Strength. When you read that word what do you picture? Some big weightlifter holding a barbell full of weights over their head? You’re certainly not wrong. Those guys are incredibly strong, but think about this. Someone standing up after falling. Someone carrying a bag of groceries in from the car. Someone being able to move things around in their garden. Someone being able to play with their grandkids. These are all examples of strength, too.
In my last post I talked about how good movement is the most important thing we train. Well, strength is close behind. The reason is that strength is a hugely functional thing! Strength, quite simply, makes life easier. It helps you recover faster. It helps you do more things. It gives you a higher quality of life. Who wants to have to rely on someone else for everything all the time?
When I mention this to people they often ask, “What about cardio?” Well, if you’re training strength effectively then your heart is getting a workout. You should be out of breath after a good set. Strength training has been shown to improve cardiovascular health.
People ask about flexibility. Well strength can improve that, as well. You need strength to hold extended positions without injury. After all, most injuries occur when the body is in some sort of extended position. When you stretch one muscle another muscle contracts. That’s the way the body works. If one or the other isn’t strong enough to hold the position you’re trying to get into you’ll either not be able to get into the position or you’ll suffer an injury.
When I mention strength training to people sometimes they get a little intimidated. The key is that it’s all relative. What constitutes strength training varies from person to person. It all goes back to proper movement. Take the squat, for example. All of my clients squat. Does that mean they all squat with a bar on their back? Absolutely not! Some do, but others do body weight squats to a box, some hold kettle bells, some use bands. It’s all strength training and it’s determined by each persons level.
Overall, if you really want to improve your game, and your game is life, then you need to take strength training seriously and get after it. Let me know if you need any help.
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach, FMS
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley
I Help People Discover Their Strength!