A fair amount of the population is concerned with what happens when they lift weights.
"Will I get hurt?"
"Will I get big?"
"Do I have to do this regularly to see the benefits?"
Hard physical effort is something humans have an aversion to. It causes a flight-or-fight response by putting the body under (necessary) stress. It challenges our perceived limits of what we THINK we are capable of in the gym. It requires planning, discipline, effort, and guts to keep adding weight to the bar over time and get stronger as a result.
It's a simple but not EASY process!
It is MUCH easier to stay in our comfort zone, not lift heavy weights (if any weight at all), go for a stroll in the park, or just count time and reps in a self-paced exercise class.
The thing is:
If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.
If I told you that ten years from now you'll move, look and feel the same same as now - would you opt IN or OUT of getting to the next level?
The consequences of NOT lifting weights are so profound that it acually misses the entire purpose of why we expose our body to hard physical work in the first place: gaining adaptations over time.
If we don't increase the demands placed upon our body, we stagnate.
If we keep repeating the same type of training or keep lifting the same amount of weight all the time, we stop making progress.
If we don't exceed our daily, weekly, and monthly capabilities to perform better, we are missing the point of what training should actually give to us: continuous progress.
The truth is that if we don't train for strength, this is what happens:
- Increased susceptibility to pain, injury, and various types of chronic illness
- Higher likelihood of ending up frail early in life
- Creating a hormonal environment which favours aging instead of rejuvenation
- Gradually losing muscle mass to the point where we become weak and physically "un-useful"
- Shifting body composition towards unhealthy levels of body fat and away from healthy levels of muscle mass
- Spending money, time and energy (HOW MUCH depends on how far we let it slide) on curing, treating, and fixing issues - all more wisely spent on strength training and developing a better life quality in the first place.
- Physical pain that comes with emotional pain, lower workplace productivity, worsened performance overall, as well as a downslide in our capacity to enjoy life.
I am aware that strength training is a totally unsexy form of health improvement.
Posting a 180kg squat won't get you as many views and followers as displaying fotos that resemble a modelling career rather than making a substantial contribution to people getting better, healthier, and stronger.
I believe that life happens in a continuous flow of choice and consequence: every action we take has a subsequent reaction as an answer.
Our choices make us who we are. What we become is what continuously choose to do.
We ought to reflect on what happens if we do NOT lift weights.
"Nothing! What's gonna happen?" I can hear the voices.
"A lot!" - I would say.
High quality of life is a non-negiotable good and something we have only one chance for to develop it.
As strength training contributes a great deal to achieving it, the choice seems obvious.
Or does it?