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  • Mitchell Rothbardt

The Strength of Strength

What would you say if I told you there was one thing that could help you lose fat, gain muscle, help your running time, lift more weight, and make you feel better both mentally and physically? You’d probably ask which aisle in the store carried this amazing pill. Well, as I’m sure you know, I’m not talking about a pill. I’m talking about one of the most overlooked aspects of many people’s training programs: strength.

Too many people judge their workouts purely by how tired they are afterward. Let me put it this way, it’s easy to do a workout that just gets you tired. Do walking lunges for five blocks. Did this workout actually help you in any way? Not really.

You should judge your workout by how much better it made you. How much closer to your goal it brought you.

You might be thinking, “I want to lose weight. How is getting stronger going to help me with that?” Well, we all know that to lose weight we need to expend more energy than we take in. In other words, burn more calories than we eat. The best way to do this through your workouts is to do something that raises your metabolism on a permanent basis. Doing one of those just-get-me-tired workouts actually LOWERS your metabolism over time due to your body’s adaptive response. Training more for strength will result in more lean body mass. As we know, lean body mass burns more calories and, presto, a higher metabolism! That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be some getting-tired aspect to your workouts. You should be getting tired just as a result of working hard, but that shouldn’t be your primary measuring stick as to how the workout was.

Let’s talk about another kind of exerciser that commonly misses the strength element in their workouts: the endurance athlete. There are many ways that strength can help them, but today we’ll talk about just one of them. Injuries.

Let’s say we are running two miles today. That’s roughly 4000 steps. Using exercise terminology, that means that we’re doing 4000 reps of a high impact exercise. Each time our foot hits the ground, we push off and propel ourselves forward. Doing that so many times can be very hard on our knees, ankles and back. Doesn’t it make sense that each step will be easier if we have the strength to put more force into each step? In other words, if I can put 200 pounds of force into the ground as opposed to 125 I don’t have to exert as much energy. That leads to more efficient running and that leads to fewer injuries.

These are only a few ways that strength can help you in your fitness goals. Take a look at my new video blog below plus some exclusive content, or just drop me a line.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT


Discover Your Strength!

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