The mental benefits of weight-training

The admiration of toned bodies of models, athletes and fitness enthusiasts are the products of rigorous strength training. Society recognizes that lifting weights and eating a balanced diet provides countless physical benefits. However, people don’t realize is that strength training can also provide a significant change in mental health. Good evidence shows that strength training alone can tackle a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, chronic pain (lower back, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis), self-esteem, sleep, and cognition. Here a few things that weight training can help you gain some brain power.

1) Improved Brain Cognition

Lab studies on mice shows that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells called neurogenesis and improve overall brain performance. In addition, tougher workouts can increase levels of a brain-derived protein called BDNF (Brain-derived neurotropic factor), which is correlated with decision-making, higher thinking and learning.

2) Improved Memory

Regular weight lifting sessions can boost memory and learning new skills. This is due to the increased production of cells in the hippocampus, responsible for memory retention. According to a study from George Tech, compared to any other exercises that can yield similar results, significant increases in memory can occur within 20 minutes of exercise as a “single bout of resistance exercise performed during consolidation can enhance episodic memory and that the effect of valence on memory depends on the physiological response to the exercise.”

3) Fight Depression

There are times where stress, personal issues and life can lead us into depression. People dive into different outlets to curb depression such as counseling. However, weight training can reduce these symptoms. A Harvard study once found that “ten weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than counseling. This is particularly important for women since they are more than twice as likely to experience depression and only one out of three actually seek care.” With weight training, it will give an instant release of “feel good” hormones called endorphins. Anything can be achievable if you can get through your grueling workout.

With more energy to complement your new body in workout, you can tackle just about anything life throws at you.


Mankofit’s Inspirational Journey



I originally started this blog with the intention of giving more spotlight to personal trainers that not only have just amazing bodies but can tell motivational stories to inspire you, and help you put down those French Fries in a heartbeat. A lot of people with the most glamorous looks and lifestyle aren’t really born into it. They work hard for it, as we all know. Confidence is not something you are automatically built with, it’s often something you have to build up each and every day. Sometimes being bullied takes in more than just insults. It humiliates you, devalue your worth and your reason why you are here today. Circumstances also take a heavy toll on your mind, body, and spirit. So how does one get rid of all that negative energy? Sure, there are focus groups and recreation centers to help you, but I find that exercise is really one of the most effective ways in reversing all of those shitty things. I had days I felt not good enough to wear really cool clothes or dress sexy, but you know what; I am as fit now as I was back in high school, maybe more.

If it wasn’t for my personal trainer, I wouldn’t be able to push myself as hard as anything I could imagine. The more times I pass through the pain to finish a set or hit a certain number in a rep, the more I can understand myself for me to transform as a person. I admire personal trainers because of how dedicated they are to their bodies and can manage to help others achieve their goals. To lead a better life, one should be physically active and are willing to expand their horizons. Personal trainers are people I respect; they are their own celebrities. Today, I bring you a woman that I’m truly inspired by (besides my personal trainer) .Her quirky fitness Instagram posts and her moving story pushes me to do something groundbreaking in the time I have here, hence this blog. Massy “Mankofit” Arias is one of the most celebrated personal trainers in the business and she deserves every bit of recognition. You might recognize her from outlets including VIBE and INKED, was featured in the Trey Songz music video “Na Na” and a lot more. From her killer 6 pack abs and body decorated in cool tattoos, her seamless performances in pistol pushups and 200+lbs leg squats, and killer smile, Mankofit isn’t just some pretty face with a godlike body. She is someone I can truly relate to as if she is one of my friends that overcame the challenges and wanted me to do the same.

Born in the Dominican Republic, she moved to the United States at the age of thirteen, without speaking English fluently. She had a very draining relationship with her ex-boyfriend on top of taking care of her family members all at once. Depression was constantly beating her up left and right and worse lived a life that seemed all the more unbearable. And her name, in case you were wondering what does Mankofit means, you’ll be surprised to learn that the word “Manko” is a Japanese derogatory term for women’s genitalia after some foolish Japanese woman often called her Manko in insult. Her mom suggested for her to join a gym, which eventually became her dose of medicine to overcome depression and beyond. She went on doing swimsuit competitions and everything else fell in place. She turned those name callings and depression into fuel and exercise transformed her into an activist for women’s rights and motivational speaker as well.

You can watch the link to her mini documentary here, directed by Eliu Cornielle of EC Media Studio (Link: The moral of the story is that anyone can be anything, but with great determination, dedication, and appreciation for what you have, you deserve what you earn.


“I am not a body builder, I am not an athlete.  I am not the strongest, nor the fastest. What I am, is dedicated. I am passionate. I am committed. I want to show the world that ordinary can become extraordinary.”

– Massy Arias (AKA MANKOFIT)