Strength training. There’s definitely a mental toughness that comes with it. I certainly would associate my mental and emotional progress progress with my progress in strength training.
I’ve been feeling extremely positive these past few weeks, having awesome workouts and setting new records for myself. I am pretty pumped about it. I even notice changes in my physique – little bulges in places I did not even know there was muscle!
Lifting heavy weights builds tight, dense, strong muscle. It stretches the muscle fibers, which then rebuild over the 24-48 hours that follow your workout (burning even more energy – and calories – than when you were actually lifting).
But what really brings me back to the barbell everyday is that feeling when you’ve done it – what twenty seconds prior, you thought was absolutely impossible. That incredible feeling of accomplishment, pride and confidence that races through your entire body:
“I am strong, I am powerful and I love my body (and myself)!”
Now, for all those that don’t want to get “bulky” from lifting heavy weights, I’m sorry, but that’s your genetics talking. Although you can change physical appearance with diet and exercise, your genetically determined body type regulates pre-exercise-program body composition and fitness outcomes. According to the American Council on Exercise, mesomorphs are naturally muscular and hypertrophy quickly, while endomorphs possess a round shape with greater fat distribution and ectomorphs are thin and linear. So, while all individuals benefit from strength training, the mesomorph will gain the the most visible muscle mass.
Now, I can certainly empathize, as I have had some challenges with my body that genetics have influenced. I encourage you to try this on – love your body, take care of your body, and the fears around bulking will slowly subside. You will look in the mirror and begin to love yourself. You will see the strong, beautiful, person that you are.
You’re too old? Well, you are getting even older reading this post and not lifting. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Strength training reduces chronic pain from Arthritis and/or Osteoporosis by building bone density, increasing strength as well as flexibility. It also reduces your cardiovascular and obesity risk by improving lipid profile, increasing your metabolism and overall fitness. Back Pain? Strength training strengthens back and abdominal muscles to reduce stress on the spine.
It’s dangerous? Not if you have a coach that will ensure proper form and technique before adding load. Work with an expert coach at EDX CrossFit, and book a free intro: