Monday, July 30, 2018

Discovering your strength, one anecdote at a time

The two-foot hole I found waiting for me when I got down to my sewer pipe.

A client was training with me today and relayed to me the one anecdote that I absolutely love to hear. While he was volunteering over the weekend, he was lifting things and moving them around — and noticed it was easier than usual — he was stronger.

This is music to my ears, because strength is exactly what we're going after.

Sure there are added benefits to resistance training that show their faces — fat loss, aesthetic improvements, etc. — but strength is the end goal. Strength is the singular most important currency in our physiological lives. It's the difference between the most you can do and the least you can do. In order to wake up, get out of bed and do what you want to do with any particular day, you need strength.

Every normal person that performs resistance training has stories like these. I'm not just talking about athletes who use strength training to improve their performance in their chosen sport — I'm talking about average Jills and Joes. We see improvement in performance in our daily lives, no matter what pops up.

I recently had a very similar anecdote. About a month ago, our plumbing backed up into the house, and a plumber quoted us $7,000 to fix the sewer line. Being a newly-minted small-business owner, it's not exactly the kind of cash I have on hand. Thanks to a very friendly contractor friend who said if I dug up the line myself, he would come and fix it for free, I quickly obliged.

Now I'm not exactly used to hours and hours of hard, hard labor. Despite the relative ease of digging a 15-foot long, two-foot deep ditch compared to what a lot of people do for a living, I felt fairly lucky. But I did have trepidation about how it would affect my body, especially with my history of lower back problems.

But instead of being laid up for a week, I dug the ditch and was fine. It was hard, but I was able to do it with relative ease, and able to recover with plenty of energy for the next day — twice! (Never rebury the hole until you know the problem is fixed!) Not only did I dig the ditch, but I busted up a three-foot section of a concrete walkway as well. 

Now I'm definielty not trying to brag, but what I'm trying to say, is after all this I reflected on what I had just done. I had accomplished this project with my health intact, a project that would have been out of the question three or four years ago, and I credit my 20-minute, once a week resistance exercise program for it. With stronger, thicker muscle fibers protecting my spine and joints, I was able to do this job myself, and learn a ton about sewer plumbing in the process. And the kicker is, the time commitment I had to spend to reach this level of fitness, flexibility, mobility and functionality is laughable.

If you don't have 20 minutes a week to spend improving your strength — the one factor that keeps you in total control of your independence — you need to find it. 

Become the strongest version of yourself in just 20 minutes, once or twice a week at Efficient Fitness. To book a free introductory session, call 425-214-2251 or email