Strength

Exercise is something you probably know you should do but may not really enjoy and that could be for a variety of reasons; it’s hard, you don’t have time, you don’t know what you are doing, it’s boring, you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere even when you try, the list goes on. Evidence and common sense both agree that a fitter, stronger person is a healthier person. You probably want to be that person but don’t know how to get there.

This year will be my 9th year of strength training and the more I learn through experience and reading, the more I enjoy it. Maybe I’m crazy, or perhaps I’ve managed to find a sweet spot by making something that’s necessary for health into a hobby. I encourage you to change your mindset and view your health and strength, as a project to improve rather than something boring you should do.

The reality is that becoming stronger and healthier is simple but it takes discipline and consistently doing the RIGHT things. Many people start with good intentions of getting in shape, however, give up because they failed to see progress.

There are a lot of gimmicks and ‘get fit quick’ schemes promising fitness and strength in 4 weeks, or even 12 weeks. Yes, you may see some change within that period but to build real strength and fitness it must become part of your lifestyle. It needs to become something you view as a ‘must’ not just a ‘should’.  However, you need not spend 5 or 6 days a week in the gym to get stronger, 3 days per week is sufficient.

Strength is probably the most important aspect of physical capacity. The most effective way to achieve this is through well-planned strength training. Getting stronger is simple, do something a little harder each time you train and your body will adapt. There are many ways to do this. I am an advocate of the Stronglifts 5×5 method, it’s how I began my strength journey. The training method is built on simple principles; use full body movements (squat, deadlift, press, row), start light, slowly increase the weight over time, train 3 days per week.

The most enjoyable aspect of it is that you see progress every session as you watch the weights you lift increase. This is why I believe it grew into a hobby for me. I became addicted to the progression, and the feeling I was achieving something every time I went to the gym. The training program is free and available on the Stronglifts 5×5 website. It has videos and written guides on how to perform the lifts and how to do the program and even a free app. It is simple yet hard work, but hard work pays off.

I highly recommend that you check the program out, it may be the best decision you ever make!

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