“Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true whether we want it to be or not.”– Mark Rippetoe
I remember the first time I read this quote while reading the book starting strength. And at first glance, I thought it was a bit far fetched.
But the more I think about it. The more I recognize that there is some truth to it.
What Is Strength?
Strength is the ability to generate force against an external resistance. In essence, strength is the basis for everything you and I do physically. When you drink a cup of coffee strength is what allows you to hold the cup up to your mouth.
And for some older people who lack strength. They struggle to get up off of the toilet. Yes, small things like this require strength.
Start A Properly Structured Strength Training Program And Reap The Benefits
Notice how much better you feel when you increase your whole-body strength.
Daily tasks become easier, you’ll sleep better, you’ll be less stressed and you’ll increase your confidence.
There’s no better feeling than lifting a weight for reps while your buddy can’t even get one measly rep.
And although now strength isn’t needed in the same sense it was for our primitive ancestors.
Strength determines how well you and I function in these new modern-day surroundings.
Humans Aren’t Normal In The Absence Of Physical Effort
Since time immemorial humans have always had to exert effort physically. Whether that be killing animals for food or time spent foraging.
The modern-day way of living is no exception to this rule although now things are easier than ever before.
So exercise isn’t optional. It’s a necessity. And the more you realise this. The healthier and happier you’ll be.
The 5 Most Important Benefits Of Strength Training
1. Increased Lean Body Mass
Consistently engaging in a well-structured strength training program will result in muscle gain.
This is probably the most important benefit. Because this will mean your basal metabolic rate will increase (which is the number of calories you burn at rest). So that you’ll burn more calories.
The reason for this is because muscle is more metabolically active than fat. Meaning that if you had 2 people who both weighed the same amount. The person with more muscle mass and less fat would burn more calories.
This will allow you to eat more food without gaining as much weight. Which is always a nice benefit and will make it harder for you to gain fat.
Adults who don’t strength train experience a 3-8% loss of muscle mass per decade, which results in a lower metabolic rate and an easier time gaining fat.
The fact that resistance training reverses this by helping you gain lean body mass is a magical benefit.
2. Increased Physical Performance
One of the main benefits of strength training is well, getting stronger. Chores around the house will be easier. You’ll be better at whatever given sport you play (if you play sports).
For example, If you like cycling. Then strength training will benefit your ability to cycle. This is because if you strength train. You’ll increase your bodies ability to generate force.
And if you take a cyclist who strength-trains and a cyclist who doesn’t strength train. The cyclist who strength-trains will be able to generate more force for every peddle stroke.
To explain this in more clear cut terms say that a cyclist uses about 20% of his absolute strength for every peddle stroke. And he has never barbell squatted before.
Our hypothetical cyclist then starts a 6-week program to increase his strength.
During this 6 week period, the cyclist increases his barbell squat from 50kg for 4-6 reps to 100kg for 4-6 reps. Thereby doubling his absolute strength.
So now that our cyclist has effectively doubled his strength. For every peddle stroke he now only uses 10% of his absolute strength for each stroke whereas before he used 20%.
Because our cyclist has increased his strength this increases his endurance. Meaning that he can now ride for longer and he can ride faster.
Although I use cycling as an example. Strength training benefits every sport.
3. Strength Benefits Your Cardiovascular Health
If you intentionally progressively overload ( strengthen) your whole body by engaging in a well thought out strength training program. You’ll not only improve your strength. You’ll also improve your cardiovascular health.
It doesn’t take much to realise this truth. For example, next time you go to the gym. Perform a heavy set of squats and notice how you feel after.
If you’re training hard (although most people don’t) you’ll notice a few things.
You’ll be breathing harder. Your heart rate will be elevated. And this improves your cardiovascular health even though it’s not a 5k run.
And the stronger you become the harder your muscular and cardiovascular system will have to work.
4. Strength Training Improves Your Confidence & Self-Esteem
There is something very satisfying about getting stronger. For example when a newbie starts getting into strength training and starts to experience newbie gains.
This truly is a magical time. You’ll be getting stronger from workout to workout and you can gain up to 20-25 pound of muscle in a year for men and about half of that for women.
With this extra muscle gain comes strength. And you’ll find it extremely satisfying to make progress in the physical sphere. I know I do.
You’ll learn that if you put in the work you’ll reap the benefits and you’ll feel better for it.
This will make you realise that if you can improve your health you can improve other aspects of your life.
5. Strength Training Improves Your Body Mechanics
The older you get the more important strength training becomes. It’s not uncommon for older people to fall over and break a hip (or something more severe) because of a loss of balance which can be caused by a loss of strength.
And this can result in complications which can result in death. A common saying is “break a hip and die of pneumonia”.
So this is why it’s super important to strength train especially as you get older. This will increase your balance and coordination.
For example, it’s been shown that individuals who strength train can reduce their risk of falling by 40% compared with individuals who don’t strength train.
How To Get Started With Strength Training In 3 Steps
1. Buy a gym membership or home gym equipment so that you can perform the main compound exercises.
As long as you’re prioritising your training around the compound exercises which are exercises that target multiple muscle groups at the same time. You’ll do well.
Specifically, I’m talking about exercises such as the barbell squat, bench press, overhead press, barbell deadlift, and chin/ pull-ups
2. Use a well-structured strength training routine or hire a personal trainer.
I like these books:
- 1. Bigger leaner stronger which is a strength training program for men.
- 2. Thinner leaner stronger which is a strength training program for women.
- 3 Starting strength which teaches you how to appropriately perform the barbell lifts that also has a strength training program included.
3. Stay consistent and have an unwavering desire to get stronger.
The Bottom Line On The Benefits Of Resistance Training
- A good level of strength is important for how well you and I live.
- Increasing your physical strength will make every physical task easier and will even improve your cardiovascular health.
- In my opinion, everyone should train to improve their whole body strength.
- Strength training is hard and doing hard things on a consistent basis builds character and can carry over to all aspects of your life.
Thanks for reading. If you need any help with anything send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org