Three Reasons Why Strength Matters

“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.”

― Mark Rippetoe

  1. Harder to kill

It sounds like an absurd way of thinking but it’s true. People who partake in strength training programs are more physically fit and healthier. But as the Geico commercial states, “everybody knows that,” if you know then why don’t you do it?

Let’s dive into what it looks like to be “harder to kill.”

Skeletal muscles:

A few years ago I read an article of a lady who got into a car accident, she was T-boned going through an intersection. She walked away from the accident only to find out three weeks later she had a fractured vertebra. Doctors said most people would have died from the type of injury she sustained. “In this specific case, it wasn’t my ability to perform heavy cleans and handstand pushups that saved me, but the strength I had gained from performing them regularly most certainly did.” (1)

Immune System:

Studies have shown that weightlifting can improve your immune systems. “Moderate exercise reduces stress, thus allowing for your body to produce more white blood cells to fight off infection.” (2) The key words in the previous quote are ‘Moderate exercise,’ studies have also shown that light and sporadic weightlifting can actually be harmful to your immune system. The reason being because your long term stress is not reduced and you body is not staying toned and healthy.

Strength saves lives! Whether you are fighting a bear, in an accident or fighting the flu being involved in a routine strength training program makes you harder to kill.

  1. When you are 80 yrs. old

You might be thinking, “Why does strength matter when I’m 80?”

First of all, jumping back to point number one, you may not live to see eighty if you are not improving your strength.

“But, there are people everyday living to and past 80 who have never lifted a weight in their live,” you say.

Yes, you are correct.

This brings me to point number two, “what kind of life do you want to live when you are 80 years old?” How often in your everyday life do you see an elderly person in a wheelchair? There are numerous reasons why they are in a wheelchair but most often it is because they simply do not have the strength and mobility to move.

As you age your muscles naturally become loose and lose their elasticity without any type of strength training. When our muscles lose their elasticity you become more susceptible to loss of balance, falls and broken bones.

Proper Strength training at any age can improve your strength, mobility and ultimately your way of life.

  1. More useful in general

The last point I would like to briefly talk about is the last part of Mark Rippetoe’s quote, “more useful in general.”

Through strength training you become more useful because you are able to do more and do things better than your weaker counterparts.

This gets into the mental side of strength training. As you become physically stronger your confidence starts to become stronger because a) you are most likely lifting heavier weights than you thought you could, b) you aren’t just lifting heavier weights but you becoming more aware of your body and your technique. This creates a new challenge within the same challenge of just lifting heavier weights, which again helps build confidence, focus and determination.

Through strength training you become a more valued member of your community, people will treat you with respect.

These are the top three benefits I see when it comes to strength training and why strength training matters.

“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.”
― Mark Rippetoe

 

Works Cited

How Crossfit saved my life: Miranda Oldroyd

http://espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-life/article/11250303/espnw-how-crossfit-saved-miranda-oldroyd-life

Weightlifting: the effects on the immune system

http://www.livestrong.com/article/331394-weight-lifting-the-effects-on-the-immune-system/

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Stephen Mattson

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