Why Strength Rules All
Strength rules all, that's a pretty bold statement right ? It's a bold statement, but to me and my training philosophy, it's true. All too often I hear people talk about their lifting style and what they like to do. This is the bullshit I hear, "I don't like to heavy". My response to that is. " Why not?". I always get the same two responses. "I don't want to get hurt" or " I don't want to get bulky". All I hear when they say these two things are "I like being weak" and "I'm stuck in my ways and don't want to change".
Why would it be such a bad thing to neglect going heavy time to time? I'm not saying to go heavy all the time. It's important to get a mix of light and heavy work to create a different stimulus for your body to adapt to. There are two types of hypertrophy, there is myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic. Sarcoplasmic comes from higher reps and lower weight and leads to the expansion of the non-contractile muscle cell fluid called sarcoplasm. Now although this will lead to increase in overall size this doesn't mean that the strength will follow. Myofibrillar hypertrophy comes from lower reps and higher weights and leads to a increase in the number of myofibrils in the muscle. Myofibrils are responsible for the contraction of our muscles. More myofibrils = stronger contraction = more strength. Now that the science is out of the way, think of this. I hear people say, they don't want to get "bulky" which is why they do higher reps and lower weight. According to science and what I just described above, the higher reps and lower weight will actually get you bigger than if you lifted lower weight and lower reps because the increased volume in the sarcoplasm. Don't get me wrong now, the lifting of heavy weights and lower reps can get you bigger as well but you'd need to be in a caloric surplus and deliberately attempting to gain size. Have you ever seen someone that is absolutely shredded but they aren't very strong? That's a strong indication that they neglect to lift heavy shit. There's plenty of people that are shredded AND strong. That's because they lift heavy! Neglecting going heavy will result in one type of hypertrophy meaning you aren't getting the most out of the gym. Now it depends on your goals, bodybuilders will aim more so at the high reps while power lifters will aim for the lower reps. If you're part of the general population and lifting for fun recreationally, I'd recommend getting a mixture of both until you decide what your goals are.
Most of the people I see for training want to lean out and most of the people I talk to want to lean out as well. Think of this, strength is usually revolved around compound exercises. Compound exercises are exercises that use multiple muscle groups for a specific movement. For example, the bench press would be a compound exercise because you're using your chest, back, shoulders, triceps and legs. A tricep extension would use, well, your triceps. Now without us diving deep into all of this, between those two exercises, what do you think would burn more calories? You are correct, the bench press would because its using more muscles which is causing the body to exert more energy. More energy used= more calories burned. People might say " Brandon, I like H.I.I.T". You know what I say to that? Have you ever done a circuit of compound exercises vs. doing a circuit or curls and tricep extensions? It's going to be a lot more productive for your body and your goals and its going to make you feel like your soul just left your body for a bit. What is my point with all of this ? Strength Training is going to burn more calories regardless of what your goals are. On top of that you get added muscle mass from strength training which is metabolically active so you are going to burn even more calories throughout the day. More strength = more muscle. More Muscle = more calories burned. More calories burned= less fat. Less fat= Happy life. Regardless of what your goals are whether it be strength, fat loss or running a marathon, you need some level of strength to achieve all of these. The beautiful thing about strength training is it can benefit everyone in every day life and it can benefit you're health in whatever goal you're trying to achieve, that includes fat loss! It helps with maintaining healthy bone density as well as keeping older folks moving around and being able to enjoy life in their later years. Everyone and I mean everyone can benefit from strength training. Remember that next time you think or hear someone say " I don't go heavy" and remember, stronger people are harder to kill. Strength Rules All.