The Case for Getting STRONG
By Pat B
I want you to get strong. You should want to be strong.
The word strong has so many connotations. To lift heavy weights. To perform a specified action very well and efficiently. To posess the skills and qualities that create the likelihood of success. And, there is so much more.
The way I’m using strong is to lift heavy weights.
To lift heavy weights means two things. First, you have a good amount of muscle. This is a good thing. More muscle means more health. It also means you won’t die as easily…Seriously. Second, you move efficiently. Well, it is possible that you are just a brute and move like shit but can still lift a lot of weight. But, I’d still take that over dying easily any day.
I really do want people to respect lifting weights more.
People should be measuring themselves on their back squat, deadlift, and press instead of the scale. The scale only says how much you weigh. What does ‘life’ care that you weigh 150 vs. 135? The only place I can think of where it matters how much you weigh is a child’s car seat (you need to weigh __ lbs. or more), and some carnival rides (weight limit cannot exceed ___ lbs.) where your weight really matters. But, those are extremes. However, I can think of tons of instances where it would matter how much you could back squat, deadlift, or press.
Let’s go through the list of benefits one would have if they improved their back squat, deadlift, and press, each by 25%.
– Increased muscle density
– Improved metabolic rate (burn more calories in resting)
– Improved bone density
– Improved hormone function
– Improved posture and reduction of back pain
– Improved ability and efficiency in other physical activities outside of the gym
– Improved quality of life!!!
I could go on and on with tons of specific examples. And, with making the assumption that one could pretty easily see this improvement while eating healthy, they would see a huge improvement in body composition. So, clothes would fit better and they would have the aesthetic benefits as well.
Greg Glassman had it correct when he said “Form follows function.” Meaning, focus on your functional capacity – the squat, the deadlift, the press, and all the other stuff we train in the gym. Improve those things and your body will follow suit. I promise, you won’t be dissapointed!
So, get a logbook and start tracking your lifts!!! Back squat, front squat, overhead squat, deadlift, clean, snatch, press, push press, jerk, pullups, Fran, Diane, Filthy 50, Grace, Jackie, Murph…You need to know this stuff! These measurements are going to give you the life (and body) that you’ve always wanted.
Remember though, we follow a rule – Mechanics (proper and safe technique), Consistency (1st rep looks like 100th rep), and then (relative) Intensity. Rome wasn’t built in a day and changes aren’t going to happen overnight. So, take your time and practice good form and play the long game. It isn’t helpful to the big picture if you push too fast and get injured right away!
Good luck. We’ll see you on the strong side!