Get ’em strong. It sounds like something a strength coach would say. Almost entirely too cliche or even shortsighted, like something a non-sleeve wearing musclehead would say, bro. However, if you dig a little deeper maybe it’s not so bad. We work with a wide array of individuals at Ambition Athletics so let me give a few scenarios.
When a young athlete comes to me the answer is clearly get them stronger. After all, as I stated, we are in the business of strength here. Sure he/she needs to move well too but sports involve contact. Contact with a ball, the ground or other humans, so the ability to produce force is extremely important. When a female is coming back from a ACL injury it’s time to get them strong. A kid brand new to training? Let me show you how to get stronger. Headed off to play a college sport? We’ve got to get you stronger. Pretty simple.
Frequently people come into the gym looking to lose a few pounds and “tone up” a bit. Over the past several years my thought process on this has been heavily influenced by Dan John and especially more recently his book with Josh Hillis, “Fat Loss Happens On Monday”. Anyway, in the training department, what do Dan and Josh recommend? Getting stronger and increasing your ability to do things like push ups, chin ups, deadlifts and squats. Too often fat loss thought processes and potential programs are geared toward aerobic type exercise and lighter weights. I disagree. Get stronger. It will make the greatest change in your body.
In keeping with the same theme, I’ve seen it a few hundred times with both men and women, getting stronger is empowering. Seeing changes in your body is obviously rewarding but so is doing things you never thought possible like 10 legit push ups or a heavy deadlift. These are game changers for people as far as inner strength and confidence. Don’t discount that in your quest to kick ass at life.
My last example is those that are shall we say, past their athletic prime and closer to the age of retirement. Someone like this may have more restrictions as far as what they can do in the gym but I firmly believe that one of the greatest gifts you can give them is physical strength. Maybe they once had it, maybe they never did, but it doesn’t matter. We all know where we’re eventually headed. As they say, Father Time is still undefeated. But, you might as well hang on to enough strength and flexibility to give him more swift kick to the groin before he tries to shut you down. Get strong and stay active or be weak and inactive. You choose.
The ways to accomplish all of this may be vast depending on who you talk to but that discussion is for another day. The bottom line is, regardless of who they are, however it is that you do it, get ’em strong.
– Mike Baltren