You’ve walked by the weightlifting area every week for a year on your way to your cardio pump class. You always glance at the people lifting weights – some are standing in front of the mirror with a laser-like focus, others are grimacing, sweating, and grunting or even yelling as they hoist large weights over their bodies.
If people see you, you imagine them laughing inside because clearly you don’t belong there. You’re just passing by. But you know how to exercise – you’ve been doing the same class for a year! Although you’re still not sure you’re seeing much muscle definition and you’re getting a little bored…
Or maybe you’re a runner who’s never set foot in a gym. You see highly muscled people and think they’re lame – all they do is spend time indoors working on their appearance. You, on the other hand are an endurance athlete. You’re a well-oiled machine with your own laser-like focus. Though your times could be better…
Or you may be one of many who have never exercised much and don’t know where to start. It’s easier to keep going that way, too – it’s too time-consuming to start something new. And perhaps just cannot imagine yourself as being one of them, those people who pump iron. You’re too sophisticated… or shy… or afraid.
Clarity and regret may come when a repetitive-use injury kicks in and doing what you love is sidelined. Or you simply get tired of not seeing results and lose motivation. Before you know it you’re in your 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s with an increasingly weak, frail body. You realize that the muscle you have left has atrophied.
This is the point at which I often see people come in for personal training. Their ages and personal stories vary, of course; everyone has their own unique history and perspective. No matter who they are, I admire them. They’ve made a decision that something has to change, and whether they know it or not, that something is gaining more muscle mass.
It doesn’t matter where you strength train: You can do it with a trainer, at home, in a gym, or in a class. It doesn’t matter how you learn: You can learn it by yourself, watch videos, read books, or use a trainer or a friend. But it does matter when you strength train. Because “when” needs to be now. If it’s not now, then old age could become a prison – health issues that make you immobile or injuries that take away your joy.
If you don’t understand why you should strength train, learn how losing muscle as you age is inevitable unless you do something about it; how weight lifting can help prevent injuries; and how having muscle helps you lose weight. You might also be surprised to learn about the hidden benefit of strength training… the one that gives you killer confidence and a belief in yourself like you’ve never had.
We want old age to be a glorious staircase to further adventures, not a downward spiral. Having a strong body can help you take that staircase with confidence and make your future look more livable in profound ways.
If you need to learn how to strength train, stick around this blog and browse around. Here are a few articles to get you started:
- Designing a Workout for your Dream Body
- How to Mix up Your Weight Training Workouts
- Commandments for Health & Injury Prevention
When it comes to weights, I get the intimidation factor. I get thinking of strength as a low priority. I get believing long-standing myths about weights. But at some level you know the time is now to put all that aside for your own health. The time is now to dig deep, learn something new, and grow not only in physical strength but inner strength. You can do this.