Home / Can lifting weights boost your paycheck?


Updated: 28 May 2024 

If you pump iron, you may already be familiar with its mood-enhancing benefits that typically follow the muscle fatigue. Similar to aerobic exercise, strength training can trigger the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. But did you know that beyond sculpting muscles, exercise, including strength training, has been linked to higher salaries?



The relationship between physical fitness and financial prosperity is an intriguing subject of study. Various studies have shown a link between exercise and income levels, revealing a connection that extends beyond the impact of strength training and other types of exercise on one’s fitness.

  • The latest player profile data from AUSPLAY (the large-scale national population tracking survey funded and led by the Australian Sports Commission) for two of the most popular sports and physical activities among Australian adults, Fitness & Gym and Running & Athletics, show higher levels of participation among people with higher salaries.
  • In one study that used data from a longitudinal survey conducted in Russia, the findings show that people who exercise earn about 6% to 10% more than those who don't. 
  • A study in Brazil using data from the 2008 Brazilian National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) involving 391,868 men and women between 30 and 50 years of age showed that people who exercise regularly are better off socially and financially than sedentary individuals.
  • A Korean study that used data from the 2019 and 2021 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), which involved 6,535 subjects, confirmed the positive effect of muscular strength training on a person's quality of life.
  • The results of a study on workers in Poland involving 4,332 participants (aged 18 to 64) indicate a positive correlation between a person's level of physical activity and their income status.
  • Another study conducted in China, which used data on 20,783 individuals from the 2016 China Labor Dynamics Survey (CLDS2016) that covered 29 provinces and cities, reports that people who exercise regularly have a higher income than those who don't.

The key findings of these studies underscore the connection between exercise and earning potential. Individuals who prioritise physical fitness through strength training and other forms of exercise may not only experience improvements in health and well-being, but could also enjoy financial rewards. Examples of prominent people who embody financial success in their field and prioritise regular exercise include:


Strength training is a science-backed practice that cultivates both physical and mental power. At its core, strength training involves repetitive movements against a source of resistance, aimed at improving muscular strength, endurance, and power. But its benefits extend far beyond the gym floor.


Physiologically, strength training triggers a cascade of transformations within the body. As you challenge your muscles with resistance, microscopic tears occur, prompting the body to repair and rebuild them stronger and more resilient. This process, known as muscle hypertrophy, leads to noticeable gains in strength and muscle mass over time.


Moreover, strength training isn’t confined to the realm of the physical. It helps cultivate mental fortitude and emotional resilience, helping equip individuals with the grit and determination needed to tackle life’s challenges head-on.


As with other types of exercise, strength training comes with both physical and mental benefits. Besides decreasing abdominal fat, improving bone density, and making you look leaner, strength training helps improve cardiovascular health and keep age-related chronic diseases at bay. But beyond offering these health benefits, strength training also:  

1. Cultivates confidence, discipline, and perseverance

Other than the physical benefits strength training offers, it can help in developing one's confidence and leadership skills. Strength training requires one to push boundaries and challenge self-limiting beliefs to achieve one's fitness goals. By overcoming your physical and mental limitations, you can cultivate a sense of self-assurance and belief in your abilities.


Consistent strength training also helps in developing transferable skills that are highly prized in the professional sphere. These include goal setting, discipline, and perseverance that you can hone through your adherence to training schedules and consistent workouts.

2. Increases energy and productivity levels

A major benefit of regular exercise, including strength training, is more energy, which then leads to higher levels of productivity. Regular exercise enhances energy levels by stimulating the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters known for their mood-boosting and energising effects. 


Moreover, the benefits of exercise on cognitive functioning are well-documented, with studies linking physical activity to improved focus, creativity, and overall productivity. Exercise stimulates the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that promotes the growth and maintenance of neurons, enhancing cognitive function and mental clarity. 

3. Prevents burnout and promotes work-life balance

The demands of life as we know it have led to a rise in burnout and stress-related illnesses. However, integrating exercise into your routine can serve as a powerful antidote to burnout while promoting a healthy work-life balance.


Strength training, in particular, offers a unique opportunity to channel pent-up energy and tension, providing a cathartic outlet for stress and frustration. By carving out time for strength training and other forms of exercise, you can recharge your batteries and return to work feeling refreshed and revitalised.


Choosing between strength training, running, and general exercise depends on your goals, lifestyle, and preferences. Strength training builds muscle, boosts metabolism, and enhances bone density, so it's ideal if you're focused on developing your overall strength and physique. Running improves heart health, endurance, and mental clarity, and is beneficial for those whose primary goal is weight loss. 

General exercise, including activities like yoga, hiking, or swimming, offers a balanced approach, promoting flexibility, cardiovascular health, and muscle tone. The 'best' exercise varies per person, although combining all three can yield comprehensive health benefits. However, the best exercise for you would be any workout that you enjoy and can do consistently for the long term. 


Squeezing in strength training into a busy work schedule may seem daunting, but with the right strategies and strength training accessories — such as lifting straps and weightlifting belts — it’s entirely feasible.

  • Consider scheduling your workouts before or after work to ensure consistency.
  • Incorporate a variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups to keep your workouts interesting and well-rounded.
  • Keep a workout journal or use a fitness app to log your exercises, weights, and repetitions, and to stay motivated.
  • Ensure you have enough rest and sleep between strength training sessions to allow your muscles to recover and grow.
  • Explore alternative workout options, such as home-based workouts or virtual strength training classes to accommodate your busy schedule.
  • Find enjoyment in what you do and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small.

Remember, even short periods of exercise can yield significant benefits, so prioritise consistency over intensity. 

By making exercise a non-negotiable part of your routine, you’ll not only safeguard your well-being but also enhance your performance and productivity in the workplace, and achieve financial success.



Adam B. / Director, Turtle Strength


Adam is passionate about powerlifting, strength training and digital marketing. Created Turtle Strength to find the best possible product to meet the needs of training. 


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