In contemporary fitness culture, the Internet can be a best friend or a worst enemy. Credible fitness sources are easy to find—these sources can offer useful information about weight training, cardio training, and nutrition.
Many fitness sites offer plans of action for anyone who decides to use them, which can be helpful to beginners and experts alike. These plans can be a great starting point in finding a tangible routine. However, these plans can also be detrimental, as they are “cookie-cutter” plans that are not tailored to every individual that uses them. One thing that gets overlooked among all of this information, though, is something that should be very simple: the idea of getting strong.
Strength is an idea that gets overlooked because it is not necessarily glamorous on the surface. Working towards getting stronger is not associated with having a great physique, getting toned, losing weight, or gaining size. This is problematic because to achieve any of the goals listed above, one must first become strong, stay strong, and gain strength. When strength becomes a priority, all of these goals will work themselves out—lifting heavy will assist in building muscle, losing fat, and most importantly, getting strong.
Gaining strength is not an easy task, and many have no idea where to start. In fact, until late last spring, I completely neglected some strength exercise staples for two reasons. First, I believed that some of these moves could cause injury. While it is important to be cautious, this is simply not the case. As long as proper stretching takes place before, during, and after strength exercises, risk of injury decreases greatly. Second, I was fearful that I would not utilize proper form because I had never performed some of these moves. After reading and watching videos about some of these exercises, I felt prepared to dive in and try my hand at gaining strength.
I know, the suspense must be killing you, you’re probably thinking: “What exercises is he talking about? The suspense is killing me!!!” I may burst some bubbles here, but the two exercises are the deadlift and the squat. I have always squatted, but did not feel that I was squatting properly. I had never deadlifted before last April because of the reasons listed above. Now, I am hooked. I decided to begin squatting correctly as well; both the deadlift and the squat have improved my overall strength.
I overlooked training for pure strength for a long, long time, but I am so glad that I made the leap and began training using these methods. I sincerely hope that if you do not already do these exercises, you begin to do so. Making that leap to strength training refreshed my training routine and has helped me immensely—I want each of you to experience the same thing.
If you need a starting point for video or reading references, check out tonygentilcore.com, as well as Tony Gentilcore’s YouTube page. He is a deadlift specialist, and his content is truly helpful and based in proper form.
Get strong this week Campus readers!