Strength training has received a bad reputation with women. 'I don't want to get bulky." I naively believed the same about lifting weights until I further educated myself on the many benefits of strength training, and tested them out myself.
1. Strength Training Creates Discipline
Strength training, by its very nature, demands us to develop a spirit of discipline. First of all, in order for you to derive any physical benefit, you have to make practicing it habitual. Training requires you to set aside time in your daily schedule in order to accomplish your work out. It also forces you to become comfortable with being uncomfortable because you are pushing your body past today’s limits through overcoming the extra stimulus of the weight that you are lifting. This in turn helps you be less afraid of facing the stressors of your day and gives you confidence to take on new challenging opportunities that will allow you to grow as a person. The alternative, can be summed up in the words of author Robin Sharma, “If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for Illness.”
2. Strength Training Teaches Falling Forward
“Failing forward” is synonymous with learning from your mistakes. In principle, strength training works because you are forcing your body to overcome a stress that exceeds what it can currently handle; you overload it causing it to adapt. As a result of this extra stimulus, just like everything else in the world of physics, sometimes this overload causes the body to fail (you are unable to lift the load that you are attempting to lift). In the realm of strength training, failing to lift the bar is not only common, it is crucial – so long as the outcome is that you fail forward. In the gym, this means not giving up on trying to lift a certain amount of weight until you have conquered it; it means getting up after a failed attempt, focusing harder, and succeeding this time! As a result, it is in the not-giving-up that you learn that you are truly capable of achieving what you once thought was impossible.
When life knocks you down – just like the bar does sometimes – don’t let it keep you down! Stand up, be courageous enough to face it again, and this time, succeed! Failure is a part of life as much as it is a part of strength training; make sure you fail forward.
3. Strength Training Protects Against Adversary
Every day you enter the gym, the laws of physics are forcing you to work hard to overcome them. You have to work against gravity with every rep that you do; you have to exert tremendous effort to overpower the law of inertia and make the weights move in the direction you want them to go. You are continually faced with adversity at every turn to force your will upon the weights and to not allow them to triumph over you. Again, there is a life lesson to be learned here!
If there’s one thing in this world that we know to be absolutely true, it’s that life is hard. Even when things are going well, there is always some kind of trouble looming around the next turn; a storm is always on the horizon. You see, when you accept the challenge, face it forthright, and succeed at defeating it, you are imbued with the confidence to know that you can take on any challenge – and beat it. This knowledge then gives you the ability not to cower and shrink when adversity strikes you in life, but instead, you are able to recognize the stressor, draw courage from your successes in strength training, and know that you can overcome the issue and move past it! You are able to meet adversity head-on and win.
4. Strength Training Develops Patience
Strength training is a labor of love. Whether you are seeking to gain lean muscle mass, lose fat mass, (or both!), there is no quick fix, no easy way out, and no overnight success. Achievement in strength training requires patience. It requires you to set a plan of attack, set up process goalsand the patience to stay the course of that plan even in the event of setbacks and road blocks. Patience is a virtue, and there is no greater arena to practice that virtue than through strength training.
But the weight room isn’t the only place that we can exercise the patience we learn from our training. Just like you have to trust the work you do in the gym in order to get results, so too do you have to trust the process of hard work in your day to day life. The patience and discipline that you must exhibit at improving your body through strength training are the same virtues you need to have in order to be successful in all of your other life pursuits. All of the greatest masterpieces that this world has ever seen – your own life journey not withstanding! – have all come about through having the patience to do the work that is necessary to accomplish something truly special. Do the work. Stay Patient. Achieve greatness.
5. Strength Training Instills a New Work Ethic
It has been said that “working out is just like chasing the American Dream,” and with some analysis, this is a very easy analogy to agree with. With strength training, every day is an opportunity to grow from a challenging demand that is placed on you. Working out deliberately forces you outside of your comfort zone. As soon as an exercise becomes too easy, a more complex version of the exercise is given to you; as soon as you become comfortable lifting a certain amount of weight, a heavier one is given to you. Just like in the real world, you are faced with the decision to take on a challenge, accept failure when it occurs, and overcome it in the end, or, shy away and stay stagnant and ineffectual.
Nothing in this world worth having comes easy. But the stronger you are, the more likely you are to get it. The simple choice is whether you are willing to have the work ethic it takes to reach the pinnacle of your ability – and that lesson can be learned daily when you strength train.
By becoming disciplined, failing forward, protecting against adversity, learning patience and having an indomitable work ethic, you can conquer any issues that might come your way, and thrive at living a meaningful and fulfilling life. All you have to do is choose to pick up the load, and one day, you will look back and see that the fruits of your labor have paid off; that the road ahead will only excite you to continue to see how far you can go!
Disclaimer: This post was modified from it's original format 5 Ways Strength Training Benefits Your Life POSTED ONJULY 12, 2019BYFRANK COSENZA, MA, https://blog.findyourtrainer.com/2019/07/12/5-ways-strength-training-benefits-your-life/