Start with these, then create a million more of your own.
First, let me just say that literally ANY sort of movement you do – whether it’s gardening a few times a week, going for walk or a hike, or yes shudder even Zumba, is light years better for you than filling in the butt-groove of your favorite La-Z-Boy. If your idea of a marathon is watching as many episodes of House of Cards in a row as humanly possible, this post probably won’t make any difference.
If, however, you see the value in fitness and moving yourself around, let me take a minute and explain why in addition to focusing on what you already like to do, you should really also add in some serious, no-nonsense strength work.
5) “Building strength = building confidence.”
Out of all the people I have trained in my life, not a single one of them has failed to gain a new-found sense of self confidence, self respect, and happiness with who they are once they start strength training. This self confidence spills over into all aspects of their lives – career, family, and how they handle difficult situations. This leads me to my next point…
4) “Being strong makes you harder to kill.”
Or injure. Or screw with. Strength builds a good deal of resilience to all sorts of challenges that “fitness” (whatever that means) can’t even touch. Can you think of even one hero from any culture of years past who was renowned for his ability to jog flaccidly at a medium pace for who-knows-how-long, and yet be easily injured and piss weak at defending his people and overcoming throngs of blood-thirsty enemies? Is it any wonder that regardless of other physical qualities our ancient heroes possessed, super strength was always dominated the number one spot? Same thing today: life and fate like to tag team you with physical mishaps all the time. Strength will help you take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.
3) “Strength training will torch fat and give you the physique you want.”
It’s easy to convince men of this, but women should know this applies equally to them. Renowned fat loss expert Josh Hillis has noted that typically by the time a woman can deadlift or squat at least 135 for 5 reps AND do 3 pullups, they probably will have arrived at their physique goals. There are a thousand reasons why. If you don’t know, ask. And with your goals in mind…
2) “Strength is the foundation for the development of the rest of physical qualities”
This is the observation famously made by Professor Leonid Matveyev. Strength is definitely not the ONLY thing to work on, but as it is the base for everything else you want to do, spending some time getting “entry level strong” will make improving your speed, cardio, fat loss, explosive power, etc. a MUCH easier affair. As Master SFG Brett Jones has noted “Maximal strength is the glass in which all other strength qualities fit into and at a certain point you will be limited by the size of the glass.” Get a big glass and then pile whatever physical quality you want into it.
1) “Strong fixes almost everything.”
One of the lesser-known geniuses of the strength world, Mark Reifkind, has stated this, and I can’t think of too many instances wherein it’s not true. From frustrating plateaus to overcoming aches and pains (my mom and many others can attest to that one), gaining strength means gaining a foothold over a vast number of physical maladies.
Is your mental jury still out? If so, do an experiment: seek out an StrongFirst-certified instructor and learn the basics of strength training. Follow instructions to a T, and notice the myriad transformations that will rush in to your newer, larger figurative glass. Experience it for yourself; you will be amazed.
Pictured is a Abby Stockton, who looks pretty darn good and was strong as an ox. Probably two of ’em.