Balancing Training & Mental Health

The research study titled “The Nexus of Training Duration, Body Image, Nutritional Practices, and Mental Health: Insights from a Strength Training Cohort” explored the complex interplay between strength training and its impact on body image, psychological health, and nutritional habits. The study involved 605 participants divided into two groups based on their training frequency. It aimed to understand how different intensities of strength training influenced various wellness aspects, employing comprehensive surveys and statistical analyses to draw conclusions.

The Results

The results indicated significant differences between the groups with varying training frequencies. Notably, those who trained more frequently showed poorer health outcomes and less optimal nutritional habits. This challenges the common belief that increased training frequency invariably leads to better health outcomes. The study revealed that a balanced approach to physical training, which considers both physical and mental health aspects, is crucial.

Practical Tips

The discussion in the study emphasised the need for fitness professionals to adopt a holistic approach when designing training programmes. Here are some practical tips for fitness professionals based on the study’s findings:

  • Personalised Training Plans: Tailor training and nutrition plans to individual needs, considering factors such as body image, psychological health, and dietary habits.
  • Mental Health Awareness: Incorporate mental health screenings and provide support for psychological wellbeing alongside physical training programmes.
  • Educate on Nutritional Balance: Educate clients on the importance of a balanced diet that complements their training regimen, emphasising the risks of poor nutritional choices highlighted in the study.
  • Monitor Training Frequency: Be cautious of overtraining and ensure that the training frequency and intensity are appropriate for the individual’s health and fitness goals.
  • Encourage Holistic Wellness: Promote activities and habits that support overall wellness, including stress management techniques and adequate rest.

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Implications for Practice

The study concluded that a balanced, holistic approach to strength training is essential for fostering both physical and psychological health. It underscored the importance of considering individual differences and societal influences on training practices and body image perceptions. For fitness professionals, this means adopting and advocating strategies that support comprehensive health and wellbeing, aligning with the growing client demand for such multifaceted approaches to fitness.

Fitness professionals are encouraged to integrate these insights into their practices to better meet the evolving needs of their clients, emphasising the interconnectedness of physical activity, nutrition, and mental health to foster a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.


Jiménez-Morcillo, J.; Rodriguez-Besteiro, S.; Clemente-Suárez, V.J. The Nexus of Training Duration, Body Image, Nutritional Practices, and Mental Health: Insights from a Strength Training Cohort. Behav. Sci. 2024, 14, 267. Click here to review the full research article

Combine Mental Health with Strength & Conditioning

Advance your fitness career with our Mental Health First Aid and Strength & Conditioning Exercise courses. These programmes blend the latest research, including studies on the crucial link between mental health and physical training, to enhance your capability in supporting clients’ psychological resilience and crafting effective, health-oriented training plans. Gain the skills needed to meet the diverse needs of today’s clients by merging scientific insights with practical training strategies. Enrol now and position yourself at the forefront of the fitness industry with a holistic approach to wellness and training.

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