Make Strength Your Favorite
From The Archives - I’m going back through the old blog and reposting some of the best articles.
"Strong people are harder to kill...and more useful in general." This quote, attributed to Mark Rippetoe, is so overused in the S&C community that I tend to think of it as a bit of a cliché. It's often used in the context of fighting, training fighters, or training our warfighters.
However, I don't think that's the context Rippetoe originally meant when he said this, and I think that the real meaning is often forgotten, hidden by bravado and elitism. Strong people are harder to kill. Having muscles is critically important to your health and wellness as you age. Strong people have better metabolic health, better body weight control, and more resilience to stress and disease than those without much muscle mass.
If you get sick and you're stronger, you'll recover quicker, staying out of the hospital. For example, after controlling for age, stronger people have better outcomes from cancer treatments. If you end up in the hospital and you have more muscle mass, you'll get out of the hospital quicker (or have a better chance of leaving alive). Being weaker in the ICU leads to much worse outcomes for patients.
What's the most common reason older folks end up in the hospital? Slips and falls. A broken hip can easily kill a frail person. Why does someone lose their balance? It's because they're not strong enough to react to their own body weight getting outside their base of support. Balance really is just reflexive strength keeping your center of mass where is should be - there's nothing magic about balance, it's just on manifestation of strength. It's easy to get into a cycle of weakness leading to more injuries, and long stays in the hospital leading to more weakness.
Make this your year of strength. I'm not talking about packing on pounds of muscle to look ridiculous, I'm talking about getting strong. Stronger for your health, stronger for your quality of life. Keep progressing along our strength program, keep lifting more weight, and keep getting stronger to protect you in the future.