If you know me, you know I have very strong opinions. Here comes another one: every single person should be lifting weights. But not necessarily for strength purposes. Don’t get me wrong, being strong has a multitude of benefits for your health. But the value of weight training goes beyond physical preparedness.
But my statement was pretty vague. Does it mean lifting heavy? What kind of lifts? Every single person? Well, I believe everyone should be physically challenging themselves with some sort of external object. That might mean a barbell and olympic lifting, or an atlas stone like a strongman, or a sandbag on an obstacle course.
Here are the biggest reasons why everyone should be lifting weights.
Working on your mental game.
Challenging your body will reveal what you’re really made of. It’s not uncommon for me to be able to tell if someone, who just walked to a barbell, will make or miss the lift. Some people get intimidated, some people don’t believe in their capacities, some people don’t like the pressure. So the first thing that fails is the mind. Once the mind rejects the positive outcome, the body is unable to complete it.
Use the opportunity to to lift weights to work on your mental game. Give yourself positive talk, believe in your abilities and don’t give up. Taking on weight, and winning, can help people become more confident in their abilities. Achieving something they previously thought was not possible for them can greatly benefit their mental game. And becoming more confident is something that can be carried away outside of the gym.
It keeps you honest.
You might say you are working on your nutrition, or getting plenty of sleep, or working on mobility at home, but the weights don’t lie. If you have a goal of cleaning 200lbs, and you’ve been stuck at 185lbs for a few months, we know something has got to change. Maybe you need better recovery, maybe you need to push harder on the strength days, maybe you need to do accessory work, or work on your technique. But the weights will tell if you actually did spend time on your weaknesses.
Not only does lifting weights keep you honest, but it also reveals what you need to work on. You can’t improve your strength if you neglect other aspects of health, like sleep and nutrition. It is easy to get caught up on how you feel that day, or how you look, and think that you must’ve improved but being able to lift the weight you couldn’t before shows real improvement.
You realize how amazing your body can be.
Probably one of my favorite quotes of all comes from Socrates:
No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.
We buy different shoes to see which one fits best. We buy new cars to upgrade from the last one. New electronics come out every year with things that we haven’t seen before. But who here has upgraded their body to the max? During a lifetime we will come to own multiple phones in order to find the best one, but will neglect our bodies which we will have from birth to death.
Another analogy I found online was a comparison between sports vs. reading (physical challenges vs. mental challenges). The question was which activity was more beneficial for someone. One person answered: “Mental activities teaches you about others, physical activities teaches you about yourself”. Your body is an incredible machine capable of amazing feats. But you won’t see that potential if you don’t push yourself.
Are you ready to take your fitness to the next level? Find out how we can help you achieve that by scheduling a session with one of your Celebration CrossFit coaches today!
by Coach Matt