What does it even matter? For a lot of people I meet that’s their big rationalization to being so averse to lifting weights. Why should I? I’m not a powerlifter and to be perfectly honest; to someone who lifts weights for a living I can tell you that that is like saying “Why should I get my license? I’m not a formula one racer” And on top of that it actually makes even less sense overall for you to skip the iron.
Let’s really try to pick apart why.
- The what if. Why do people save money? Invest? Buy guns and ammo? Have a pantry of extra food. The answer is “the what if” factor. What if I lost my job? What if someone broke into my house and I had to protect my family? What if something devastating happened and we had no access immediately to food? I believe the same applies here but in a much more general and common sense. What if you needed to move something around the house? What if you fell and needed the strength to move? Or the extreme: What if you were trapped. Or had to defend yourself? What if someone else NEEDED you and you were incapable? What if you had never practiced being strong? And now you not only need to be strong, but someone else needs you to be physical fortuitous and you are not.
- Stronger bones. Lifting weights not only makes you stronger muscularly but structurally as well. I’m still not even touching on the integrity of your joints or ligaments and tendons. Do you know what one of the largest crisis’s facing the elderly? Disease? Malnutrition? No. FALLING. They have become so brittle over the years that they fall and break something. Which in the case of the elderly can be not only life-changing, but life ending in some cases due to the negative repercussions brought about but such physical setbacks.Now let’s take this very real idea and extrapolate it out even further. The fact of the matter is that kids nowadays are getting so much less physical activity overall that their bones are becoming less and less dense over time to the point where young people in some cases literally shatter bones while DANCING. That shit actually happened. Lifting weights increases pressure on the skeleton of the body, which in turns signals hormone production that helps increase ostiophages (bone builders) which increase bone tissue density and integrity. Making you a stronger, safer, and more effective person.
- It’s primal. Some would say this is purely my opinion but I believe it to be factual. In a world where the powers that be are constantly striving to put us into some sort of order, we are seeking a release. It’s why RPG games are so popular. We can be the master of ourselves, the hero, the leader, numero uno. This speaks do a deeper issue within us. Something is dying to get out. Something inside is screaming to be released and I believe that weightlifting is that release. It gives one the visceral pleasure of ousting pent up energy and emotion into an effective and beneficial ritual for the purpose of not only bettering yourself as a person but making the world a better place. (healthier people have lower medical bills, eat less shit, and have better sex. Less depression?) Even here though we must fight the fight against lifting how we choose. With shit like Planet Fitness, Retro Fitness, Chuze, and other foo-foo gyms popping up where we must avoid making noise, dropping weights, or in many cases intimidating other people; they are trying to control you.
In this moment I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Never ever let someone dull who you are. It is a form of control and you must resist.
- It can teach you two things simultaneously. It can teach you both patience and the joy of success. In the beginning, the gains come quickly whether it be in strength, size, fat loss, whatever. The numbers look good but then seem to stall. Your first plateau. You’ve now crossed your first lesson and entered your second. The first lesson is success. Showing that putting in some work and attention can reap large quantifiable rewards. The second lesson being that when things slow down you must not quit. Patience is a virtue not wasted on the weak. By being steadfast in your pursuit of your goals you will relearn to appreciate small benefits and successes along the way which can be translated to a greater overall sense of self as well as pride in your work. This patience you learn will become invaluable to you.
The reality of the situation is that lifting weights creates a better version of yourself. It may be daunting or intimidating when first setting out, yet these are surmountably thought processes that can be overcome by simply persevering. What’s not as easily struck down is the self-defeating mindset of “Why should I?” And the answer is that in the end you aren’t training for you. You’re training for the potential that others may count on you, for the future you that may depend on your hard work, for your ancestors who fought and died to keep the blood in you alive, and for the wisdom it can teach you about life as a whole.
THAT is why we train.