship between Muscle Strength and Brain Growth

There is a notable relationship between muscle strength and brain growth. Of course, muscle gain comes as a result of lifting weights. In this respect, it’s valuable to highlight that you need to lift weights regularly for you to increase the mass of your muscles substantially.

The more you exercise through weightlifting, the more your body muscles gain in mass and, consequently, you become smarter. The stronger you become, the more your brain becomes sharper. The relationship between muscle strength and improved cognitive ability has a strong basis on research.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine was conducted to establish the relationship between muscle strength and improved brain functionality. The study involved 100 adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The participants were required to do resistance training, which involved lifting weights. They did the workouts at least twice per week for 6 months.

The target muscles with the weightlifting exercise were shoulders, chest, and triceps. The participants were monitored during the 6-month study period, and significant results were evident in regards to brain development. The weightlifting exercises proved to be highly beneficial in boosting the participants’ cognitive function.

Also, the study found out that as the days progressed, the participants became stronger and were able to lift more weight. The stronger the participants became, the smarter they grew. This is a clear indication that there is a correlation between muscle strength and brain growth. Therefore, you can consider lifting weights to make you smarter.

The Effect of Stress Reduction on Cognitive Function through Weightlifting

Stress is a problem that many people face in today’s world. The fast-paced world that the 21st century has given birth to is a source of stress for many people. To cure this problem, weightlifting has proven to be a viable strategy for relieving stress. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by a lot of work, and you want to lighten up, studies show that exercises can be good therapy.

Regular weightlifting helps you to release endorphins, which are body hormones that make you feel good. Stimulating the production of endorphins enables you to have better mental functionality because you are not under stress. Contrary to other exercises that reduce stress in your system, lifting weights is known to stimulate the happy-feeling hormones faster.

Regular weightlifting exercises create a stress-free environment in your body that contributes to the release of important neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, which are responsible for creating a happy mood. When these hormones get into the brain, they play a vital role in improving the functioning of the brain.

For example, with regular weightlifting and the release of the above-mentioned hormones, your ability to retain memory increases significantly and your ability to learn rises as well. Additionally, your brain can connect things faster and be creative if you are not under stress. This is as a result of maintaining a regular weightlifting routine that allows your body to refresh and to relieve stress.

Lifting Weights Slows Down the Aging Process

As people grow older, their brain’s function declines, thus making them less smart. It is the desire of virtually every person to remain smart, even as they grow older. The challenge to this is that it’s difficult to be smarter as one grows older if the right exercises are not done.

The good news is that weightlifting has proved to be a sure way of slowing down the aging process of the brain. What this does is that a person who lifts weights regularly slows the lesions that appear in the brain. As people grow older, it’s normal for these lesions to start to surface.

However, it’s worth noting that if you fail to exercise your body, the lesions can multiply greatly and negatively affect your brain’s functionality. In such a case, you will notice that the level of your smartness will decline with time. The solution to this is doing regular weightlifting exercises. If you are consistent in this, you will significantly slow down the aging process of your brain.

A 2015 study published by the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found out that regular lifting of weights, twice per week, helped to slow down the brain’s aging process. The study brought together women aged between 65 and 75 years old within one year.

The women were divided into groups of those who lifted weights twice a week and those who didn’t. After 12 months, the women who lifted weights had a lesser decline in the brain’s white matter, which is connected to the ability to maintain good memory and a proper thought process.

The other women had a larger decline of the white matter, meaning that their brain’s ability to function well deteriorated greatly. Therefore, this research is a crystal clear indicator that lifting weights can slow down the aging process of the brain, thus making you smarter.


The truth is that you can do so much and become so much more if you maintained a sharp brain functionality. Being smart comes with many benefits, given that the fast-paced world of today requires us to be up to date with so much.

However, as people grow older, the level of smartness declines. Worse still, even young people can have their cognitive ability declining faster than normal. This is as a result of not exercising. Regular exercises can boost your cognitive function significantly because they stimulate processes that keep the brain functioning optimally.

One of the exercises that will help you become smarter is lifting weights. If you form the habit of lifting weights, you will transform your brain into a highly functioning body organ. Studies have shown that with regular exercises, it’s possible for you to boost your brain’s capacity to function well. Thus, start a consistent weightlifting program today and increase your chances of becoming smarter.

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Bolandzadeh, N., Tam, R., Handy, T.C., Nagamatsu, L.S………and Ambrose, T. (2015). Resistance Training and White Matter Lesion Progression in Older Women: Exploratory Analysis of a 12-Month Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 63(10):2052-60.

Gentleman’s Journal. (2019). Daily weightlifting improves brain function, a new study finds.

Singh, M.A., et al. (2014). The Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) Study— Resistance Training and/or Cognitive Training in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Double-Sham Controlled Trial. Journal of Post –Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, 15, Issue 12, Pages 873–880

Smolarek, A.C. (2016). The effects of strength training on cognitive performance in elderly women. Clinical Interventions in Aging Journal, 11: 749–754.

Tomasz Faber

HI, MY NAME IS TOMASZ, and welcome to my site I’m a weightlifter, and I’m very much interested in health and fitness subjects. Throughout a few years of my weightlifting training, and diet experience, I managed to make my body much, much stronger, as well as build endurance and athletic figure. I live in London, UK, where I enjoy my weightlifting more...

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