Strength is fundamental to the quality and function of everyday living.
We doubled down on this statement by making two of our three pillars at SSC, 'Strength’ & ‘Function’, with the last pillar being the all-crucial ‘Effort’ component. Strength is important, but it doesn’t just happen because we want it to.
I like to explain to new clients the basis of getting strong first through an analogy. “When building a house, what comes first? The foundation. The hard, load-bearing component, that is hardly seen, but doing the work of keeping the house upright and stable.” When a client initially begins strength training, this whole analogy is almost literal.
When we begin strength training, we don’t see a very fast change in the body, but we definitely feel it. What you’re feeling in those first two weeks is the development of many new neural pathways. These new neural pathways that you have created allow you to use the current muscular strength that you have. This is you feeling your current strength, and utilizing it.
As you prioritize strength first, you almost immediately begin to reap the benefits of being stronger. Your activities of daily living (ADL’s) begin to seem much more manageable. You’re able to carry all of the groceries inside in one trip, playing with the kids doesn’t put you out-of-commission for extended periods of time, and you’re able to take those flights of stairs without being ‘completely’ out of breath.
In my particular circumstance as a S&C and Olympic Weightlifting Coach, it is imperative we get stronger to improve our athletic performance. Strength is the first step to increasing speed, improving stability and mobility, and making us more resilient and robust than those who don’t strength train.
For our older, and at-risk populations, it is even more crucial that we begin to get stronger. As we get stronger, the risk of falling and suffering from an injury is decreased. With strength, older adults are able to maintain, and improve, functional movement and independence. We are always striving for ways to make life as long and enjoyable as possible, and under controlled-professional supervision, that is attainable through strength training.
Getting strong has more benefits than just lifting more weights. If done correctly, we’ll see a decrease in preventable diseases, such as: Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, Osteoporosis, Arthritis, localized Back Pain, Heart Diseases, and Obesity. Not only does it improve outcomes affecting the body, it also has major implications on mental health and strength. The majority of individuals with mild and moderate depression can see a decrease in symptoms as well as an increase in self-confidence while strength training.
Strength is the launch pad that allows us to move in many different directions. If we are able to reach an adequate level of strength, we will have the ability and capacity to participate in activities inside, or outside, of strength training with a higher level of intensity and confidence. It doesn't matter if your goal is endurance, strength, power, speed, or simply living a higher quality of life, getting stronger will only raise your ceiling. It's difficult to do anything well if you're weak.