In the supermarket, where I’m shopping and preparing for this upcoming week, I happen to glance down at a product with the slogan “Stronger than ever!” printed large across the front of it.
That’s an interesting characteristic, “stronger than ever.” For a product, that says a lot. It elicits the idea that this version is the best, most capable and toughest yet. Who wouldn’t want the “stronger than ever” almost anything?
And then the thought emerged, “what if that were about us - stronger than ever?” That would say a lot wouldn’t it. The best, most capable and youngest version of ourselves yet to date. Now that pretty amazing.
What does strong really mean?
We at Park Fitness have witnessed some truly remarkable emotional and psychological strength especially in recent months.
For the purpose of today’s post, we’d like to highlight physical strength (even though they do go hand in hand sometimes). And although there are many ways to describe physical strength, the one we like best is that it can mean the best version of you.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the smallest, largest or thinnest. It just mean that we are best suited for whatever life throws our way.
Need to pick up a 40 pound bag of dog food? Got it.
How about conquering a hike on vacation or holiday break with family? Check!
Want to stay on top of your responsibilities, keep up with kids or grandkids, or even just move boxes of stuff up and down stairs? Triple check!!
That is what being strong affords us.
And if that wasn’t enough, it also helps with bone density, energy levels and overall life expectancy. Did you know there is a correlation between grip strength and mortality? There is. People with stronger grips tend to live longer.
Strength also means better workouts. The stronger you are, the more you can do: greater force and greater work output means you can have more productive exercise sessions. And that means better results.
“OK, so what do I do?”
A term we use often at Park Fitness is “chase strength.” That means to look for opportunities to safely increase the weight you are using while maintaining good form in a pain free manner.
That might be a 5 pound increase here or there. It might be constantly progressing on your way to your first ever pull-up. It’s really just staying mindful about doing more when you can.
When you start to follow this mindset, some rally amazing things can happen. Our colleague, Ben Bruno, who trains many Hollywood stars, shared a video recently about how getting stronger is not only a key to their results but also doesn’t mean you have to big and “bulky.”
Here you see some impressive feats of strength from some people much stronger than their physiques would imply.
And if that’s not impressive enough, give this a quick view.
Yup, that’s a 14 year old 120lb female athlete who has done 90lbs (the dumbbell she’s holding) for 5 reps with this exercise. That is pretty impressive and she’s not big or bulky.
So when we recently upgraded our dumbbell inventory to add some heavier weights, a member asked, "Now who is going to lift those?!"
We replied, "You, of course!"
Strength for everyone
It is important to keep in mind that strength does not segregate. It can be useful for a 14 year old athlete, a 40 year old professional and a 65 year old grandparent (check out this article that talks about how strength training is more important than cardio as we age:
Heading into the year 2020, we aren’t just starting a new year but a new decade. This has inspired us to not only roll-out our Metabolism Rewind Program (you can click here to check that out) but also to focus on 2020 as your Strongest Year Ever.
A new decade bring about thoughts of where we were 10 years ago. What if we could be stronger this year than we were at the start of the last decade? That would be pretty amazing.
So how about it? Let’s make 2020 the year your label too says, “Stronger than ever!”