Strength Training - It’s For Everyone
Strength training is an integral part of what we do at Verge. Regardless of an individual’s fitness goals, there is always a benefit in including some level of strength training into the program. The importance of this is often overlooked or misunderstood. Believe it or not heavy back squats and deadlifts do not make you a “meathead”. Avoiding Wednesday and Sunday training sessions means you are potentially creating a hole in your fitness and limiting potential progress towards your goals.
The first piece of the puzzle is easy to understand. If you want to get stronger then you must lift heavy things. When we strength train our bodies nervous system becomes more efficient at recruiting our muscles to produce force and execute the lift. This adaption not only adds pounds to the barbell, it allows to jump higher, run faster and move in a coordinated fashion. This newly founded strength and coordination will allow you to attack daily conditioning workouts at a higher intensity. Simply put if you increase your overall pushing, pulling and squatting strength then your body and nervous system will be better equipped to handle receptions of a 95-lbs thruster or a heavy kettlebell. Just like taking time to work on gymnastics skills or olympic weightlifting technique, strength training is a tool we use to improve our performance within the context of daily WODs.
The next piece of the puzzle may seem counterintuitive but if you are aiming to lose a few pounds then strength training should play a central role in your program. It’s easy to gravitate towards the workouts focused on long, enduring efforts that leave us sweaty and exhausted. This type of training is important but shouldn’t paint the entire picture. Strength training provides the opportunity to exercise in a low stress state. Hard workouts can be and are intended to be a stressor on the body but not every day is meant to leave you collapsed on the floor gasping for air. Excessive stress can lead to high cortisol levels which can inhibit weight loss. Making the effort to come lift on Sundays is just as important as that hard 20 minute AMRAP. Besides reducing stress levels, strength training improves body composition - increased muscle mass is crucial for weight loss. When we improve the composition of our large muscle groups we burn more calories - even when you aren’t exercising! More lean body mass will increase your resting metabolic rate and this can be just what you need to get over a weight loss plateau…not to mention look pretty darn good.
If you find yourself always skipping the days where you see heavy lifts in the programming now is the time to make a change. Being and feeling strong is important, regardless of what “heavy” means to you. Setting a new squat or deadlift PR is incredibly rewarding and is one way to prove to yourself that what you are doing is working. If you find yourself struggling to include strength training or just unsure please ask a Coach for some guidance and insight. Remember strength is never a weakness!