For many year magazines, television and media have portrayed weight training as something only guys should do or as something dangerous. Unfortunately, we are very quick to believe what we hear and see through media outlets and many have decided to neglect strength training as part of their regimen. This write up is not about the science of why EVERYONE should weight train, but the necessity of strength training to your life. In this write up I am going to give 3 common human tasks that that require strength/strength training.
1) A few months ago I came across this write up (Gwyneth Paltrow’s workout) which was featured in O Magazine. During the video, trainer to the stars, Tracey Anderson says, “No women should ever lift more than 3 lbs”. Don’t believe me? Check out the video. Now, she is a very famous trainer and I am not here to bash her. I just disagree. Any lady who has ever had a child is required to hold that child. In most instances that baby is born weighing more than 3 lbs and guess who has to carry that baby around? Yes, the mother. She will carry him/her for many months after birth as well. Many times I see children who are more than a year old who will still be picked up occasionally for comfort by their parents. Believe it or not, the ability to hold your child up without getting fatigued within minutes requires weight training. Many moms only form of weight training is picking up their kids, which is fine. But some mothers begin to experience back pains from holding their children not because their children are heavy, but because the mother has neglected weight training which can help in your bodies ability to carry a load over time. 2 movements every mom should learn: 1) A proper dead lift. Often thought as a dangerous movement, the dead lift mimics a wide range of daily functions such as well, picking up a child from the floor. 2) The squat. Not just an air squat, but a weighted back squat. This will not only help build glute and hamstring strength, but it will also help build abdominal strength needed to carry a load over time (or a baby).
2) The moment we all fear. We are sitting in traffic and our car begins to stall out. And just when you think you can pull over to the side of the road, your car breaks down. I have seen this first hand. A lady on a busy street near my house was stalled out. She put her emergency lights on and began to walk across the street to the conveince store. Knowing a stalled car on that road was dangerous (and always looking for a reason to use my fitness 🙂 I pushed her car to the side of the road. But not everyone is lucky enough to have a stranger around who can push their car. I know it may not sound important, but we cannot live a life of reliance on others to keep us out of danger. Without strength training, how will we ever build the strength we need to get us out of sticky situations like stalled cars? And honestly, it is not a bizarre case. How often do you see a car stalled in the road? Probably pretty often. If we could teach more people that being strong is necessary, we could become more independent when it comes to emergency situations.
3) Proper posture and stance. Most think proper posture is just a lack of retracting the shoulders down and back. Although this is true, there is more to it. Our lack of strengthening the muscles that retract our shoulder blades is a big issue especially since many of us do most things in front of our body (type on computers, eating at the table, using your cell phone). These postures cause us to become stronger or tighter anteriorly and the lack of our posterior strength especially in the upper back does not allow our shoulders to stay back but instead, hunch forward. Eating, using the computer and cell phones is not something we will stop doing. However, knowing this is common, we must begin to do simple upper back, mid back, and lower back exercises that will allow us to keep a more anatomically correct position throughout the day.
Strength training is essential to our daily lives. I am not saying you have to be the strongest, but you need to be strong(er). Most aches and pains don’t come from weight training, they come from a lack of strength in one area and tightness in other areas in our bodies. So I ask you, how often are you lifting weights? If you are not doing it more than 4 times per week, you need to find a weight lifting program that will allow you to gain the strength you need in order to live a healthy life that will not require you to rely on others in order to get things done.