Most people I know who DO NOT strength train do so because of their ignorance of both the immediate and long term benefits and importance of it.
I want to fix that, so this piece will hopefully help to enlighten and encourage you.
1) Strength, being strong or getting stronger makes almost every physical aspect of life better. Muscle mass is used as a predictor of longevity in older adults. More importantly strength levels in older adults, including grip strength, leg strength and overall strength, were predictors of longevity and/or mortality.
The “Sit Stand Test”, developed by Brazilian Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo, MD, PhD, gives instant feedback on a variety of variables, most importantly strength, as a predictor of longevity.
As an added benefit, and since your metabolism is comprised primarily from the amount of muscle you carry on your frame, increasing your muscle mass means increasing your metabolism. And provided the quality of your nutrition is supportive to your needs, that means a higher level of fat burning and a leaner physique!
2) Stop performing so much cardio. If you’re an average individual, who doesn’t compete in athletic events or run marathons, what possible reason besides a boatload of misinformation would lead you to believe that performing countless hours of cardio could be good for you. This cardiologist will tell you otherwise.
If you’re training in a gym and not spending 75-90% of your time strength and/or resistance training or doing some form of resistance training, you’re doing yourself a disservice, both today and down the road of life.
Remember, getting off of the toilet when you’re in your 80’s won’t be the result of cardio endurance or VO2 max…it’ll be because of the level and quality of your strength.
3) If you work with a fitness professional and they don’t have you doing some higher level of strength training, you’re being cheated. If you’re not performing lifts like squats, deadlifts, presses and pulls with half to your full body weight in resistance often, stop working with that “trainer” and find a real coach. You’ll be glad you did in the long run.
4) This is the hard part for most people: Think longer term with respect to your training. You may be getting ready for a wedding in 2 months or that mountain climbing trek you’ve been planning for a year, but you really should be prepping for the person you’ll be at 70, 80 or beyond.
The issue with this kind of planning is that we live in a world consumed with instant gratification. Because we don’t see the ill effects of what NOT strength training can do to us until it’s too late, many are opposed or ignorant of its benefits.
You don’t have to be like this; a statistic.
Being weak means a greater risk of falling, a loss of independence, a constant need for assistance, or worse.
But because we don’t see it taking place in our lives right now, we don’t think it’s important…then we live with the regret of not having taken better care of ourselves.
And regret is a bitter, bitter pill.
You can do something about it NOW, so that when you do get to be in your 70’s, 80’s and…God willing…your 90’s, you still have the strength necessary to climb a set of stairs, go for a walk unassisted, get out of a chair or off of the toilet, or get on the ground because you want to, not because that’s where you’ve found yourself.
If I can be of service to you in this respect, I’d love to help. And I’m a call, text or email message away.