Over the years I’ve learned all the different styles of exercise training, partly because competitiveness is part of an athlete’s DNA. So I challenged myself to try different things, and when pushing the body into great shape, weights never disappoint.
Granted you have a solid trainer or training program and you endured years—not months, but years of training, you would agree that resistance is the best assistance. Nothing matters more to muscle than stress, and whether it’s your bodyweight, or and external force, the body will respond to how much it’s loaded against.
Maybe once you’ve shown your lack of fitness saavy by downplaying the benefits of hitting the weights. In my teenage years I was somehow convinced that weightlifting would stunt my growth, damage my joints and leave me with nothing but a little muscle and a lot of regret. I’ve heard women say that they don’t want to look bulky like a professional bodybuilder, so they wouldn’t lift (truth be told, a lot of guys try, but still can’t look bulky like pros). Although weightlifting isn’t for everyone, if you want to see the most immediate and sustainable results in your physique or athleticism, weights is the way.
We all have to begin from somewhere, and everyone’s somewhere is different. Some of us begin with calisthenics (body weight exercises) or with sports (tennis, swimming, cycling, etc.) For those of us who aren’t satisfied with our skinny legs, or our flat booty, or our bird chest, we look at those barbells, dumbbells and machines somehow knowing the sweat that the last person just left on it was how that person has a little more of what we may want. I’m not saying that we want to look like anyone else, even though some of us do admire features of another person’s physique, I am saying that we know we’d feel more confident with our own bodies with a little more curvature and size.
I remember lifting what was at the time, heavy. Now I can warm-up with that weight because I’ve matured into a more developed athlete. When I couldn’t do a pull-up to now being able to do multiple sets of fifteen made me appreciate the patience that went into that process.
Just like someone might see a nice luxury car and think of how good it must be to roll-up in that, or we may see a jacket that would be nice to wear, we all have elements of our bodies that we would like to change.
For me, it was because I was battling a life-threatening disease that encouraged my change of heart about my lifestyle and learned the science of human health. Along the way I learned that I could do some amazing things (amazing to me) when I really prepared myself for it. I learned to sprint and be the fastest player on the soccer field (almost every time). I’ve learned to dunk a basketball, I’d even shown endurance that I never imagined years ago if I hadn’t changed my body’s capabilities. Much of it is will, persistence, focus and internal elements, but a huge proponent of it is weightlifting.
Of the many styles of resistance training, I can’t say that I’ve tried something that I didn’t like or respect. From athletic training (plyometrics, anaerobics, resistance training) to crossfit, to powerlifting, bodybuilding, and the others, there is an appreciation for these sciences because of the effect they each have on one’s physique. Not only the physique, but the mentality that is required to achieving your one rep max, or becoming more competitive than the field unto winning first place is a by-product of hitting the weights.
If not for the quality of one’s aesthetic appearance, if not for the confidence in one’s measure of physical strength, then for the moments when a stronger, more decisive and effective version of ourselves is required for survival, there is a way to be prepared more than you would be if you didn’t weightlift. Being able to move an extremely heavy object out of the way to save a life happens daily, but there are two sides to this coin. Sometimes we don’t have what it takes to survive and we suffer those consequences. We may not always be able to survive, but we ought to give ourselves the best chance we can.
If you are content with your body and its boundaries, if you don’t even lift, if or when you decide to push past your current physical bounds unto new territory whether that’s just around the corner, if it’s in a new county or to completely different region of your world, the weights is the way.