Strength is a word that holds a myriad of meanings, all of which depend upon what circle of individuals you find yourself standing among. For some, strength means a fistful of chalk and the sensation that accompanies pounds of iron bending within your grasp. Others may find similar awareness after the completion of a long workout or even just a long day.
Regardless of what constitutes strong for you one fact remains – you need strength!
One mistake that is often made is that strength is seen only as an attribute of physical wealth, and not for what it really is. Strength is both measurable and immeasurable.
You can load plates onto a barbell and exert tremendous amounts of force upon it and the world around you. That is undoubtedly measurable.
What of the strength you can’t see though? How do you measure it?
You measure it in the impact that you make in the people around you. You measure it in your ability to lift those around you upwards in the same way your feet drive a barbell from the floor. Your strength is measured not just in the poundage that you can support on your back in a squat – but in the people you are willing to carry in the same place.
Now, this writing is supposed to make you better – today – as all fitness blogs should aim to accomplish. I hope it does. I believe it will. It will make you better by pushing you to seek strength in your life, in your training, and in your mindset.
It will take on a journey beyond those pieces of cardio equipment with which you’ve become all too friendly. It will thrust you beyond those familiar dumbbells at the beginning of the rack and towards those imposing racks that cling tightly to the knurls of a barbell.
At first that barbell will look, and feel, heavy. With every pound added this feeling will only grow. So too, will you. With every repetition you complete you’ll evolve into a stronger you. This is true; not just because your muscles will adapt into bigger, better force producing organs, but because the essence inside of you will harden.
Your body change in the ways you’ve always wanted – stronger muscles, lower body fat, increased muscular control, and even better posture. Moreover, your being will strengthen in ways that motivate those around you. Strength breeds confidence. Confidence can be transmitted between people.
In fact, confidence is meant to be shared between individuals; just look at your favorite sport team during a winning streak. Everyone from the star player to the ball boy is going about their business with a better hop in their step, and a better overall drive to succeed. Not just for themselves, but for those around them.
Maybe I’m stretching things a bit too far when I say that strength is what this world needs. Maybe increasing our individual strengths can impact the collective leverage we have in the world around us. Quite possibly, if we all become more capable of exerting force with our muscles, then we’ll be better suited to exert force with our hearts and minds.
So, train to be strong.
Train to move the weights in your gym with discipline, power, and controlled aggression. You don’t need to lift one-thousand pounds in order to be strong either. You need to lift whatever your life asks you to lift. It could be your grandchild from the floor and to the sky. It could be the groceries from the car to your apartment when your elevator is broken and the stairs are the only way.
It could in fact be your personal best deadlift in a room full of people hoping to beat you to a podium. Quite possibly though, it is the strength to get out of bed every day and conquer the challenges that the world will place you. It’ll be better posture for the twelve hours that you spend knocking out client proposals, and the physical stamina to withstand two redeye flights in the same week.
Simply put, there is no more room left for weakness in today’s fast-paced and chaotic world. So, train yourself for strength. Train yourself to stand tall and take on everything that comes next. Every repetition in the gym prepares you for your next repetition in life.
So, don’t wonder “why strong?”Demand “why not!”
Kevin Mullins can be found at the Equinox Sports Club DC where he is a Tier 3+ coach and group exercise instructor of his own class - Superhuman. He is a two time Men's Health Next Top trainer Finalist, one of Women's Health Magazines 10 sexiest trainers in America, and has been featured by the Washington Post and WUSA9 in the local market. You can read more about him and his methods on his website.