We need to lift things. When we defined capability in this post we listed lifting as one of the skills we needed to master. By lift I’m talking about manipulating objects. Usually heavy ones. Yes this does include lifting weights. No this is not limited to it. The only time you lift symmetrical easy to hold objects is at the gym. Yes they make you stronger, but they don’t necessarily make you better at lifting and carrying awkward objects. It has been said by many people before me, but Gym and training is there to make us better equipped to do things in life that might be ramming your body into other people if you play a contact sport. Running around a court chasing a ball, Carrying heavy equipment, saving people from burning buildings and putting out fires if you’re a fireman or carrying a couch and heavy boxes when you have to move house or help a friend.
Why do you train? Aesthetics? Disregard all of the above. Capability? Now you are speaking our language. I have nothing against looking good. We all want to look good. I am against sacrificing capability for aesthetics. Form follows function, but we have reverse engineered this process so much now that we expect function to follow form. Why not let your ability dictate the way you look? Kill two birds with one stone. Learn to do some awesome shit and look good as well. Instead of looking good and being incapable.
Our goal is to create more capable resilient people. Tough, capable, people with savage amounts of strength and stamina with critical and creative thinking to match. Not too long ago people were very one sided in their training. They ran or they lifted weights or they cycled. Lately people have diversified their training and have taken up a lot of activities. CrossFit has been a driving force behind this. Say what you want to about it. More people are doing a lot more varied things in their training. Now we have obstacle course racing, adventure racing, and CrossFit competitions. Parkour has become more mainstream, with parkour gyms opening. The diversity of training has expanded beyond bodybuilding and jogging and that is great. Let’s not make the same mistake we did with bodybuilding. Training must make you better at life not just training. If you do CrossFit and you are not a competitor the main aim of it should be to improve your quality of life. If you are getting injured all the time in training. You are doing it wrong. This applies to all forms of training.
Ok let’s bring it back around to the original thing that we were talking about. Be strong and capable! Train to develop strength for life.
· Perform compound movements like squats, deadlifts, rows, presses. This is where you develop basic strength. Few things beat compound barbell movements for getting strong.
· Pick up heavy objects that are not bars, dumbbells and kettlebells. Sandbags, training partners, Logs, tires all fall into this category. This is where you challenge the strength you develop with the basic compound movements and develop diversity in your strength.
· Pick up heavy objects and walk with them. Loaded carries are great for work capacity, core strength and much more.
· Use smaller movements to work on your weak links. We all have them. Things like dead bugs, wall slides, Balance calf raises. Simple low load movements that target the weak links in the core, upper back and feet.
Your body is your vehicle to experience the world. A person with limited movement skill and a weak body can’t experience much!