My wife is strong. It would be easy to underestimate her. On one such occasion at the hardware store, she yanked a bag of salt off the bottom shelf and set it on the cart…like a boss. It made a “little” noise when it landed and the employee next to us said, “Whoa. You don’t know your own strength.” With a smile, I thought to myself, “Actually, she does.” In fact, she knows exactly how strong she is, and how much weight she can pick up off the ground. She does that exercise every week, and the object she just a fraction of her ability.
What I said to him was, “My wife is strong”.
This is one of my favorite benefits of strength training. You DO know your own strength, and this knowledge is more than just knowing a number. Regular strength training teaches so much about your body and how to safely produce force. Things like:
- The proper body positions and set-up for safe, strong lifting.
- The correct movement pattern and motion used to move weight safely and efficiently.
- The loads you can safely lift.
Sounds pretty cool, right? It is! But the skill of lifting is not my favorite part of exercise and strength training. It’s the self-confidence, satisfaction, and safety that comes with knowledge of your body and your capabilities.
- The self-confidence to know what you can handle, and know that you can handle a lot.
- The safety that comes with knowing how to lift and not get injured, and to know your limits and ask for help if needed.
- The satisfaction of being more independent, and accomplishing a demanding task.
This is how strength training transfers out of the gym and into your everyday life and tasks. You’ve heard the phrase, “Knowledge is power.” I definitely agree with that statement in this context. Strength training is more than just going to the gym for a workout, sweating, getting sore sometimes, rinse, and repeat. It’s more than doing it to look better, fit in a specific swim suit, and have less “jiggle”. It’s about a body that allows you to maximize your life opportunities. It’s when you do something without questioning it, and then realize, “Wow! That was easy. I never would have been able to do that before.” That moment right there- that moment of knowing your own strength- is empowering. Have you had that moment yet?
Your body is an amazing machine, capable of producing great force in a safe and powerful manner, regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability. To know your own strength, you must be willing to learn and test your body. If you are not caring for your body in this manner, I challenge you to start and enjoy the amazing benefits that come along with it.
I look forward to seeing you at the hardware store hauling around something heavy…like a boss.