Strength: The Ultimate Equalizer

I hope everyone had a fantastic labor day weekend!  I know I did, as I was lucky enough to have my parents up here and we visited the Sam Adams Brewey in Boston.  It's chock full of free beer (yes, free beer), and despite my outwardly appearances, free beer still pulls on my manly heart strings. 

In fact, our day was a bit like this after the brewery:


Ok, not really.  But I hope your weekend was just as awesome, and if not, at least you were able to enjoy your last few days to wear white (yes, I'm still holding everyone to that rule!). 

Annnnywho, while I was watching people walk around this past weekend, I kept thinking that most people need is to simply get stronger.  Why?  Because the stronger you are, the easier everything else becomes.

For many, getting stronger is all about functionality.  When you hit the magic age of 30, something happens to your body where you start to lose muscle mass every single year, and your metabolism decreases.  Suddenly, getting out of chairs, carrying groceries or crying kids, and even taking out the trash all becomes much harder on your body.  Along those lines, people tend to develop aches and pains as they age, as they become weaker and tighter than they once were.  Hence, the stronger you are, the more your problems disappear. 

Now, the question comes: what is strong?  As with anything, it depends!

While it's all about perspective (I still wouldn't say I'm strong despite this), most people I train are graded on being able to handle their own bodyweight.  If you're not able to do the following, then it should become apparent what your immediate goals should be:

  • Goblet Squat half your bodyweight - for 10 reps.
  • At least 10 solid pushups
  • Deadlift your bodyweight
  • If you're a man, perform at least at least 5-10 pullups (all the way up and all the way down!).  For women, just doing 1 means you're strong.

I've seen it firsthand - getting stronger gets people out of pain.  Getting stronger helps with fat loss.  Getting stronger helps with every day tasks.  Heck, getting stronger may even help Notre Dame beat Michigan this coming weekend.

And obviously, that last one is the most important.