Is Weight Lifting a Cure for Depression?

You’re overweight, at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and showing signs of depression.

Not only do these symptoms go hand in hand…they’re becoming increasingly common all over the world.

If only there was a simple, inexpensive solution to all three problems.



Well…..according to this study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, a moderate intensity resistance exercise training program performed 3 days a week for 10 weeks was extremely effective in reducing the symptoms of depression.

But, before you get too excited…there were side effects.

  • Increased muscular strength
  • Increased muscular endurance
  • Increased balance & coordination
  • Weight loss
  • Better fitting clothes
  • Increased quality of life
  • A tighter butt
  • Increased staring & compliments from complete strangers, and
  • A desire to scrub clothing on your rippling stomach muscles


Like previous studies have shown, exercise can be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. And while most of that research has focused on aerobic exercise, this latest study shows that weight training is just as effective.

However, please remember that depression is a serious mental condition with serious consequences. Consulting with your doctor is imperative.




Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

3 thoughts on “Is Weight Lifting a Cure for Depression?

  • June 22, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Exercise triggers the release of endorphins and dopamine in the brain. Hence, it makes you feel better :)

  • June 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    With all the stress I encounter today, I think it’s better for me to do exercises for me then. Aside from getting rid of your depression, you can also gain muscle at the same time. I love it!!!

  • June 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Doug, great post – especially the “warning” about the negative side effects. :) I’m going to contact you via Twitter to request an interview for the book I’m working on about life after weight loss. Thanks!


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