“You can never be too strong.” That is a phrase I’ve probably said over a million times. I like to think I made it up, but I probably didn’t. Either way it’s something I believe in with all my heart. Strength is the foundation for everything. It is the foundation that all other athletic attributes are built upon. Speed, power, quickness, balance, that highly sought after “first step” and even conditioning all rely on strength as the engine that makes them go. You want to increase any of those areas? It’s an easy answer, son. You have to get stronger! You want to get rid of fat, gain muscle, change body composition? Guess what? If your answer just now was get stronger congratulations you’re a quick learner, if you answered something else you’re maybe not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you currently train somewhere or with someone who says otherwise, they are lying to you, or even worse they don’t know any better. Strength is King. Period.
Now that we have established that strength is paramount let me tell you the best parts about it.
What it is?
I’m sure there are many different definitions and ideas out there but, my own personal definition is: Strength comes from the human will to survive and succeed. You don’t think there is survival in the gym? Put down the thigh master, step under a bar with over 400lbs loaded on it and squat it. Don’t think there is survival in sport? Then you have never played a real sport, so take off your touch ball (I don’t dare call it football) jersey and strap on a helmet and shoulder pads, or lace up a pair of skates. Play five minutes and tell me survival does not exist.
Developing strength not only enables you to survive, it gives you the ability to conquer. You see, the benefits of developing strength are twofold. It increases both your physical and mental capabilities. Once you have become strong enough to survive then you start to believe that you can succeed. And once you believe you can succeed, you can conquer.
How you get it?
You can only get stronger through hard work. There are no short cuts, no quick fixes, and no easy way outs. You have to have the courage to show up every day and be willing to learn and ready to work. In today’s society everyone wants things to just happen for them, and fast. There is a sense of entitlement that exists with younger generations that blows my mind. But I don’t care how much money your daddy makes, that bar is not coming off the floor until you have put the work in to move it. It is the ultimate lesson that a lot of people need to learn.
Who it’s there for?
Perhaps the greatest thing about strength is that it exists for everyone. It is accessible to anyone with the courage to seek it. It doesn’t matter if you are short, tall, fat, skinny or of any gender, race, or socio-economic background. You can get stronger. If you are willing to put the time and effort in you will survive, succeed, and conquer. Is everyone going to be the world’s strongest man, or a pro athlete, or Arnold? No, not at all. If you think that’s what this is about then you are missing the point. It’s about becoming the best version of yourself. Mentally and physically developing and building confidence to help you succeed in your endeavors.
Remember, strength is out there, and it’s yours for the taking.