Wednesday Musings: Why Strength Matters

Slow it down! That looked too easy! Make it hurt! Anyone who has worked out in one of my classes is very familiar with me shouting these words at them during a class. Too often I look around the gym and I see people rushing around. Paying no mind to their form, whether it was truly difficult, or if they are even doing the thing I’ve asked them to do. So often people treat the workouts like they are just a box that needs to be checked in their checklist of life, not even knowing what it is they are supposed to be getting out of it.

This frustrates me.

Not because I’m some egocentric asshole who demands your respect and your obedience, but because I know the benefits of cultivating strength. I know the discipline, the courage, the resilience, and the competitive fire that building strength requires. And I know that strength is about a  hell of a lot more than lifting weights or moving heavy objects.


Strength is about having the discipline to do what’s right, even when its hard or doesn’t feel good. Strength is about being resilient and soldiering on when your inner voice is telling you to just give up. Strength is about being courageous enough to take chances and to make yourself vulnerable. And it’s about being competitive enough with yourself to never rest on the work of yesterday at the expense of tomorrows goals.

Now I can’t help you with those “Life” things. I’m a dumb golden retriever of a man who happens to know a lot about exercise. But I know that the habits and the effort you put into the gym MATTER. Because there is no safer environment with more perfect conditions than the gym to test your strength. No better place to build the habits that beget strength. The lessons learned under a barbell, pushing a sandbag, and slamming a medicine ball perfectly parallel life.

So slow it down. Challenge yourself. Make it fuckin hurt. Do it here where it’s easy, so you know how when it gets hard.