Do You Need To Be Strong?

by Chris on April 7, 2011

I get asked all the time why I do crazy stuff like bend nails, rip phone books & decks of cards or lift heavy ass weight. The short answer is usually something along the lines of “Because I can”. I can’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to be stronger. It’s seriously just something I can’t wrap my mind around.

The point I’m trying to get at here is that being strong is a good thing. I get people all the time in the gym saying they don’t lift heavy, usually because they say that they don’t want to get hurt. That’s usually followed by a story about how when they were younger they used to lift heavy and hurt themselves. Here’s the thing, though: lifting heavy weights doesn’t hurt you. Lifting weights heavier than you should or can handle with shitty form hurts you.

So instead of admitting that they had questionable form or used more weight than they were able to handle, they blame the weight. Well I’m calling bullshit on this right now.

Pictured: Someone who's not afraid to lift heavy.

So with that said: do you need to be strong? I say yes.

I’m not saying everyone needs to head out to the gym right now and hit a max deadlift. But you should be working on some aspect of strength at some point.

Here’s the thing about strength: strength is the foundation of all other qualities. Get stronger and everything else will improve. Power. Speed. Endurance. All of these things can improve with more strength.

Think about it. If you can lift 500lbs, then lifting 100lbs is just that much easier right? You can move it faster, longer. Make sense? That’s why any good strength coach who works with athletes makes sure to include some decent maximum strength work.

Well I say that the average person can benefit just as much from more strength as any athlete.

Other known benefits of strength training: stronger bones, tendons and ligaments, development of the nervous system and just being generally more awesome.

The key here is learning to lift within your limits with safe technique. If you can do that, then you’re good to go.

I want to hear what you think: is maximum strength a necessary component of a strength & conditioning routine?


JohnKouts April 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm

While most people (myself included) have nowhere near the motivation to bend nails and rip phone books with ease, if someone is willing to take time out of their day to work out, trying to feel, look, or live better, they should definitely be trying to get stronger at the same time. It will come in helpful for everyday tasks. I mean, whats the point of taking the time to either head to the gym, or spend money on work out equipment for your house, if you still find carrying a few grocery bags down the street a strain?

Chris April 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm


Thanks for the comment bro.

You got the point exactly. I’m not implying that people need to go and try to do feats of strength (although they are a lot of fun) but the way I look at it, if you’re not getting stronger you’re getting weaker. I don’t care if you can run a marathon in an hour; if you can’t pick up a box when you’re friend is moving something about you is broken.

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