Updated: May 2, 2022
If we were to pick the most important physical quality in our life, which one would it be?
In the fitness industry, we distinguish between stamina, speed, flexibility, movement proficiency, and strength as the five physical qualities we can develop with training.
Cardio is "for the heart" and "burning calories", speed is "for sprinters", flexibility is for "feeling loose", good movement skills are "important" - and strength is for - ?
Let me make a case for why STRENGTH is - from my experience - the most important physical quality in our life.
GREATER EASE WHEN MOVING
For every physical action we perform in our life, strength is the foundation. The stronger we are, the greater the ease at which we can perform those actions. This applies to the five main movement patterns we repeatedly perform on a daily basis: squatting, hinging, overhead pressing/reaching, forward pressing/reaching, and pulling/grabbing.
A BETTER LOOKING PHYSIQUE
Strength is the most powerful tool we have to develop healthy levels of muscle tissue. The stronger we are, the more force our muscles produce when we lift. Greater force means greater tension. Greater tension means giving our body a reason to lay down more muscle tissue so it can handle the next (heavier) workout. In that sense, getting stronger leads to an inevitable increase in muscle tissue and visible changes in our body shape.
A MORE CONFIDENT APPEARANCE
Lifting heavier means heaving a "switched on" posture that displays greater levels of confidence. All our "posture" muscles receive increased levels of positive tension and strength. We feel more "alert" and "driven", both on a physical and mental level.
A HEALTHY CONNECTIVE TISSUE
Lifting heavy weights is the best way to strengthen our connective tissue. Strong bones require high impact, as do tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and joint capsules. This creates a bullet-proof body that is less prone to injury and everyday aches.
IT SIMPLY FEELS GOOD
Picking heavy weights up and putting them down again simply FEELS GOOD. It brings a sense of achievement which is directly proportional to the amount of weight lifted. Our nervous system gets a boost, our wholy body is charged up with good energy. Mastering heavy weights is not easy - hence why it is so satisfying when do. Get stronger - feel better!
LIFE INSURANCE POLICY
Strength is the guarantee for long-lasting physical independence. We are talking about performing essential everyday actions without needing the help of others: getting in and out of a car; carrying grocery bags (or even our children); walking up and down the stairs freely, and so on. Aging is inevitable - being strong, however, is non-negotiable. There is no reason not to hit the barbell early in life. And if we don't, it is never too late to start.
Embark on your strength training journey now.
I will be with you the whole way.