5 Reasons why you need to be Stronger
In what I thought was just a normal training session, I was proposed an interesting question that froze me. Why do I need to be any stronger? I paused briefly, this was a client I personally considered for his age group and training history to be very strong. I asked myself what application and need does this desk jockey have for lifting heavier loads. My personal goals and desire for optimal lifting performance where creeping into his program. I wanted him to squat heavy. But did he need to squat 400lbs? In reviewing this thought provoking question. I have formed a solid rebuttal based on 5 principles. These apply to not only clients that may never have a need to lift 400lbs. to anyone looking for an added motive to out lift the masses.
Reason 1: Functional Application
The hardened days of lifting and moving parts, food, and equipment have long passed. With modernization of difficult tasks there are a decreasing number of activities that require hard physical labor. This is precisely the reason why you need to be able to lift heavy loads. Our bodies are designed to work. Sitting has become our natural position. We are losing our reasons to move. Having no stress on the body places it in rest and this is no place to be. Bodies at rest gain fat. Without the need to contract a muscle the body is left to waste away. Why keep muscle if it’s not being used? Your loss of muscle and decreased physical capacity for work make even the simplest tasks difficult. Carrying in groceries becomes an all afternoon event. Getting stronger primes your body for this action. If the simply actions of lifting aren’t enough motivation to lift and be strong there are even more convincing reasons why you should lift heavy.
Reason 2: Hormone Levels
Increased muscular strength can increase the size of the muscles and with more muscle in the body major hormones can work more efficiently. Improved utilization and regulation of hormones include estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, growth hormone, insulin, and cortisol. Making sense of all these breaks down to the fact that when your hormones are in control, your body is far more equipped to create more muscle, fight infections, and most importantly for women create and maintain strong bones. Increased testosterone levels in men can decrease the effects of aging and have been shown to increase longevity of life. Women that lift increasingly heavier loads have better estrogen management. Optimal estrogen levels relate to stronger muscles, increased bone mass, and improved mood. Lifting 400lbs may not be a goal for everyone but the objective of lifting as much weight as safely possible needs to be a focus.
Reason 3: Bone Health
Osteoporosis is the degeneration of bone mass. Deceased lifting of weight and inactivity are linked to causes as well as poor nutrition. Lifting a heavy load is the only way to restore bone loss. Bone regeneration is site specific to the exercise so squatting 400lbs can be justified by increasing your bone strength to handle heavy loads. A body adapted to heavy lifting is prepared to take the hits and risks associated with life. Athletics, work, and accidents are parts of our lives in one fashion or another. Being prepared for them is most easily achieved with some level of heavy lifting. It is the link to bone development and yet another link to longevity in life.
Reason 4: Psychological Well Being
The confidence that is associated with physical strength is unmistakable. Seeing a client walk in weak and needing a foundation of strength transform into a strong powerful individual is a wonderful site. The postural and mental outlook changes with the confidence created under a heavy load are extremely visual. Hearing you just lifted 200lbs is a shock and disbelief to most general people. There is an air of confidence that is created in that moment. Believing in your physical abilities transitions into mental abilities and boom confidence is created. Having a number to link your strength too is a qualifier. Do you need to squat 400lbs in your daily lift odds are no is the answer. But, if your body is capable of it and you can claim and brag to your friends about your massive feat of strength. Then I say take that accolade and confidence that goes with it and seize the positive outlook.
Reason 5: Competitiveness
We are all proud of something. Taking pride in things that you love to do or a rare feat that only few can claim is what we use to set ourselves apart. It creates our own character. Why not be the superhero? You just lifted nine kindergartners! That’s impressive, you can hold your head high and feel strong but your friend just lifted 202lbs or 10 kindergartners. Competitiveness can be the root for success. Let whatever opponent you choose be a source for inspiration and motivation. Is 400lbs a logical step in your program? Only if your buddy is lifting 399lbs. In short, we are losing the reasons in lift to be strong and feel the confidence created with a strong frame. Whichever reason resonates with you to become stronger use it to life longer, boost your mood, and destroy your competition
By: Brad Longazel MS CSCS USAW ACSM